Personal Toolkit of Wellbeing Skills

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Knowing your message

What are you really trying to say?


As humans we are liable to saying all sorts of things we don't really mean. We start to talk and then before we know it we are going off in all sorts of directions verbally. This can be fun and exciting, but when we have a difficult message to communicate it can lead to frustration, confusion or annoyance.


Exercise: Try this simple exercise when you have something important to say to someone. Take your notepad or some paper and answer these questions:

 - What is the outcome I am looking for?

 - What impact will the outcome have on the other person?

 - Am I, or the other person, likely to become emotional about the issue? If so, in what way and how can I resolve this?

Choosing how and when to deliver your message

Timing is everything

Well not quite, these days we also have to think about the media we are going to use! When we talk in person the vast majority of our communication is not in our words, but our tone, expression and body language. When we text or message much of this subtlety is lost.

Exercise: Before you communicating think about what you are trying to achieve, and if it is written re read it. Keep these top tips in mind:
 - Is there any emotion in the message - best to talk person to person or at least by telephone or video call.
 - Is it basic facts - text or messaging should be ok.
 - Will you need to communicate a difficult message - best to be there in person if at all possible.

Methods for effective communication

Being careful of how you say it

Even if we get the content and delivery time and location right, the way in which we communicate (as hinted in the last exercise) makes up a significant part of our communication. Try this next exercise to see just how much the way we say something can change its impact.

Exercise: Try saying the phrase 'I didn't say she stole me wallet' but each time you say it place an emphasis on a different word.

So, next time you say something, think about how you are saying it.

Additional Resources

Online courses

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