sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training
Systemic and NLP Coach
Newsletter - August 2010
Communication without judgement
Communication is one of the main keys to a strong relationship with others, be it in private or business life. As we acquire and improve our communication skills and knowledge we will immediately start to communicate more effectively. And while doing so we can create an environment of understanding and respect, an environment where everyone's contributions are valued.
Unfortunately we humans are habitual creatures and sometimes strange habits sneak into our subconscious mind without even realising it consciously. For example, we often play the judge without even noticing it. We do so because we don't think much about it and that's just how we are used to proclaiming our opinion - doesn't everybody tend to do it this way?
Maybe, but does it support our communication? While judging we evaluate someone or something as right or wrong, good or bad, beautiful or ugly, etc. This mostly happens subconsciously by using statements like:
• "The management is completely wrong."
• "She cooks horribly."
• "He complains about everything."
• "This dress is really ugly."
Using such statements we do not take responsibility for our opinion because we leave out the identity of the person making the judgement. This kind of language pattern is called "lost performatives" in the language of Neuro-Linguistic Programming because we literally lose the performer of the judgement. However, by using those statements everybody will know that the judging person is us - we take the position of the one who knows it all. Our communication partner can easily get caught up in disagreement and might even want to argue against our generalised judgement. We create a hostile environment where conflict is natural and ongoing.
This is one of many good reasons to evaluate our communication skills and update them from time to time.
When we take ownership of our personal opinions and preferences, we create an environment for open and fluent communication. We make it easier for our communication partner to listen, to appreciate and accept our opinion, although they might not agree. In addition they can bring in their own point of view as well. We enhance and simplify our communication by exchanging opinions and thoughts which can lead to an interesting, inspiring and creative conversation.
Now, how can we tell our opinion without judging someone or something? It is quite simple, we just rephrase the before mentioned statements as follows:
• "I don't agree with what the management is saying/doing."
• "I don't like her way of cooking."
• "I think he complains too much."
• "This dress is not to my taste."
When we let go of a judgment and just think of our own preference or opinion, we can experience greater freedom. We do not offend others having a different opinion and we can stay open minded listening to their opinion which might even enhance ours. We can increase our sense of calmness and relaxation which again will bring more balance in our life.
Think about something or someone you are judging to be good or bad, right or wrong beautiful or ugly. Take your statement/judgment and reframe it in a way that you are able just tell your opinion or preference about them or it - without any judgment whatsoever.
In case you hear somebody judging someone else or something, or even you, take a deep breath and remember the reframing trick ;-) Notice how easily you will be able to rephrase their judgments into statements of their own personal opinions or preferences. And become aware of how your own feelings towards that person and their opinion will change immediately.
At the beginning it will take some attentiveness and concentration to change your way of communicating and it will take some patience and self-confidence not to get angry with other people judging; but soon enough you will be able to understand them and their opinions however they express themselves and you will see how much easier your life is going to be.
Additional health tip:
One of HSI's (Health Science Institute) Newsletters by Francois Lubbe (UK Editor) said last week:
"I'm not a big fan of breakfast cereals, but since many of us spend our mornings rushing around trying to do a million and one things, it can be difficult to avoid cereals as a part of our morning routine as they are so quick and easy to prepare.
However, you should know that avoiding the brightly coloured boxes of sugar-coated children's brands may not be enough to ensure the healthiest breakfast option for you or your grandchildren for that matter.
Even ‘healthy' breakfast cereals can hide sugars, calories and fats. Consider the following when choosing a breakfast cereal:
• Sugars: Choose unsweetened products. Be aware that cereals with dried fruits provide additional sugar that can quickly add up. Instead of dried fruit, add fresh fruit to your cereal.
• Fibre: Flour is not the best fibre and whole grain or whole wheat is not always a good indicator that fibre content will be substantial. Healthy choices are oats, bran and wheat germ cereals, and whole grain cereals with actual bits of grain and no added sugars. Aim for at least three grams of fibre per serving.
• Fats: Avoid any product that contains hydrogenated fats or trans-fats, and stick to cereals that have less than one gram of saturated fat. Granola, regarded by many as the quintessential health food, can pack plenty of unhealthy fats - and sugars - so read labels carefully before buying."
Have fun, enjoy the moments in your life and be well.
Check out the quotation for August and the short excursion to it on my website.
Please feel free to forward this e-mail to family, friends and colleagues. This is a monthly newsletter.
Until next month I wish you all the best,
coaching & training
Systemic and NLP Coach
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sibylle chaudhuri | coaching & training