Efficient and effective communication should be easy but like everything in life, easier said than done. Here are some pointers to efficient communication:
- Make your point then stop talking
- Avoid repetition
- Concentrate on solutions to problems that benefit both parties
The best piece of advice that I could give you. Concentrate on your own tone, your own grimaces when the other person is speaking and your own tendency to jab and needle at that other person. If both of you do this then progress will be made.
You need to be aware of your tone of voice when talking to your ex-partner and your body language when they are talking to you. Everyone is guilty of coming across as rude and aggressive at times when talking, especially when emotions are involved. This is particularly true when discussing your children but you need to think before talking and have a plan on what you want to say.
Being civil when communicating can be difficult especially when emotions are involved such as stress, anxiety and also any negativity between the two of you. The more emotion generated by the communication, the less likely it will end in success.
Here are some common ways that people escalate conflict:
Aspects of communication that increase emotion –
- Failing to reach control to the other speaker
- Excessive interrupting
- Sniggering, eye-rolling, sighing or staring aggressively
- Using a sarcastic or derogatory tone.
Insulting language – the civility of your conflict resolution language evaporates –
- When people use language that is obviously intended to bully, overpower, denigrate, frighten or harass.
- when people communicate in a passive-aggressive way they add negativity to the conversation because of the underlying meanings in the language used.
Overly Defensive Posturing – This is where an insult is taken where none was intended.
If you can communicate calmly and civilly then the more successful the discussions will be. Emotions can have a big impact on effective communication and it’s hard to concentrate on what you want to discuss. Concentrating on a positive outcome which will benefit you both should help your communication with each other. Be efficient by writing down what you want to say so you don’t go off-track, remain focused to what the purpose is of the conversation.
If you feel that you are not able to think calmly and remain neutral then now is not the right time for you to try and communicate with your ex-partner. Set a date for when you think you’ll be ready to sit down and communicate.