It’s natural to communicate badly when there’s a conflict – and what you can do about it

 In Blog, Effective Dialogue

(Time to read: ~ minutes)

Your partner forget to pick up the milk. Or your child has the music turned up too loud – again.

A team member didn’t deliver their part of the project on time, so you’re under the gun.

Your boss just dumped a new project on your overfull plate in that don’t-you-dare-ask-a-question-or-I’ll-bite-your-head-off tone of voice or email.

Your body-mind system is automatically programmed to communicate unsuccessfully in these moments.

What kind of automatic programming do you have?

  1. Do you want to tell your partner, child or boss what to do? Right now?
  2. Are your eyes on the door, desperate to escape the situation?
  3. Are you craving chocolate, a soft drink or some other soothing substance?
  4. Is your hand automatically reaching for your phone to tell a friend about how awful the situation is?
  5. Is your mind racing to figure out how you can get the milk – or work around not having it – or handle the extra project work yourself?

Or some combination of all of the above?

These are perfectly natural responses. The problem is that they usually aren’t very effective.

What’s Needed Instead


How you communicate is based on a set of habits.

The problem is that your body comes automatically programmed with a set of communication habits that are incompatible with being a happy and successful adult.



, unless you have consciously cultivated a Communication is a set of habits. The problem is that our bodies are automatically programmed to do the exact opposite of what will be helpful

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