IN EVERYDAY LIVING
PRESENTED BY HASSER GRAHAM & STEVEN KIELY
Based on the book People Skills by Robert Bolton PhD.
• Without realising it, people typically inject
communication barriers into their conversations.
• Up to 90% of the time
• Likely to be destructive when one or more
person’s who are interacting are under stress
Communication blocks can cause:
Resistance and resentment
Feelings of defeat
Reduce the likelihood that the other will express
their true feelings
COMMON COMMUNICATION SPOILERS
Making a negative evaluation of the other person,
his/her actions, or attitudes.
“You brought it on yourself-you’ve got nobody else
to blame for the mess you are in”
Many of us feel we need to be critical or other
people will never improve.
Putting down or stereotyping the other person.
Prevents us from getting to know individuals
“What a dope”
“Just like a women”
Analysing why a person is behaving the way they are;
playing amateur psychiatrist.
Communication tends to be thwarted when one person
informs another of their condition
“I can read you like a book –you are just doing that to
irritate me” .
“Just because you went to college you think you are
better than me”
Making a positive judgment of the other person,
his/her actions, or attitudes.
“You are always such a good girl” .”You are a great
People defend themselves against praise as though
they were protecting themselves against a threat
if the praise is not deserved.
Commanding the other person to do what you
want to have done.
“Because I said so”
When coercion is used, people often become
resistant and resentful. Sabotage may result.
Trying to control the other’s actions by warning of
negative consequences that you will instigate.
“Do It Now or forget about Tv or Dinner”
Threats do not normally result in positive long-term
Telling another person what they should do.
“Preaching” at the other.
“You shouldn’t get a divorce think of what will
happen to the children”
Many people love to put a halo around their
solutions for others. They will also do it with
authority, whether it be moral, social, or
Closed-ended questions are often barriers in a
relationship; these are those that can usually be
answered in a few words-often with a simple yes
Giving the other person a solution to their problems.
A basic insult to the intelligence of another person.
Usually what problems a person discloses is usually
only the tip of the iceberg. “Why don’t you just tell
them no” “Break up with him them”
Unaware of the complexities, feelings, and other
factors that lie beneath the surface
Pushing the other’s problem aside through
For example; “This subject is depressing, let’s talk
about something a little more upbeat.”
Sometimes people divert a conversation because
they lack the awareness and skills to listen
effectively or because the topic of conversation is
Attempting to convince the other with an appeal to facts or
logic, usually without consideration of the emotional
When a person is under stress, providing logical solutions can
be infuriating. Though it may seem that those are the very
times when people most need logic, it nevertheless has a
high risk of alienating the other person.
“Look it’s only three days left the times you see him are only
one what’s the problem”
Logic avoids a person’s feelings, which are usually the main
problem when a person has a problem.
Trying to stop the other person from feeling the
negative emotions he/she is experiencing.
A person’s ingrained opinion of him/herself resists
direct attempts at alteration.
“It will be all right”
Reassurance is often used by people who like the idea
of being helpful but who do not want to experience
the emotional demand that goes with it.
• We all use roadblocks sometimes. Their
occasional usage rarely does much harm to a
relationship. When employed frequently,
however, there is a high probability that
roadblocks will do considerable harm.
• How do we correct these behaviours???
One friend, one person who is truly understanding,
who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider
our problems, can change our whole outlook on the
- Dr. Elton Mayo
Listening takes up more of your waking hours than any
A study of persons from various occupational backgrounds
showed that 70 percent of their waking moments were
spent in communication. And of that time, writing took 9%,
reading absorbed 16%, talking accounted for 30%, and
listening occupied 45%.
It is important to listen because of the sheer amount of it
that you do each day.
• The quality of your relationships with people
hinge, in large measure, on your ability to listen.
• Research suggests that that we tend to forget
from one-half to one-third within eight hours.
Listening Skill Clusters
A posture of involvement
Appropriate body motion
Reflecting meanings (Typing feelings to
• Attending is giving your physical attention to
another person. Attending skills include a
posture of involvement, appropriate body
motion, eye contact, and a non-distracting
A Posture of Involvement
Inclining one’s body toward the speaker
Facing the other squarely
Maintaining an open position
Positioning yourself at an appropriate distance from the speaker
Appropriate Body Motion
The avoidance of distracting motions and gestures
Removing sizeable barriers fosters better communication
Without psychological presence, no attending technique will work.
The listener will detect someone who is faking it.
• Following Skills – one of the primary tasks of the
listener is to stay out of the other’s way so the
listener can discover how the speaker views
A description of the other person’s body language
An invitation to talk or to continue talking
e.g. I see, right, go on, mm-hmm.
Open rather than closed questions
Attends, observes, thinks about what the other is
• In a reflective response, the listener relates the
feeling and/or content of what the speaker
has communicated and does so in a way that
demonstrates understanding and acceptance.
Concise response to the speaker which states the essence of the
other’s content in the listener’s own words.
Focus on the feeling words
Note the general content of the message
Observe the body language
Ask yourself, “If I were having that experience, what would I be
- Gather together points that the speaker brought up
- Select relevant data – that which will help the speaker more
clearly understand elements of his/her situation.
• The good listener responds reflectively to
what the speaker is saying. He/she restates in
her own words, the feeling and/or content
that is being expressed – and in doing so
communicates understanding and acceptance.