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Effective Communications Styles:. Learning Outcomes. As a result of this seminar, you will be able to: 1. Understand barriers to effective communication 2. Explore some of the generalizations about men and women in relationships.

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learning outcomes
Learning Outcomes

As a result of this seminar, you will be able to:

1. Understand barriers to effective communication

2. Explore some of the generalizations about men and women in relationships.

3. Identify your personal withdrawal techniques by reviewing the “Dirty Dozen” of Communication Spoilers.

4. Develop a better understanding of your partner’s way of communicating.

5. Identify some of the common “power plays” that are used by couples in a relationship.



Learning Outcomes con’t.

6. Understanding some of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of couples communication

7. Demonstrate empathic listening

8. Construct “I” messages

9. Rate your “People Skills” and identify areas for improvement

10. Explore the reality and the value of marital conflicts

11. Explore the concept of a “couple’s time out”

12. Identify some of the “red flags” in relationships

11. Where to turn when your relationship needs help


effective communications
Effective Communications

Barriers to Effective Communication

1. Different ways of viewing world can lead to honest


2. Expecting other person to be a mind reader

3. Taking other person’s words personally and either

getting defensive or withdrawing

4. Getting stuck in rut – having the same interactions again and again, nothing ever gets resolved


Barriers to Effective Communication con’t.

5. Thinking of response or daydreaming

6. Not understanding different ways men and women typically view “talking”

7. Ignoring importance of non-verbal communication

8. Not taking the time to communicate


differences between men and women
Differences between Men and Women
  • Women: Understanding How Men Communicate
    • KIS- “Keep It Simple”
    • Stay on one topic at a time: men think in a linear and sequential manner
    • Do not be offended if he does not maintain eye contact
    • Expect interruptions: this is his way of showing interest in the topic
    • Expect distracting behavior: walking around and talking
    • Men have a strong need to be “right”
    • Avoid directing a man: instead ask, “have you considered …”
    • Avoid nodding: to a man it means you agree and not just that you are listening
    • Keep a sense of humor
differences between men and women8
Differences between Men and Women
  • Men: Understanding How Women Communicate
    • Women speak twice as many words as a man
    • Set a time every day to communicate for at least 15 minutes
    • Try to make direct eye contact
    • Try to not interrupt
    • Ask her to stick to one subject at a time
    • Respect the versatility of the female mind: women tend to wander and this makes no sense to men
    • Her “guiding the relationship” is not meant as bossiness: women tend to be more directing and guiding
    • If you feel she is nagging, do some self checking: Ask her to talk with you and not at you with an “I” statement
    • Keep your sense of humor
  • 55%--Body

Body language, facial expressions, hand gestures, use of space, movements

  • 38%--Voice

Tone, pitch, rate, volume

  • 07%--Word

Actual words spoken




Name-Calling or Labeling


Using “Loaded” Words





Probing or Quizzing



Diverting or “Me, Too--ing”

Arguing Logically


“Dirty Dozen” of Communication Spoilers



Building Healthy Interpersonal Relationships

1. Listen and understand the individual

2. Attend to the little things

3. Keep commitments

4. Clarify expectations

5. Show personal integrity

6. Apologize sincerely when you make a relationship withdrawal

7. Establish Win/Win relationships



Building Healthy Interpersonal Relationships con’t.

8. Be assertive and use I-messages

9. Practice effective communication skills.


habits of effective people

Habits of Effective People

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Stephen Covey

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People


common power plays
Common Power Plays
  • Giving advice but not accepting it.
  • Having difficulty reaching out and asking for support and love.
  • Giving orders: demanding and expecting too much from others.
  • Being judgmental, PUT-DOWNS, fault finding, persecuting.
  • Holding out on others; not giving them what they need or want.
  • Making and then breaking promises.
  • Smothering or over-nurturing your partner.
  • Patronizing/condescending behavior/one up and one down.
  • Making decisions for others.
  • Putting others in a “no-win” situation.
  • Attempting to change the other.
ancient proverb

Ancient Proverb

We have been given two ears and one mouth.

We should listen twice as much as we talk!


effective communication techniques
Effective Communication Techniques
  • Reflective Listening Techniques
    • Mirroring: The process of accurately reflecting back the content of a message from your partner.
    • Validating: Let your partner know that the information being sent make sense.
    • Empathy: The process of reflecting or imaging the feelings the sending partner is experiencing about an event or situation.
i messages19
“I” Messages
  • Describes objectively how you feel.
  • Focuses on your feelings.
  • Does not assign blame.
  • Specific behavior is described.
  • Non-verbal elements such as tone of voice and body language are critical.
  • Requires a non-judgmental attitude.
  • Can include a state of change and consequence.
i messages20
“I” Messages
  • Constructing an “I” message
    • Describe the behavior objective.
      • When…
    • Expresses your feelings about the behavior.
      • I feel…
    • Describe the effect on you.
      • …because…
    • Make a statement of change.
      • I want you to…
    • Statement of consequences.
      • If you do/do not … I will...
are you passive aggressive passive aggressive or assertive cont24
Are you Passive, Aggressive, Passive-Aggressive, or Assertive? Cont
  • Passive Aggressive
assertive communicators
Assertive Communicators:
  • Best communication style.
  • Basis for a healthy interpersonal relationship.
  • Have a positive reserve in their relationship bank account.
7 signs of communication problems
7 Signs of Communication Problems:
  • Helplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Hostility
  • Frustration
  • Cynicism
  • Loss of Self-Esteem
  • Hopelessness
do s and don ts of communication
Do’s and Don’ts of Communication
  • Don’ts:
  • Criticize
  • “Hit below the belt”
  • Threaten to end the relationship
  • Just complain
  • Assume the other person knows what you are thinking
  • Interrupt
  • Be sarcastic
  • Generalize with “always” or “never”
  • Make vague requests
  • Be more concerned with winning or being right
  • Question excessively
  • Raise your voice or lose emotional control
do s and don ts of couple communication
Do’s and Don’ts of Couple Communication
  • Do’s
  • Know each gender’s different ways of communicating
  • Take time out to think about the problem and clarify your position
  • Be specific
  • Be honest
  • Ask for and give feedback
  • Discuss one issue at a time
  • Stay on topic
  • Try to understand your partner’s position
  • Consider a compromise
  • Stick to the present
  • Retire your score board
  • Practice effective communication techniques such as “I” statements and reflective listening
  • Call a time out when necessary
marital conflict
Marital Conflict
  • It should not be:
    • Hurtful
    • Rejecting
    • Insulting
    • Humiliating
    • Manipulating
    • About winning and losing
marital conflict 2
Marital Conflict 2
  • It should be:
    • Necessary
    • Natural
    • Inevitable
    • Just a difference in what you and your partner want, need, or think.
    • A sign that your relationship has great potential for growth.
    • An opportunity to try something different.
time outs
Time Outs
  • Partners agree to come back to an issue after spending time away
  • You come back together after a period of time to attempt to settle the differences
  • Options for settling a disagreement: agree, compromise, disagree, or agree to disagree peacefully
where to turn when the relationship is in trouble
Where to Turn When the Relationship is in Trouble?
  • EAP
  • Individual and/or Marital Counseling
  • Relationship Building Activities
  • Friends
  • Support Groups
  • Church
if it s to be it s up to me


If it’s to be,It’s up to me!

Dennis WaitleyPsychology of Winning