Say It Better!

ARE YOU REALLY SERIOUS about becoming a better communicator? Well, the guidelines outlined here will sure put you on the right path. As a professor who teaches communication, I can honestly tell you that few books on communication have impacted me the way “The Real Me Please Stand Up,” by John Powell did. There’s much more in the book than I could possibly tell you about here, but I would highly recommend you purchase it if you truly desire to improve your communication skills. Here are John’s 25 Guidelines as outlined in his book.

“25 Guidelines for Good Communication”

Assumptions and attitudes:

1. We must be committed to communication (i.e., sharing ourselves)

2. We must be convinced that we and others are gifts to be given and received (i.e., value others).

3. We must be determined to be honest with ourselves (i.e. Shakespeare said, “to thine ownself be true, then thoust canst not be false to any man).

Speaking

4. We must accept personal responsibility for our actions, reactions, and lives (use “I” vs. “You” statements)

5. We must speak only for ourselves. I should make it clear that I am speaking only my truth, not “the” truth.

6. We must share all our significant feelings with those to whom we are relating.

7. We must be courageous enough to share our personal vulnerability with one another.

8. We should express gratitude to our listeners.

Listening

9. We should be “present” and “available” to others who offer to share themselves with us (i.e, give them your undivided attention).

10. We should accept others wherever they are (not where we are).

11. We must listen attentively to learn the “inner consistency” of others.

12. We must not indulge in mind reading by judging the intentions and motives of others.

13. We should register empathic and reassuring reactions to others when they are sharing themselves with us (i.e., let them know we’re feeling them, not just hearing them).

14. We should clarify the message that is being delivered, trying always to understand accurately the meaning of others (i.e., make sure you understand what is being said).

15. We should offer only suggestions and never directions (i.e., let others make their own decisions).

16. We should avoid all blocks to communication (i.e. eliminate barriers — prejudices, distractions, etc.).

17. We should explicitly thank those who have shared themselves with us.

General Practices

18. Good communication requires that the communicators spend special or quality time together.

19. Touching is an important form of communication.

20. To become more effective communicators, we must stretch beyond our comfort zones (i.e., try to meet people who are different than you).

21. We must be ready to apologize when an apology is appropriate and helpful.

22. We must avoid a build-up of tension.

23. We need to use special approaches in times of communication crises (i.e., always be sensitive).

24. Make sure your motive for communication is always love.

25. We should pray for the enlightenment and the courage to communicate well.

Look forward to much more information on this topic from RealWorld University. We’ll be bringing you information, ideas, and strategies from some of the world’s leading experts and authorities in this field and many others. We believe that experience may be a good teacher, but other people’s experience is a better teacher. Our motto at RWU is, “The key to wisdom is knowing where to look for the answers.” Thanks for dropping by RealWorld University. Come back soon, and tell a friend. Remember to live purposefully.

God bless!

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