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Avoid communication obstacles

A number of common obstacles get in the way of effective communication during conflict. You may be unknowingly guilty of these moves that inadvertently sabotage your best efforts at resolving the crisis. Advising is a common mistake beginning with “What you should do is…”.

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Diagnosing is another tendency, where people start with “Your problem is that you…”. Your natural inclination might be to discount, saying, “Cheer up, it’ll be fine” or to lecture, moaning “How many times do I have to tell you?” Threatening with ultimatums and preaching that your companion “ought to know better” are other obstacles to effective communication to avoid.

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