This article is about knowing what we don’t know about ourselves. Is is not about telling, training, or doing. It is about learning more about who we are being in our communication with each other.
Most people, I communicated with admitted that they are at the stage of “Unconscious Incompetence” on Maslow’s 4 stages of learning, when it comes to many things. Me too, each day, I discover that I don’t know what I don’t know about people. I don’t know what I don’t know about you, why you read this blog, what motivates you, and how I can be the best support to you in living your best life.
How conscious are we of what we don’t know about our communication spoilers? Do we draw people to us, or do we unknowingly push them away? Robert Bolton, in his book People Skills, outlined the “dirty dozen” of communication spoilers, devised by Thomas Gordon. Can you see yourself in any of these?
- Criticizing – a negative evaluation of someone’s actions. Example – I do not think it was a good idea to put him on the team.
- Name Calling – Putting someone down or stereotyping their behaviour. Example – You take things too seriously. You are too emotional. You need to develop a thick skin.
- Diagnosing – Analyzing someone’s behaviour. Example – You think you are o.k. with his behaviour, but I know you are angry.
- Praising Evaluatively – Making a positive judgement of a person, their actions, or their attitudes. Example – Ask Dawn, she great. She never says no, she’ll do it.
- Commanding – Telling someone, in a commanding way to do something. Example – I want no comments. Just do it the way I said.
- Threatening – Trying to control someone’s actions by warning of negative consequence, if things are not done as desired. Example – Get the work done or we are going to lose business.
- Moralizing – Telling or preaching to another person, about the right thing to do. Example – You should not accept that contract. The company breaks all kinds of environmental laws.
- Excessive/Inappropriate Questioning – Asking a lot closed-ended questions or ones requiring short, simple answers. Example – Is the business doing well, do you makes good money, how many clients do you have, are they loyal, etc.
- Advising – Giving people what you think is the best solution. Example – This is the best one to choose for your situation.
- Diverting – Pushing the other person’s concern aside, by switching to another subject. Example – Let’s talk about something else.
- Logical Argument – Trying to convince another person by focusing on facts, without emphasis on emotional issues. Example – It’s the best for your business; it’s cost-effective, good quality, and a standard in the industry.
- Reassuring – Trying to bring someone away from the negative emotion they are feeling. Example – Losing your job is a blessing in disguise. Now you can find a new job that uses all your great skills, and which pays a lot of money.
So you, like me, may be guilty of a few of these. Maybe we don’t even do them all that often. And we mean well. So what?
Copyright © 2010 M. Dawn Armstrong. All rights reserved.