Archive for March 10, 2008

How To Avoid Negative Cycles In Your Communication?

March 10, 2008

While we seek to communicate effectively, there are often distorted perceptions of what we view as truth or right. As a result of these ‘colored’ reality, conflict often result. A continuation of this miscommunication is likely to create a downward spiral of increased tension.

From the ‘Today’ newspaper report, Aslam Sardar, the managing director of a specialist training firm, shared on some of the ways to avoid negative cycles in the way we look at things and communicate with others:

Avoiding Negative Cycles
Negative cycles often develop out of our natural tendency to interpret feelings that simply aren’t there. We tend to respond in kind and this sets off a cycle that, by our own actions, creates exactly the result we fear most!

Here are four viewpoints best avoided if you don’t want to trigger negative cycles:

• Distorted reality viewpoint
We tend to assume that everyone sees things the way we do, even when we have a distorted view of the world. We also tend to regard our own views as right and views of those who disagree as wrong. We then view that person as unreasonable, thus setting the cycle of mistrust in motion.

• Validation viewpoint
We tend to let preconceived ideas color our judgment, even when presented with evidence that proves otherwise.

You could give two opposing sides the same information, but each will only be more convinced that they are right and the other party is wrong. Why? Because most people tend to read to seek validation and filter out those parts that don’t match their viewpoint.

• Accuser viewpoint
Be careful how you assign responsibility, as this can also trigger negative cycles. We tend to blame others rather than ourselves when things go wrong, especially when the blame for others’ mistakes is laid on us.

• Excuser viewpoint
Rather than accept blame when we do wrong, we tend to offer excuses to justify our behavior, looking for a scapegoat to blame. Such behavior causes animosity and adds to the negative cycle.