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10 Golden Rules Of Communication In a Relationship

It doesn't matter where you live, what you do or where you go in life, communication is critical for developing and maintaining healthy, strong relationships. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the 10 golden rules of communication.

When rules of fair play are recognized and put into action, good relationships can become fantastic ones.

Adopt at least a few of the 10 golden rules of communication in your everyday exchanges with people who are important to you and you will discover some amazing things happen.

So, what are the 10 golden rules of communication you need to know about and put to use in your life? Here they are in no particular order.

* Get their attention - One of the critical mistakes people often make when trying to communicate with others is speaking when the other party isn't really listening.

During a ball game, while trying to put the kids to bed or five minutes after your partner has closed his eyes, just isn't a good time. Make sure the timing is right to talk and even ask outright to make sure it is.

* Always start off positive - This is one of the 10 golden rules of communication that good managers understand, but many people fail to use in their personal lives. If you must bring up a concern or complaint, start out with a genuine positive compliment and argue in a healthy way.

* Make the problems "yours" instead of theirs - Rather than say "I have a problem with how you do X, Y or Z," say "This is a concern that we need to find a way to fix." It's okay to share your feelings, concerns and complaints, just avoid looking like your nit-picking or nagging.

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* Avoid going on the offensive - If you want to pick a fight, go to a boxing ring. There is no room for offensive behavior in the 10 golden rules of communication. Keep your language nonthreatening, but do share concerns openly and honestly.

* Listen to the response - Your communication partner may not agree with you or may have very valid reasons for doing something like it's being done. Open your ears and your mind to hear the other side of the story.

* Avoid finishing your partner's thoughts - Make sure to hear what your communication partner has to say all the way through. Refrain from finishing sentences or trying to speed up the conversation. This violates the 10 golden rules of communication and shuts down your ability to listen and process what your partner is trying to say to you.

* Repeat what has been said to you - Once you listen to your partner, paraphrase the response to make sure you clearly understand what was stated. Allow your communication partner time to clarify, if necessary.

* Clarify what you've said - Make sure your partner also understands where you are coming from and the message you've been trying to get across.

* Stick to the topic at hand - Don't try to jump to other issues during a discussion about a serious topic. Stay on point. Address other issues one at a time. This stops the waters from being muddied and helps keep conversations more productive.

* Brainstorm solutions together - Work together to solve common problems and make sure both parties' feelings are heard, understood and addressed. Even if a compromise must be made, the give-and-take will strengthen relationships.

The 10 golden rules of communication can help you open up, share and make relationships stronger. Whether with a friend, a spouse or a co-worker, the rules apply in all aspects of life. Practice them and your relationships will benefit.

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