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How To Handle Communication Breakdowns – When To Stop Trying To Persuade Another
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Effective communication can be the bridge between what you want and receiving it.

There are many ways to communicate.

In the workplace and in your personal life, how skillfully you communicate very likely determines how much satisfaction you experience in your relationships.

In conflict, our communication skills are really put to the test.

How well you handle another’s disagreement or another’s apparent unwillingness to really receive your message represents a very important communication skill.

While many communication training courses suggest ways to enhance your power of persuasion, we also need to know when and how to let go of the effort to persuade others.

There are occasions in my team building trainings and motivational speaker engagements when an audience member might argue with me, or might pose questions without really wanting answers, in an obvious attempt to derail or demonstrate domination over me, due to his or her own insecure reasons.

If I am not careful in that situation, I might forget my professional communication etiquette and engage in a personal, ego-driven contest of verbal one-upmanship.

For many of us, workplace communication challenges are is easier to navigate through than personal communication tests and trials.

When our mate disagrees with us, or when our child ignores our directs, we are more tempted to forget how to communicate effectively, and slip into negative, self-defeating communication strategies like blaming, complaining, nagging, and even verbal temperamental outbursts that include shouting out schoolyard name-calling.

How do YOU handle communication breakdowns? Do you lose your cool and blow your top?

No one has the power to persuade everyone, nor to persuade ANYONE all the time.

There are bound to be times when you encounter someone who:

• Demonstrates disrespect for what you have to say

• Blocks out your message by hiding behind a wall of defensiveness or argumentativeness

• Reacts negatively instead of responding constructively to your message

The most common mistake made when we experience exasperation in conversation is to focus exclusively on how unreasonable the other person is being.

When individuals in a work-team begin doing this, the opposite of team building occurs.

Every communication breakdown gives you an opportunity to develop your ability to communicate successfully.

If you relate to every communication problem that you run into as a chance to improve your communication ability, you turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one.

The first thing to do is to recognize how you actually handle the problem.

Do you begin to feel upset? Do you feel powerless? Do you feel anxious? Do you feel frustrated? Do you feel defeated? Do you feel impatient?

To experience greater communication success, begin my taking a good, honest look at how you react emotionally to verbal disagreement.

Notice how you react to another person ignoring your requests, speaking loudly or aggressively, or seeming to discredit and disrespect your stated point of view.

Focusing on your reactions to a breakdown in communication is key because when you feel insecure, when you feel anxious, when you feel frustrated and impatient, you undermine your ability to direct your own life.

In other words, we might become so focused on directing another that we self-sabotage without realizing it.

Adopt the communication strategy of practicing non-reactivity.

When communication breaks down, concentrate on SELF-control instead of on controlling the other person.

When you feel emotionally upset, your ability to see your real opportunities and to solve your problems constructively is lost.

As you maintain your peace and poise, you can come up with a wise, intelligent, effective game-plan for getting your needs met without wasting energy on fruitless verbal conflict.

Effective communication skills for getting what you want in life include the skill of recognizing when it is time to STOP trying to persuade another.


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