What do successful people have? Relationships that support their success. How did they get those relationships? They exercised effective communication.
Here are two communication exercises that can significantly improve the quality of your relationships.
Exercise One: Structured Dialog
What is Structured Dialog? The practice of using mirroring, validation and empathy in a conversation. (From bestselling author Harville Hendrix)
- Mirroring -- Repeating back what the other person says and developing a principle of curiosity by asking, "Is there more about that?" "Am I getting everything?" "This is what I heard you say..."
What You Need to Know: Structured dialog is something you can do with a co-worker, friend, spouse, family member or someone new you meet. It does not matter how or with whom you start a dialog with. When the practice of structured dialog becomes second nature to you, you can use it to improve all types of relationships. Having one structured dialog a day for three week will significantly improve your communication and understanding. As communicating and relating becomes easier, you will feel more supported, loved, happy and less stressed.
Keep Your Focus On: Asking questions and carefully listening to the answers.
Tips for Getting Started:
- Try to have one structured dialog each day that lasts for 15-30 minutes.
Exercise Two: Communicate Your Trust Distinctions
What are Trust Distinctions? An understanding of the different factors that contribute to trust building.
What You Need to Know: Trust is vital for any relationship to grow. Trust starts by observing patterns in behavior. You can trust someone is going to be on time after they have showed up more than three times in a row on time. You can trust that someone is an expert in their field after they have giving you useful information several times. You can trust a friend to be a good listener after they have made time for you over and over again when reached out to them to talk. It will most likely to be an awkward conversation if you try to ask someone, "How can I trust you?" before there has been time for any behavior patterns to be observed. However communicating your distinctions of trust and then following up with action to support the distinction is the most effective way to establish yourself as trustworthy.
Keep Your Focus On: Knowing the answer to this question, "What makes me trustworthy?"
Tips for Getting Started:
- Make a list of your strengths, interests and roles. Where are you most consistent? What activities do you enjoy? How do you like to help others? Refine and test your list by stated out loud (by yourself) "You can trust me to..." as you hear yourself state strengths, interests and roles circle traits you are 100 percent aligned to and do all the time. These are your trust distinctions.