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  #31  
Old 01-18-2010, 05:51 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Default Communication Complications........

Pondering this concept, any thoughts?
Mono?
RP?
Polynerdist?
GroundedSpirit?
Blaidwynn?
Anyone else?
Bueller? [sorry I couldn't resist - YGirl]

When issues crop up, I think that it's important to let people know what you are thinking/feeling/wanting/needing/doing etc.

Letting someone KNOW requires communication.

Communication is dependent on both the sender and the receiver of the information having the same understanding of the definitions of the words used in relaying that information.....

Unfortunately, that's not always possible/plausible/realistic....

When one recognizes this they THEN encounter ANOTHER issue:
Not only do they have the problem of "How DO I relay this concept?"

But they also have the issue of figuring out
"Is there a way to relay the information PRODUCTIVELY if communication isn't possible because the other party isn't grasping the meaning in whatever method they are using to relay it...."
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Last edited by NeonKaos; 01-18-2010 at 04:23 PM.
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  #32  
Old 01-18-2010, 09:08 AM
Blaidwynn Blaidwynn is offline
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Default First Steps

I have discovered that often before any seriously meaningful conversation can be achieved the sender must first be introspective enough to know what they truly wish to convey. This frequently requires a "rough draft" of what you wish to say followed by many rewrites and more introspection. Even so after all the work has been done to convey the meaning it does not insure that the receiver is capable of understanding the depth of the meaning of the message and it's truly serious nature. Often a way to breach this kind of gap is to hold a series of conversations with someone close to the receiver who knows their "vocabulary" so to speak so a common understanding may be reached, and then to take the message to the receiver on a common level they both understand.

The next step is for both parties to consider the discussion serious and put aside posturing, pride, bravado, drama, disbelief and any of the other common or uncommon reasons for disrupting a serious discussion. In short each must be open to what the other is saying and take it seriously. Depending on the issue at hand and the severity of the emotions involved this can be a difficult step to take but as long as both parties are willing a lot can be accomplished and understandings reached.

This cannot be a rushed thing however, for depending on how far of a journey one must take to reach that common point of reference patience is required. The deeper certain emotions go the further one must dig to reach the inner truth. Often what need be said will be disturbing regardless of how it is phrased and both parties need to resolve to be mature and keep a calm and open attitude. Only when all these things are achieved can a complete understanding be reached. My wife and I have achieved such an understanding and are completely open and honest with each other, we have patience when the other requires time to resolve personal barriers and maintain mature calm and loving support knowing that when the time comes we will be open and ready to share and listen and move foreword together.
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  #33  
Old 01-18-2010, 09:10 AM
sisterinlove sisterinlove is offline
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Default Communication

Communication can be difficult, though one of the most important things in any relationship.

Sometimes when we try to explain or express something to someone, we may not have the words. Other times the other person may not be ready, able, or willing to understand.

How to make a person understand depends on where the communication break down is.

If it is simply that you do not have the words necessary to communicate what you wish, then you have to think more about it and find the words. Sometimes, the proper phrasing can bring understanding where confusion once stood.

If the other person is not ready to understand, then patience is needed. If you feel that what you need to say can be understood by the other in time and it is important enough to need to be understood, then you must try again and again, until the other person is ready and can accept what you say. Do not harp on it, do not try to force them to see it your way, present it patiently and gently.

If a person is not able to understand what you need to communicate to them then it is possible that they do not have the frame of reference in their experience to understand. It is much like trying to explain to a blind person what the color red is. You can try to explain to them and shine the light of understanding through their darkness, or you can wait until their experience in life brings that understanding to them.

If the other is not willing to understand, then you must step back and consider why. An unwillingness to understand always has a root. Does what you are trying to communicate bring the other pain, confusion? Does it bring back memories of a past pain? Or is it simply something that does not fit into their view of the world? Whatever the root, your understanding of it may bring the chance to allow the other to understand what you are trying to convey.

No matter the reason for the "communication complication" patience is your best chance to to breach the barrier of that communication issue.
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  #34  
Old 01-18-2010, 12:56 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
When one recognizes this they THEN encounter ANOTHER issue:
Not only do they have the problem of "How DO I relay this concept?"

But they also have the issue of figuring out
"Is there a way to relay the information PRODUCTIVELY if communication isn't possible because the other party isn't grasping the meaning in whatever method they are using to relay it...."
First, step back. See what you need to say, then examine if there are more fundamental and less specific things that need to be clarified first. Often times the specific things are really less relevant than the underlying things.

