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L.O.V.E is a way of communicating. 

Home sweet Home gets sweeter when you learn communication skills. Here are four tips.

1. Right vs. Left:  When someone holds an opposing view, go over to their side completely. Listen, explore their point of view and see if you could defend it. You will realize they were on the left side and you were on the right side. Both of you are describing a scene but looking at it from a different sides of the street. Now you see the whole. Remember, if you want the big picture give up “being right”. Do this first and the following techniques work better.

2. Be clear. Vague communication causes too much stress. Get clear and you will know the next step and who is going to take it. This form of communication clears up confusion with clarifying questions. If you are in doubt about how they feel, ask. Clear up vague areas right away. Have them repeat your message back to you, and you do the same. This guarantees understanding. Get it all out in the open so everyone knows what is expected and what is next. Use win-win as your end result.

3. Don’t complain,  especially to someone who can’t help you. Make this a law in your life. Behind every complaint is a request you are not making. Ask yourself. What do you want? Who can you ask? What’s in it for them? Formulate a clear request and deliver it at the right time. Don’t ask for everything all at once. Start small, be willing to negotiate and make another request if your first one is rejected.

4. The LOVE formula: Listen, Open, Validate, Energize. This is a way to remember the basics. Listen to their side and go there. Listen to what they are saying behind the complaint. Maybe they need understanding or just to be heard. Let them know you are listening, say “I hear you”, and repeat things back to them. Open to their point of view. Open to the possibility they are right and will contribute to you. In this formula you supply a right motive to their actions. Open your mind to their right motive. They mean well.  Their motives are just like yours, safety, security, peace, fun. You want the same things. We tend to judge ourselves by our motives and others by their actions. If you reverse that, your world will improve. Give them the benefit of the doubt and presume they mean well. After you have their motive established, validate. You are both right, just looking at it from different sides. Validate both points of view. Validate both sides because your motives are similar. Validate these motives you share. Also Validate their right to differ. Then Energize, this means some action. It may be as simple as saying “We disagree, but lets stay open”.  Or invite them to come up with options that may be agreeable to both, and you put forth a few ideas also. Energize by acknowledging them for their willingness to talk, expressing gratitude, declaring what you want, or coming up with a plan. The L.O.V.E formula can clear up past resentments easily. The other party need not be present. Just do the process by yourself and see what happens when you give them the right motive and go through the steps in your imagination. I hope these tips were useful. Communication is a vast subject and if you commit to learning the skills you will have more success in every area of your life. Become a master communicator and your family life will be much happier in every way.

John McKenna



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