Why does it feel so hard to talk to some people? Do you know what I’m talking about?
You have a conversation with your co-worker about a shared project, and who’s doing what.
Or you mention to your partner, how tired you are after cooking dinner and there are so many dishes that still need to be cleaned after dinner.
You walk away from these conversations feeling good. You feel like all that needed to be said was said, everyone is now on the same page and each of you will get done what needs to be done.
Only to check in on the progress to find out that your co-worker didn’t walk away with the same tasks in their head that you did, or when dinner is over, your partner wonders off after the meal leaving all the dishes.
Most misunderstandings come from people from two different-context cultures trying to communicate.
The two context cultures are high-context and low context cultures.
In low-context cultures, relationships are not viewed as important figures to identity. They prefer over-communication. Their main points are clearly communicated (more than once) and often use quick and frequent messages to others when communicating.
Usually in these heterogeneous cultures, there is little to no with no shared experiences for people to reference from. Western cultures like the UK, United States, Canada, and Australia are seen as low context cultures.
Whereas in high-context cultures, people rely on their networks of friends and family; viewing their relationships as part of one large community. They prefer oral communications and the main points can be determined by what isn’t being said.
Usually in these homogenous cultures where they have a lot of shared experiences to draw from. Japan, Spain, China, Brazil, and France are often defined as high-context cultures.
JoAnn mentioned that her husband recently picked up a book, The Culture Map to help him grow in his communication skills with his international counterparts and that book made…
Everything. Make. Sense!
Issues with context in communication can cause misunderstandings in all relationships, at work and at home. This can happen between spouses, partners, and friends.
The trouble comes when the other side views their position as an example of good communication and the other as a poor communicator.
So how can you avoid this and communicate more effectively?
Every relationship can benefit from low-context communication strategies.
Here are 3 ways that you can utterly crush any conversation you are having
1. Bring up the issue.
There are 3 kinds of “difficult” conversations we have everytime there is disagreement according to the book Difficult Conversations:
- 1st conversation: This one is yours. It’s the one that occurs in your head. You’re very aware of this one.
- 2nd conversation: This one is in your partner’s head. You might think you know what this conversation is… but really-you have no idea. This is where assumptions happen.
- 3rd conversation: This is the one an outside observer would say. They could objectively see and affirm, “Yes, that happened”.
The 3rd conversation is the one you strive to use. And you can do it easily by using one simple phrase when bringing up your concerns or issues…
“I notice ________.”
Now remember that it has to be objective. So…
“I notice that when you leave the room all the dishes are still on the table” will always get better results than…
“I notice you’re leaving all the dishes on the table for me to clean up.”
2. Ask curious questions.
Try to figure out what the other person is thinking by asking:
Say your partner is leaving the kitchen after dinner without helping questions:
“Where are you going after dinner?”
Don’t ask questions that aren’t truly curious (those ones where we think we already know the answer):
“Where do you think you’re going? How do you expect me to do this all by myself?”
3. Be open to problem-solving.
It’s not all on you to solve the problem. You are just one piece of this conversation or relationship.
You may have an idea on how you would like it solved, but your partner may have a different solution that you can make work.
What do you think of these 3 tips for more effective communication?
If you’d like to learn how to have more effective communication and learn how to delegate more to your family, then you need to check out Calm and Happy Parenting. It teaches you how to do all of this and provides a ton of support for taking away the work you have to do and transferring it to your family. It will only be available from Monday, April 19th – Thursday, April 22nd.
Resources We Shared:
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The best mom is a happy mom. To better take care of you, download our No Guilt Mom mindset here . These reminders will help you second guess less, and feel more confidence every day in your parenting.