Communication

Communication is all about sharing information and ideas. To help you to get along well with other people, and to feel good about yourself at the same time, skills in perspective taking, assertiveness, negotiation, and conflict resolution can be pretty useful. No matter who you are communicating with you will use these skills a lot in your lifetime!

Tips for communication

  • Do your best to understand how others might be feeling - there is always more than one way to look at things
  • Stick up for yourself - your views and wants are important too
  • Work together to find a solution that works for everyone - take the time to listen to what each other needs
  • When problems develop calmly work towards finding solution - be respectful of the other person, stay focused on what the options are for resolution and know when to let go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree.

Need some help?

If you are finding it difficult to cope with anxiety and stress there are people who can help.  Talk to your GP, a counsellor or another trusted adult. There are also lots of online and phone supports available 24 hours a day.


Perspective taking

There is always more than one way to look at things. Considering the situation from another perspective helps you see how the situation is affecting others  and may help you decide how to approach the situation.

Put yourself in other people’s shoes (your friend’s, parent’s, partner’s or teachers) and think about how they might feel about the situation.


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Assertiveness

Being assertive is about sticking up for yourself and not allowing other people to push you around. It is important to be firm, fair, and reasonable while looking for win-win outcomes.

  • Outline what you need and why
  • Explain how their actions affect you
  • Make eye contact and use a firm calm voice
  • Listen carefully to the other person to understand what they are thinking
  • Know what you want, but be prepared to compromise
  • Speak to yourself helpfully
  • If you don’t feel safe with the other person, move away

Negotiation

Negotiating is a two way conversation where you are trying to reach a point of agreement; a solution that works for everyone.

  • Think about alternatives in case you can’t get your preferred outcome
  • Listen and try to understand what the other person wants and why
  • Explain why something is important to you
  • Don’t argue
  • Choose a time and place where you can both talk openly without distraction or any interruptions

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Resolving conflict

You won’t always want the same things as the people around you and this can sometimes lead to conflict. There are a few different approaches you can use to overcome conflict but one essential part is talking in a clear and calm way.

  • Don’t go in angry - be calm and prepared to listen.          
  • Listen and try to understand what the other person wants and why
  • Make sure there is enough time for both of you to talk about the issue and find review possible solutions
  • Admit your mistakes
  • Stay focused on the problem – don’t make it personal
  • Consider getting help to work it through from friends, counsellors, psychologists, teachers and youth workers