If the other party isn't grasping what you are trying to say then there is a difference of perspective towards the situation that's fundamentally changing the meaning of the words involved. I've found it helpful to first try to understand the perspective of the person before I try to say what I need to say to them. Or I will imagine other perspectives in which what I say can be taken differently and see if there are ways to adjust it then.

Other times you just need to say what you need to say and just let it steep and digest and give them the time to work it out.

And if you're speaking about trying to be productive in your communication, make sure that all parties involved are trying to produce the same thing. What might be productive to you might not feel the same way to other parties.

(I'm also going to note that it's slightly off-putting to see that you post something in a general discussion forum yet ask for a preferred list of respondents among your circle of friends. However, I'm going to assume that wasn't your intent. I thought I'd just offer my perspective on that.)
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  #35  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:43 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Default

I fall under the "anyone else" category - hope it's ok if I respond....

Different people have different styles of communication, and I think that this can complicate things.

I think there are some pre-requisites for having an easy time communicating difficult stuff.

The first is trust - this allows the parties to look at the real issues, rather than trying to second-guess what may be underlying what is being said.

The second is mutual understanding of the communication styles. Will speak more to that below.

The third is environment - it's important to have a good time and place to have the discussion.

When you get into the discussion it's important to frame what you are going to say - if it's a minor thing, say that, if it's something major, say that too. What you don't want is for there to be surprises half way through because that will tend to hijack your listeners' trains of thought. "You said that you had a problem with quality time with your partner, whereas what you are really saying is that you have a problem with me going out with your them!" Also, frame what your desired outcome is - example "I would like us to talk about this, give everyone a chance to talk about how they feel, and then try to come up with a solution that we can all live with."

Try to phrase issues in a way that encourages the team to work together at a solution, rather than blaming someone and making it an "us against them" proposition. When you are in a poly relationship, most problems end up being shared problems - solutions are found easier when everyone feels part of the team (this isn't always possible in every circumstance, of course).

OK, communication styles - I am going to be horribly general here, because there are many shades, but... extroverts have a tendency to want to talk through their thought processes. This means that they like to sit down with their trusted loved-ones with only half-formed thoughts, bouncing ideas off them and getting feedback to reach clarity in their own minds and be (hopefully) half way towards a solution.

The danger with this is that sometimes the train of thought (and therefore speech) can be full of some pretty scary things for the listeners to hear and that can be counter-productive. Also, if your listeners are introverts, it's going to seem like you are babbling. If you tend to be an extrovert and your partners are introverts, try to do your best to sort out some stuff before you talk - even if it's to come up with some bullets. (By the way, this feels very uncomfortable, because it goes against the grain of your natural way of thinking).

On the flipside, if you are an introvert, then you tend to not want to talk until you have everything worked out. It's only then do you want to sit down with your loved ones and present this. One of the problems with this is that your listeners sense that you alreayd have it worked out, possibly with a solution that they aren't a part of, and it's a case of just accepting whatever is said, or rejecting. Another issue is that because you have waited so long to talk about the issue, it may well have got a lot worse in the process, and therefore be much more difficult to find a solution. If your partners are extroverts, try to encourage yourself to talk without having everything worked out in your mind, and trust your partners to work with you - you don't have to have all the answers before you talk with them. (By the way, this feels very uncomfortable, because it goes against the grain of your natural way of thinking.)

This is in no way a value judgement on the extrovert/introvert scale, merely observations of the different communication styles that tend to feel natural to each extreme. Most people are in a grey area, but tend towards one or the other.

Once you get into the discussion, make your you listen as well as you talk. Encourage the other people to paraphrase back to you what you have told them, to make sure that you know that they have understood what you said.

OK, this is long enough already - hope some of this is useful.
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  #36  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:49 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
I'm also going to note that it's slightly off-putting to see that you post something in a general discussion forum yet ask for a preferred list of respondents among your circle of friends. However, I'm going to assume that wasn't your intent. I thought I'd just offer my perspective on that.)
Ce,

I really doubt LR intended any slight to anyone. I don't say this because I (surprisingly) happened to be included but because when I saw this the first thing that came to mind was that she picked a few she knew were currently pretty active or others maybe she knows and felt might represent as broad a cross section of opinions as possible. Nothing more - nothing less.

So on to the question..............

