Effective communication skills to use during conflict


Dear Laurie,

I’ve noticed I’ve been arguing a lot with people. I use to hold a lot in and now I seem to be pretty argumentative. I need to find a middle ground. I was wondering if you would offer some effective communication ideas for me?


Dear Chris,

Our communication is a direct reflection of who we are on the inside. Next time someone speaks to you in a tone that you’re not comfortable with or with words or actions that don’t feel good, place your hand on your heart and take a breath. Connect with your wholeness and remind yourself not to take this behavior personally and that her or his words or actions can’t take anything away from you.

If you are about to say, “How dare she speak to me that way,” and you begin to feel angry or sad, this is a sign you are taking the behavior personally. If you have a desire to retaliate, and you want them to feel bad, this is a sign you are engaging in a battle. Tell yourself, “I’m going to stay grounded in peace, connected to unconditional love.” You don’t have to engage in their energy, argue and express an opposing opinion on top of theirs.

If you have time to discern how you want to respond, take a few minutes to do the following:

1. To gain clarity on the situation, make time to go inward. In a meditation, ask your higher wisdom, “What is your intuitive guidance saying to you?” “Why am I taking this so personally?” “Is there a place within me that needs healing?” “Would a conversation be helpful?” “Are boundaries necessary?” If so, “What is the best and highest way to speak from my heart and express?” “When is the best time for the conversation?” “Is it in my best interest to move my energy in a new direction?”

2. Process your emotions before speaking so you can be calm.

3. Set your intention: Example, “I intend to speak from my heart to share, understand and connect.”

Here are a few basic communication principles:

Stay neutral and grounded in your full empowerment.

Set your intention to stay connected within, connect on a heart level and have the conversation be peaceful and beneficial.

Be honest, authentic, respectful, open and adaptable.

State the facts only. Be direct with eye contact. Don’t exaggerate or embellish. Don’t use words such as “you always,” “you never,” “everyone thinks so,” “no one likes you.” Don’t use negative descriptive words.

Express your feelings and needs and give a request.

Listen, repeat back what you heard, ask questions to clarify and not make assumptions.

It’s very important to take responsibility for our lower vibrating emotions such as anger, sadness, disappointment and process them. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. They remain part of our overall energy vibration and go with us everywhere we go. When we blame or complain about others, we are giving our power away and we become a victim. The most powerful place is to process our emotions and become totally responsible for managing our emotions and feelings.

Bring your focus toward the people, situations, and activities that you have a natural resonance with, like choosing your favorite flavor of ice cream or a note on a piano. The other flavors or notes are not wrong or bad, just not your choice.

Remember, your essence is unconditional love, joy and light. No one can take this away from you.

You can find exercises and information on processing your emotions and effective communications techniques in my forthcoming book “Language of the Heart: Unconditional Love, Living Fully Empowered.” It will be available for purchase the end of July. Visit www.SmileAcrossYourHeart.com to learn more.

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Laurie Martin provides information and tools for others to empower themselves. She is a certified life coach, speaker, yoga teacher, writer, advice columnist and author of “Smile Across Your Heart: The Process of Building Self-Love” and the e-book, “The Conscious Breakup Guide.” Laurie’s new release titled Language of the Heart: Unconditional Love, Living Fully Empowered will be for sale July 2014.
To contact Laurie, email her at LaurieM@SmileAcrossYourHeart.com.