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Lesson two will help you (a)
think more effectively and (b) avoid and resolve significant
communication problems using
seven powerful skills. This is
effective wound-reduction (Lesson 1) and for achieving satisfying relationships with adults and kids (Lessons 4-7).
This brief YouTube clip by the author introduces the main topics in Lesson 2:
You can learn the key ideas in Lesson 2 by watching these
brief YouTube videos by the author:
basics (22 videos, 4 hours total) and
(17 videos, 2.5 hours total). This study guide includes useful worksheets,
reviews, and reprints that aren't included in these videos.
Why Study This Lesson?
day, all adults and kids strive to reduce personal and social discomforts - i.e.
to fill current needs.
"Happiness" and "peace" is an illusive state where our key needs are
met well enough at the
moment. The most
powerful skills you can learn to fill your daily needs are effective thinking and communication. "Thinking"
personality subselves (Lesson 1).
I'm a professional communicator. I've studied this subject for over 40 years. My
experience as a therapist, teacher, and a student of human behavior is that
regardless of schooling, average adults
(like you?) have never studied effective
communication, and don't know what they need to know about it. They
(you?) are content (or
not) with ineffective thinking and communicating.
Western culture pays little attention to effective interpersonal communication
For example: I had to ask the editors of About.com
and AllExperts.com to include
"communication" in their extensive list of educational topics for
their site visitors.
Over 80% of site visitors who
respond to this poll say they are "extremely interested" in learning to communicate more
effectively. Does that describeyou? If you are
consider investing in the unique
(Xlibris.com, 2010, 2nd ed.),
It integrates most of the materials in this online Lesson, and provides a
convenient portable reference.
This self-improvement Lesson has three
seven powerful communication skills, and...
tools, and resources.
Study these parts when you're not distracted
and your true Self is
you. (Lesson 1). Follow the numbered "assignments" order - they build on each
other. Option - check
each step as you complete it to track your progress.
Many of these articles include brief introductory YouTube videos .
Part 1) Learn
Assess your current communication knowledge with this
quiz. Then learn about...
__ 2-2) Surface and
primary needs. Theypowerall human behavior, including communicating.
Review these communication
basics - What is communication?
Effective communication? Five reasons we communicate, three "channels" we
use, and four simultaneous messages we exchange all the time. One is
crucial, yet few people are aware of it. Can you name it?
Study these Q&A items about effective communication.
__ 2-5) Read
overview of all seven skills to get the
Now put these communication basics to work...
Part 2) Learn Seven Communication Skills
These skills are based on the concepts above. They build on each other
are just as effective among your
personality subselves as with adults and kids.
awareness - notice what's happening inside you, inside your partner, between you,
and around you - moment by moment, and over time.
Effectivethinking. Popular alternatives are fuzzy, unfocused thinking
and/orreacting"without thinking". Typical
people (like you?) are unaware of how they think.
"Digging down" below surface needs to
identify the primary needs that cause them.
Metatalk - use awareness and a
special vocabulary to identify and discuss communication needs
Empathic listening - "hearing with
your heart." This skill is also called mirroring and
Assertion - saying what you think, feel, and
need so your partner can hear you clearly; and...
Win-win problem-solving (conflict
resolution) - filling all partners' current primary needs well
enough, in a way that satisfies everyone.
Study these skills in order. Option
- study and practice one skill a week for seven weeks and enjoy the
personal awareness -
an essential for
daily satisfaction. Are you aware of your awareness in calm and
Study this introduction to process awareness. The other
six communication skills each depend on proficiency with this one.
skill (2-15 below) shows you
almost 50 communication variables professionals are aware of.
Usually we only need
__ 2-8)Learn these common communication errors and blocks. Use process awareness to spot these, and use all seven skills to resolve
them among people and your personality subselves. Option - print and use this
article as a reference as you practice these skills.
Learn about awareness "bubbles" and
R(espect)-messages. Each of these powerfully affects your
communication outcomes. Learn to be aware of them in important
2-11) Read this introduction to effective thinking.
Thinking is communication among your dynamic
Ineffective (fuzzy, unfocused) thinking hinders effective problem-solving and
causes misunderstandings and frustration. Use awareness to note
how you and others are thinking in important situations and over time.
"DIG DOWN" SKILL
All human behavior aims to
increase pleasure and reduce or avoid discomforts - i.e. to
satisfy current needs. Needs occur in several levels
(surface > intermediate > primary). Unaware people focus only on
satisfying their surface needs, which limits their satisfaction and
promotes blame, frustration, cynicism, and self-doubt.
__ 2-14) Study this
dig-down skill and three examples of how it works. Use this
skill to (a) discover someone's current primary (vs. surface) needs so you
can fill them using assertion and problem-solving skills.
fellow learners until it becomes a habit.
"Metatalk" is cooperatively discussing how you're communicating
now and over time with a partner. This skill uses
and a special vocabulary to identify communication problems.
Metatalk provides input for win-win problem-solving.
Empathy is the ability to sense (vs. understand) what
another person is feeling, thinking, and needing now and over time. Empathic
listening has been called "hearing with your heart" by Steven Covey, the
acclaimed author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People."
__ 2-21) Use
this worksheet to learn how well you
and selected partners listen to each other.
__ 2-22) Do this empathic-listening
skill practice with
a compatible partner until it becomes a habit.
This is the learned ability to say
what you feel or need in a way that others can hear you clearly.
Common alternatives are hinting, pleading, demanding, and lecturing. Effective assertion requires
all five prior skills and your Self (capital "S") guiding you.
Personal Bill of Rights to
design your own. As a dignified person, you have the right to assert (vs.
impose) your needs and opinions, regardless of your age, gender, race,
creed, or role!
2-27) Discover your
assertion style by filling out this
assertion skill with one or more
partners until it becomes a habit.
This vital ability uses all six other skills to help you and an adult or child
fill your respective current
primary needs well enough.
Common lose-lose alternatives to cooperative problem-solving are arguing, fighting, avoiding, lecturing,
manipulating, blaming, threatening, explaining, moralizing, generalizing,
overanalyzing, complaining, whining, demanding, and debating,
Win-win problem-solving works equally well with conflicted people and your personality
__ 2-36) Retake this
quiz on communication knowledge and
what you've learned!
If this seems like a lot of work -it is! The benefits are
well worth the effort - getting more needs met more often, in satisfying
ways - for the rest of your life. Studying these communication basics and
skills will do you little good unless you commit topracticing
them every day and noticing the results. Do you have the commitment to
do this? If not, suspect that a false self controls you - see Lesson 1.
To expand the foundation above, study
and use these...
Part 3) Communication Applications, Tools,