30 October 2007

More on Communication

A cognitive bias that most people have is confirmation bias. When we see something that conforms to our beliefs, we think it is brilliant. When something doesn't conform to our beliefs, we think it's wrong.

I stumbled across this brilliant web page today. The title is "Relationship Fix: How to Tell Difficult Truths So People Thank You." I like it mainly because it is consistent with some of my previous posts on communication. They have a nice spin on it though. They say, "When you speak the unarguable people don't argue."

Stick with your emotions and feelings, not their problems. If I say "I feel sick to my stomach," you can't argue. If I say, "Your idiocy makes me sick to my stomach." you might have something to say.

They also put out the concept of "feeling zones." It's a way to link your feelings with physical manifestation of the feelings.

  • Zone 1 is made up of your neck, shoulders and mid-back. When you’re tense in this zone it’s because you’re holding onto anger you haven’t communicated.

  • Zone 2 is your throat and chest. This zone tells you when you’re feeling sad by signaling you with constriction (“lump in the throat”) and a sense of heaviness.

  • Zone 3 is your stomach and beltline area. Tension and racy-queasy sensations (“butterflies”) tell you that you’re scared.

So hold me guilty of confirmation bias, but I have yet to see any argument that makes the case that it is a good idea in a relationship to point the finger and blame.

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