Topping the News
Communicate the Right Way
|Photo by Danielle Thomas|
|Tips -- Education
specialtist and couselor Phyllis Waldron
presents the Relationship IQ workshop.|
Art & Entertainments Editor
The Gateway Student Support Services at the University
of Arkansas at Monticello held a "What's Your
Relationship IQ?" workshop March 2 in Harris Hall Room
Education specialist and counselor
Phyllis Waldron said Gateway held the
workshop because of communication problems in
"We're all in relationships of some kind or another," Waldron said.
"I've seen first hand that these tips work."
The workshop covered how to communicate with the other person in a
relationship, whether it’s a significant other or a
According to Waldron's presentation, not being a good listener or
talker is the biggest problem in communication. Ways to
combat this problem include:
Verbal listening is also important when communicating with others.
Once the other person is done talking, paraphrase what
the other person said. This will help both people
understand each other better.
- Non-verbal listening - Give your full attention until the other person is completely
- Making eye contact - Shifting your eyes away from the other person may make them feel
as if you aren’t paying attention.
- Listening without interrupting - Give the other person a chance to finish talking. Once the other
person pauses, give them a few seconds to make sure they
have nothing else to say.
- Sending acknowledgments - Nod your head. Acknowledge that you hear them and that you are
giving them your full attention.
Listen beyond the words the other person says. According to
studies, people talk more with their body language than
with words. If a person has their arms or legs crossed,
this could give the speaker a bad impression.
If time is a problem and the discussion needs to continue at
another time, let the speaker know. This will combat
problems with the speaker thinking the other person
isn't interested in what they have to say.
The most important part of communication is the message that you
send to the other person.
Don’t use "You" messages such as:
• "You are rude."
• "You make me mad."
• "You make me crazy."
• "You don’t love me anymore."
The messages usually make the other person defensive and angry.
Instead, start with an "I" message. "I" messages are facts that
come straight from the speaker than cannot be argued
Using "I" messages instead of "You" messages:
• "I am upset" instead of "You are rude."
• "I feel angry" instead of "You make me mad."
• "I just don’t understand" instead of "You make me crazy."
• "I feel we’re drifting apart" instead of "You don’t love me
The ways to send an "I" message to someone else is through
observation, feelings, wants, thoughts and intentions.
Another communication problem is wording requests as questions.
When a parent says to a child, "Don’t you want to look
nice?" they are really saying, "Go change your clothes."
Rather than doing this, the parent could say, "Please go
change your outfit." Wording a request as a question is
not a good idea unless the requester is prepared for
whatever answer they get.
Fear and predictions of failure is another problem that gets in the
way of communication. People shouldn’t assume that the
other person won’t be willing to listen to them.
Stephanie Witherspoon, a senior a UAM, said she likes going to Gateway
Student Support Services workshops.
"(The Relationship IQ workshop) was very informative. I enjoyed
it," Witherspoon said.
The next Gateway student services workshop, "Discovering
You," will be held March 8 at 3 p.m. in Harris Hall 200.
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©The Voice 2006
02:08:43 PM http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/3_19/commiq.htm