When things don’t go well, it might be a power struggle going on without even being noticed. It shows up usually when we feel that our opinions are not recognized or appreciated. This is frustrating and the communication turns into two monologues, which make things even worse.
Three tips for transforming the power struggle into a more effective dialogue:
- Stop the chatting in your head for few minutes, and listen carefully. Are there any new elements in conversation that you missed before? If there are, bring them into awareness and acknowledge those points. There might be something important about them since the other person brought them up. Become curious, and ask open questions like: What makes “this” so important to you?”
- Avoid the “Why” questions when you talk about the past or want some justifications, because these questions send people into defensiveness (which is connected with lack of trust most of the time). Plus, when we try to defend ourselves, we’re not inclined to have a constructive communication.
- Positivity (acknowledging what’s good about the other or about what s/he is saying) helps people open up, and have a more effective communication.
In System Coaching we consider that everyone is right, but only partially. We tend to see things from our own perspective. By missing what we don’t know, we might be inclined to think that the other person is not right, and we’re not open enough to an effective communication.
Keeping the communication channel open could keep away the power struggle, and help challenges become easier to overcome … together.
What other tips you have? 🙂