How to communicate better?
Learn to communicate in the "Giraffe language"!
Throughout life, we encounter different situations where it can be difficult to communicate well. Maybe you have to say something that is difficult to say because of the content of the message, or because of conversation partners or your own feelings. The giraffe language and practice in communicating better has been a theme in the formation class here at school.
The giraffe language is a picture of "rising above" something and is also called "non-violent communication". The opposite is the wolf language (violent communication) where you try to bite each other's heads off, accuse, hijack the conversation and go on the defensive. Giraffe language is about addressing something in a friendly, honest and neutral way.
The key words for the giraffe language are: Describe - influence - solution - response
This is how you proceed. Example:
Person A is annoyed with roommate B, who is constantly messing around in the room and is sloppy with washing. B also leaves a lot of hair in the sink, and A gets annoyed very over this.
1. Make sure that the person you are talking to has time and that the topic is appropriate to address in the situation
A: I would like to talk to you. Does it fit now?
B: It fits nicely.
Person A describes the situation objectively
A: Now there is hair in the sink, it is very messy here, it is not washed properly on the floor.
Person A describes how this affects him or her, practically or emotionally.
A: When I enter the room I want to relax. But I can not relax, when it is messy. I would like to avoid having to take your hair out of the sink before I brush my teeth. It makes me find it difficult to be in our room.
4. Person A describes what is needed - what he or she needs to solve his or her problem. Person A ends with "What do you think about this?"
A: I want you to wash the floor properly when it is your turn, that there is not a lot of clothes on the floor and that you remove hair from the sink when you have brushed your hair.
A: What do you think about this?
Person B is given the opportunity to give his version of the case, and should relate to the same procedure: Describe - influence - solution - response.
Person B describes what he / she thinks. How he / she experiences or is affected by the current problem, what solution he / she envisions and opens up for response from person A.
Case: is this wolf language or giraffe language? Mark in the margin with U or G
- When you ask others to join the film, but not me, I am unsure if I can also participate, and I think it is a bit painful and difficult
- It is so annoying that you never bother to go out with the trash
- You always bring lots of people in the room without asking me
- When you want me to wake you, but still not get up, I feel that I am responsible for you not getting on OFD, and I do not think that is right.
- I need sleep, and then you can not enter the room after it should be quiet 23.00
- I do not bother to lend you money, because you never tip back
- Now I have made dinner for everyone without anyone helping. Then you get to do the dishes.
- You smell damn good.
Exercise: Make good «giraffe formulations» for the problems you marked with U. Remember the values and the procedure:
Friendly - Honest - Neutral
Describe - influence - solution - response