Supportive communication is a style of communicating that has a specific set of goals and techniques. The primary goal of supportive communication is to resolve conflict or achieve change in a situation while preserving, even strengthening, the relationship between the communicating individuals. This style of communication is used in many types of interpersonal interactions, such as those including a power differential, as is found between manager and employee, teacher and student, or parent and child. It is also effective when used between those with more equal power, such as spouses, business partners and friends. Learning these techniques can result in more effective communication.
Focus on Problem and Solutions
Supportive communication emphasizes a problem or a situation and its potential solutions or possible changes, instead of focusing on the other person involved and their personal traits or characteristics. By taking that approach, the communication can more effective because the other person doesn't feel as defensive. If the other person doesn't feel the need to defend himself personally, he may be more willing to participate in the proposed solution or change, and may even take an active role in coming up with suggestions on how best to resolve the matter. Use Descriptive Language
Instead of using evaluative language, which can sound judgmental or feel like a statement on a person's overall competence or worth, and thus invoke nonproductive defensiveness, try using descriptive language. Descriptive language describes the situation or problem in specific terms. For example, instead of saying something was done wrong, describe what was done, the results of what was done and what could be done instead to better meet the original goals.
Take an Inclusive Approach
Avoid sounding like a superior person delivering messages from a high pedestal. This type of communication can make the listener feel as though they are considered to be less -- less...
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