Have you ever been in a conversation with a workfellow, friend or family member about an issue and fetched up in a power battle, conflict or closing down?
Or maybe in answer to another persons unfavorable judgment, you find yourself justifying your behavior, blaming the someone else or avoiding him or her all at once?
It sounds like defensiveness could be at play.
So, how do you or anyone give up being so defensive?
Through effective communication, you are able to start by practicing the powerful way to break down defensiveness.
Here are three keys tactics to have in play:
Get to the Root: Ask Respectful Questions
One choice is to ask direct, guiltless, and neutral questions to get to precisely what the other individual has in mind, believes, or feels.
For instance, if somebody acts upset, plainly ask him/her straightaway about your assumption so he/she can confirm, deny, or characterize. For instance, “Are you angry (worried, frustrated, annoyed) about something?”
Try to avoid questions that begins with “why” as they incline to put other people on the defense.
For instance, “Why are you so confused?” makes an assumption (which may or may not be accurate) and will probably make the other person feel like they have done something wrong.
Or else, try “I get the sense that you may be upset. Are my perceptions accurate?”
A different way to approach a sensible conversation is to make statements that start with:
“I feel”. If you’re simply expressing what you really feel and you using a neutral tone, the other person can not say you are wrong nor are you pointing the blame or deeming them anything that they have to defend.
Your beliefs are your feelings and clearly expressing them will help to avoid a power battle from the get-go.
For instance, rather than saying to your mate “You’re all of the time late”, try “I feel defeated when we don’t get to eat dinner together.”
Create Balance not Caveats Like But
A third way to nip defensiveness in the bud is to use “and at the same time” rather than “but”. Frequently when you use the word “but”, it belies everything you said before the “but”.
For instance, rather than “I understand you had to work late but I made dinner” try, “I understand that you had to work late and at the same time I made dinner.”
Notice how it converts the whole tone of the message?
Again, it does not blame of the other person. Instead, it simply expresses the truths.
Defensiveness No More!
Next time you find yourself in a possibly defensive situation, experiment these communication strategies.
They might help you avoid unneeded conflict, gain respect, tone up personal and professional relationships.
#Lettuce let go of defensiveness and when you do, you embrace possibilities!
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