This morning, I read a great post by my friend and colleague Kevin Eikenberry. In this post, Kevin makes a great point we can all learn from the campaign process that those of us in the United States have been watching for the last few weeks.
In addition to triggering some amplifying thoughts for today, it reminded me of a post I wrote several months ago on Why You Shouldn't Take Conflict Resolution Lessons From Politicians.
If you want to become a better communicator, I recommend that you read his post, and I offer the following thoughts to build on Kevin's observations.
As I lead workshops on conflict resolution, leadership, team dynamics, and communication skills, this communication tip frequently comes to the surface for discussion:
Say what you DO want rather than what you DON'T want.
To illustrate the power of this tip, imagine a young child walking across your kitchen with a cup of milk.
Assuming that you want them to get the cup safely to a counter top without spilling it, you could say:
- Don't spill that milk. – or –
- Please be careful with that cup.
The first statement says what you DON'T want. The second, and more powerful statement, says what you DO want.