Communication. It’s key. People coming to me for help in their relationships (alone or together) tell me all the time that they
“just need to improve their communication skills.”
Most people strive really hard to do just that.
They work on being kinder and having a softer approach. They work really hard on analyzing correctly so they can get their point across clearly and “be heard.” They gather evidence and examples. They keep an historical record, sometimes verbatim. They submit the hypothetical to their partner “how would you like it if…?” They make appointments to have big talks and get to the bottom of things. Sometimes they even use “date nights” as a time for those big talks. They work really hard to hold it together even when things get tense.
Even people who specialize in relationship and couples work often don’t help effectively. They teach people to “attend to listening” or “pay attention” when it’s their partner’s turn to talk. Eye contact. Body language. Turning toward, not away. Leaning in. (No eye-rolling, sighs, or other displays of impatience.) They teach “reflective listening” and hope each person can “issue an empathy statement.”
It’s good stuff… if you can do it successfully.
But sometimes it’s so much work.
Especially when, as a listener, you are seething and you already know the next thing your partner is going to say because she’s said it a hundred times and you are being forced to override every cell screaming to get away from this confrontation.You are, after all, in the counselor’s office and you are paying to do this conversation in front of a professional!
Or maybe the words coming out of your man’s mouth feel scathing and you just want to break down and cry but you’re being forced to “hold it together” long enough to be seen as “rational and logical.”
That kind of communication doesn’t truly work.
And by “work” I mean it does not get you what you want: connection, feeling understood, feeling like a team, solution and resolution. That’s why I regularly tell people to stop talking.
Now I don’t mean literally to stop talking entirely. I mean STOP TALKING so much. Stop talking like that. Do something entirely different.
I teach people to use my Clean, Non-blaming Communication (CNBC)™ framework.
It’s nifty. It diffuses huge issues. It’s simple. But not necessarily easy. And it’s usable and useful in so many situations and with all kinds of relationships. I mean that. With kids, bosses, underlings, acquaintances, potential dates, friends, siblings… you name it! Of course, it’s productive and helpful inside relationship!
I love it and I talk about it all the time. That’s because it has changed my life and the lives of so many clients. It grew out of years and years of my own experience, pain, hard work, broken heart, study, research, investigation, trial and error, and finally, complete transformation!
If you’ve signed up for my FREE Coaching Club, you already have a PDF copy of the framework.
Use it. Keep the framework handy because, of course it will feel strange and unnatural at first. It’s very different from what you’ve been doing! You will slip back into the pattern of the The Usual Subtext ™. That’s what’s natural. We’ve been conditioned to use that way of communication and try harder and harder, believing that our efforts have to yield results!
Or, worse, that there is just something wrong with the other person. They’re a bad mate, (we chose the wrong one!) or a bad employee, or bad sales clerk, or aggravating, troubled, difficult son (or daughter.)
We try and try and try and yet, all our efforts fail to get us what we want: cooperation, compliance, respect, connection, empathy, RESULTS!
If you want to learn more about the specifics of how Clean, Non-blaming Communication works, do one of three things:
- Sign up for my FREE Coaching Club if you haven’t already. (Under the arrow on the side if you’re on a computer, below here if you’re on a phone or tablet.) You’ll get the PDF plus more info reserved for the Coaching Club and receive Love Letters from me about once a week.
- Listen to this episode of my podcast.
- Watch the TEDx talk from spring, 2017 in Minneapolis. (I tell a lot of my own story and how CNBC developed.)
Either of the last two will give you a good overview of the framework and insight into WHY it’s time to make a change. Plus, you’ll get some examples of what that might sound like.
Then, jump in and start using it. Try it out and let me know how it’s going. I LOVE, love, love to hear from you! Comment here and let me know how it’s going.
And if this is helpful, share it! We’re interested in helping more people, right?