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Creating the Win-Win Conversation

posted Jan 22, 2015, 9:57 AM by Waterville School

Three Communication Skills

Like the father in the story, you may get those same one-word responses from your teen. You have the same old “conversations” every day with the same old predictable outcome. Here are three time-tested skills that are foundational to all good communication.

Skill #1: Think Win-Win

Think Win-Win is Habit 4 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®. It’s easy to fall into the habit of not caring about what your teen wants when you just want to make it simple and tell him or her the way it’s going to be and that’s that. Not exactly a win for both of you, is it? When you “lay down the law” without regard to how your child feels or what he thinks, you are opening yourself up for war on the home front.

You’ve got to care about what your teen wants, too. Ironically, when you care about what your teen wants, you’ll end up getting more of what you want in the end. Both of you will win and your relationship will keep growing stronger.

When you and your teen don’t see eye to eye or when you really want to persuade him or her to see your point of view, try using a T chart. You can do it in your head or write it down. On one side, list what the win is for you. On the other side, list what you think the win is for your child.

Think of a time when using the T chart below would have helped a situation with your teen. Fill in the wins for each of you and then talk to your teen and see if you are right about what would have been a win for him or her. Ask if he or she would be willing to use this next time you are in a similar situation.

Think Win-Win Phrases