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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

two words to stop saying...

My husband and I help couples communicate more effectively through our relationship coaching company. I also lead corporate training seminars to help organization's become better at communication. One of the biggest discoveries that needs to be recognized is that little words matter! Especially when we are trying to ask for a behavior change.

There is a need for all of us to eliminate the two words ALWAYS and NEVER. These are called "qualifier" words. The problem is using these two words will create permanence in the very behavior you are wanting to stop. Now, if you want to create permanence that’s a different issue. Please understand the difference.

Let me explain how this works. In a personal setting, if a couple accused the other spouse of an action they do not want to see any more like “She ALWAYS nags" or "He NEVER helps out with the kids…” Why should that person change? You just created permanence. Even if they tried a few times to change, they would be accused of never or always. In a corporate setting, when your supervisor says "You are ALWAYS late" or "You NEVER meet our clients needs." Permanence was created again. Everyone involved will just be frustrated.

How can we change this? Marie Montessori was a famous educator in the 1800's. She advised: "Tell the behavior you want to see NOT the behavior you don't want to see." What is the thing that you really do want to see from the other person? Find the time or few times that the person actually did the behavior you wanted to see. Then ask if they can create more of that behavior.

Here is the correction to our previous examples:
"You've helped with the kids on Friday night - how can I see more of that behavior?" Or "I noticed you made it on time to work 3 times this month. That is what I need to have happen everyday."

People respond much better when you see the things in them that they are doing right. Seeing the strength in someone else will make them desire to "fix what's wrong by focusing on what's right."

Remember, our little words can make a BIG difference.

Cara Lane
Communication Coach 

Cara Lane can be summed up in two words = infectious enthusiasm. Cara’s high energy, expressive style will be a joy to your learning on life. She has won the hearts of people and has become known nationally as “America’s Speaker Sweetheart.” She has also toured the world and has become an internationally known motivational speaker and trainer. Cara Lane is the award winning top trainer for the world’s leading seminar company. She's a leader an ambassador for Weight Watchers. Cara has given over 10,000 hours of instruction on communication training. Check her out at here!


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