Expression: Speak For Yourself With Clarity

Posted by Beetle B. on Sat 13 May 2017

Don’t just listen - you need to share your side of the story.

Orators Need Not Apply

Do not try to be eloquent or witty.

Do not try to persuade, impress, trick, outwit or convert anyone. It is to express what you see, why you see it that way, how you feel, and who you are.

You must believe what you express is worthy of expression - that your views are as important as anyone’s.

You’re Entitled

No More, But Not Less

Always remember: Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity - including you. Your views and feelings are as legitimate as anyone else’s.

There are risks in speaking, but sometimes silence is riskier.

Beware Self-Sabotage

Sometimes we just go through the motions, perhaps incompetently. Or we wait to speak until time runs out. If you act this way, ask yourself why you don’t feel entitled to speak.

Failure To Express Yourself Keeps You Out Of The Relationship

People do not want to have a relationship with those who do not share. To hide the bad, we often end up hiding all.

Feel Entitled, Feel Encouraged, But Don’t Feel Obligated

You are entitled to express yourself. But not obligated to. Expressing yourself can be difficult. If you do not, don’t beat yourself by saying “I should have said something”.

Speak The Heart of The Matter

Start With What Matters Most

For me, what this is really about…”

What I’m feeling is…”

What is important to me is…”

We often speak about the important issues (facts), but what is really important is the underlying reasons. Why are you requesting something? Why do you need something?

Say What You Mean: Don’t Make Them Guess

Don’t Rely on Subtext

Don’t get your message across indirectly. Jokes, questions, side comments, body language are indirect.

An example: “You spend too much time on X”

Is activity X so important you do it every week?”

Wishing the other person already knew there was a problem is a symptom. Why can’t he see it? Expecting them to is a fantasy.

Avoid Easing In

Don’t soften the message by using hints and leading questions. Doing it this way conveys:

  1. I have a view.
  2. This is too embarrassing to discuss directly.
  3. I’m not going to be straight with you.

This triggers anxiety and defensiveness.

State your thoughts straight out, but indicate interest in whether the other person sees it differently.

Don’t Make Your Story Simplistic. Use The “Me-Me-And”

State your feelings and concerns (including happy ones). Join with the and stance.

Telling Your Story With Clarity: Three Guidelines

1. Don’t Present Your Conclusions As The Truth

Spanking children is just plain wrong.” vs “I believe spanking children is wrong” or “I’ve read studies that show…”

Words to avoid: Inappropriate, should, professional. They contain judgments.

All opinions are not equally valid. The book is not saying that. Just that you phrase it as an opinion.

2. Share Where Your Conclusions Come From

What information do you have and how did you interpret it? Include life experiences. Connect the dots.

3. Don’t Exaggerate With “Always” and “Never”: Give Room To Change

It is rarely true. Prevents change from the other person.

Instead, assume the other person is unaware. “When you say X, I feel Y. It sounds like an attack on my judgment and makes me feel incompetent.” Can’t hurt to follow up with a request.

Help Them Understand You

You need their help in understanding them. And so they need your help in understanding you.

Ask Them To Paraphrase Back

Ask them to repeat what you said in their words.

Ask How They See it Differently And Why

Your phrasing may not convince them. Ask how they see it differently. Better than “Does that make sense?” or “Wouldn’t you agree?” Both are asking how they see it the same. They then become reluctant to share their doubts.

I suppose so” is a sign they don’t agree!

tags : communication, dc