How I generally deal with this is by pretty much assuming that who I'm talking with is just simply not going to grasp what I'm saying either because of my normal vocabulary or because the topic is going to require terminology that's open for misinterpretation.
I just ASSUME in going in !
Because of this "assumption" my dialog is frequently interrupted by "what I mean by this <insert term/concept here> is......." before I pause long enough to give them the chance to jump to the wrong conclusion.
Downside: long windedness and the possibility for some to feel they are being talked "down" to I accept that risk over the risk of misunderstanding - but that's just me. I'm not real sensitive to people's perception of my 'personality' because I'm happy to explain that too - like right here.
The other thing I frequently do is try to use analogies that draw a clearer picture than just an academic discussion might. Something using terminology that's almost impossible to misinterpret and that will form a "picture" in someone's mind. You've probably noticed that I do that a lot here because the nature of using words minus facial expression and body language lends itself to variable interpretation.

Hope that helps............

GS
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  #37  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:55 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Ce,

I really doubt LR intended any slight to anyone. I don't say this because I (surprisingly) happened to be included but because when I saw this the first thing that came to mind was that she picked a few she knew were currently pretty active or others maybe she knows and felt might represent as broad a cross section of opinions as possible. Nothing more - nothing less...
Which is why I specifically said that I was assuming that it was NOT her intent. However, that doesn't mean I can't be honest about my initial reaction to it.
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  #38  
Old 01-18-2010, 03:06 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Oh - and also....

......you have to acknowledge the possibility that even if your viewpoint, feelings, etc are crystal clear, you MAY meet with a point of difference.
Two possibilities........
1> You end up gaining new info or insight yourself which you hadn't considered which may affect your own viewpoint. Time out - need to think about this some.....

or

2> You simply agree to disagree. This is not a 'bad' thing ! If the discussion has been fruitful then everyone
now knows how everyone views a particular topic and by extension, pretty much how each other will act/react given a particular circumstance. That's still a big win !

Last edited by GroundedSpirit; 01-18-2010 at 05:01 PM.
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  #39  
Old 01-18-2010, 05:16 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Another perspective

Here's another perspective on some of the stuff I've seen both in books and at corporate training sessions etc.

And maybe this is just a reflection of my personality but if I'm having a conversation with someone on delicate issues what I think moves the topic forward best is sincerity. There's just something about a regimented process that leaves me feeling like someone is reading from a script and that their heart - and therefore their mind - may not really be there. There may still be less than full honesty & disclosure.

I'll just pick one of the examples Oliver used only because of the handy formatting. There's other stuff in here quite similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olivier View Post
Giving proper feedback

Step 0) Make the person aware you will be giving some feedback and how you will be doing it (if he/she is used to the method already, you can skip this step)
Step 1) Tell the person 3 things which you REALLY like about him/her. It can be anything - but you should really mean it.
Step 2) After these 3 things, you say the words AND I also wanted you to know (don't use 'BUT' or something else cause that's gonna put up a wall right away.
Step 3) You give the 'less pleasant' feedback
By giving a clear fact that happened, and how that fact made you feel
Whenever I've been approached by something like this - someone basically "buttering me up" in preparation for the real 'meat' to follow, it just seems so phony, so forced, so.....disingenuous that the person immediately takes a big hit in the credibility department ! It's like.....you got something to say - just say it - because you're obviously scared of it yourself and therefore it may be less than accurate to start with. Just say it and we'll take it from there. Skip the PC BS.
I will admit maybe there's some gender bias to this and some need to be handled more delicately. But I've always even questioned that assumption based on personal experience. My experience has been that although being direct and sincere from step one - although maybe resulting in some initial fireworks - has in the end left us both better friends/lovers/co-workers and better able to jump right into the next crisis knowing that we'll all put 'it' right on the table straight up with no punch-pulling or hidden (and possibly important) elements.

Anyway - just a perspective.........

GS
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  #40  
Old 01-18-2010, 08:09 PM
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GS-perhaps some people have some fear around you when they want to tell you something or give you feed back they think you might not want to hear.

I have that issue sometimes as apparently I can be very intense and hard to approach at times. I get very passionate. I have noticed that if I check in and ask if they want to talk and reassure them that I am all ears and will be respectful towards them it can sometimes work better and invite them to talk openly. It doesn't always work and they sometimes find it easier to talk to others about me instead, but I eventually approach them myself and ask them what's up. All the while approaching with concern and respect that they are struggling to be respectful towards me.
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