In relationship, when I do not listen to my inner voice, my hearing overall is not accurate. Accurate perception requires a clear filter.

What is accurate about our perceptions of others’ words and actions? At best, “accurate” means two or more persons agree on a particular idea or event. Yet even beyond that, individual persons probably associate different inferences and interpretations for themselves.

Why is accurate perception favorable or even important? We rely on other persons to be consistent in their words and actions so that we may build trust. And they in turn rely on us for the same. Moreover, cooperation warrants common agreement in what roles and responsibilities we assume as part of any group.

How do we create accurate perception? When people agree to address any issue(s), a technique can facilitate the process until it becomes habitual. First, take turns talking so that one person feels understood first then the next person has an opportunity to feel understood. Use “I” statements as much as possible, e.g., I feel, I think, I wish. Avoid reverting to old grievances unless the discussion is about a pattern.

  • Speaker: Tell the listener what you perceive of the words/actions. Check with the listener to verify the facts. Sort out the facts before continuing the dialogue. Express how you felt about the facts and the consequences. State what you needed or wanted from the listener or situation, and make a request that will resolve the solution or impact future situations/exchanges.
  • Listener: Put aside concerns for the moment and focus on the speaker. Employ tactics to elicit explanation–listening, inquiring, reflecting, clarifying, and summarizing. Even if the speaker expresses an outrageous claim, avoid reacting impulsively, knowing that you will have a turn to speak.

If difficult situations make it difficult to communicate and cooperate, you are part of the human race. You do have options! Contact Vanessa Landau, Resiliency Trainer, for Co-Creative Transformation (Resiliency Coaching) and I will help you navigate difficult situations and establish masterful communication habits.

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