Attention and Clear Expression
Clear communication promotes clear understandings. Express yourself using communication skills (see Communication Skills Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, Relationship Basics Part 1, Part 2, and Relationship Boundaries and Self-Care pages). Intend to embrace the other's expression to the best of your ability. To embrace another's expression, you must listen with the intention to understand him/her as clearly as possible:
- Pay attention to whether there may be a larger expression beyond the person's words. If this may be the case, ASK - DON'T ASSUME.
- If something is unclear, ASK - DON'T ASSUME.
- Listen for any desire the other is expressing.
- Do not jump to conclusions. You are not a mind reader.
- Do not disagree with another's statements before being clear about what is being said.
- Do not interrupt.