What can inhibit 2 way conversation?? A ‘communication stopper’ can.

What’s that?

A communication stopper is a phrase that discourages someone from expressing him or herself.  It may not only shut down a conversation, but can also make it more difficult to connect again in the future.stop signs

I pulled out the manual for our 40 hour Basic Mediation class and reviewed the 11 communication stoppers that we shared with our students.  And much to my dismay, I realized that sometimes … when I’m not paying attention ….  I use some of these myself. Oh wow, definitely have to work on that!

I thought I would share the first five with you today. Here it goes:

  •  Criticizing – To negatively interpret someone’s behavior
    “Can’t you remember anything?”
  •  Name calling – Stereo typing or putting the other person down
    “You’re acting like a spoiled child.”
  •  Warning or threatening – Telling the other person that his/her behavior has consequences
    “If you do that one more time, your boss is going to fire you.”
  •  Directing or ordering – To tell someone to do something in a way that leaves little room for choice
    “Stop that crying.”
  •  Preaching or moralizing – To tell someone what they ought to do
    “You should quit smoking.”

So, here’s the hard part – evaluating your responsibility in a conversation. Do you sometimes use communication stoppers too?

If so, you are not alone. We often say things unintentionally and don’t even realize the damaging effects.

My challenge for both of us is to pay attention to our conversations this week and observe what happens if a “communication stopper” pops out.  How do we feel? Like continuing the conversation? Or withdrawing from it?

If you have a moment, let me know how your self-observation goes. I would love to hear from you.

We’ll talk more about communication stoppers next week with part 2 of the list.


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