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Helpful Communication Tools, Ideas, Methods, and Resources

Useful tools for establishing bettter communication between people.

Communication Tools and Ideas Information: LifePaths Counseling Center

Interpersonal Communication Tools and Methods Used for Better Communication

➢ Start fresh, with a state of not knowing: “I need to learn about your needs and am willing to learn and use the tools that will help us to communicate” instead of going through a list of historical events that have angered you.

➢ Do not fight to prove you are right, instead communicate to gain understanding of each other.

➢ Develop a goal for what you want to get out of the conversation, do not just start arguing with no positive goal in sight.

➢ When responding or expressing your needs use “I feel”, “I need”, statements: “ I feel upset when….. I would appreciate if …….

➢ No interrupting: “ I value what you have to say and want to hear it without talking over you” ➢ Paraphrase: “What I hear you saying is………”

➢ Clarify: “Is what I heard you say correct, if not please explain” ➢ Do not interpret or mind read: “You said ___ but I know that you really meant _____”

➢ Do not defend yourself or attack the other person or prepare your rebuttal while the other person is talking, this is a time for listening, try to put yourself in the other persons shoes.

➢ First validate the other persons feelings. Once the other person feels like you hear and understand them it is your turn to share your feelings.

➢ Body Language: Try to be aware of your posture, and expressions. Appearing aggressive can escalate. 70% of communication is done through body language.

Understanding another persons view is different then agreeing with them.

If someone says they experienced an event differently then you that does not mean that they are right and you are wrong. People can have a different understanding of events. When people are stressed their perception may be a lot different. People often go into fight or flight mode when stressed which decreases our ability to perceive events accurately. Arguing about these events is a waste of time, instead figure out what you need from this point forward and go from there.

We can not argue away feelings, when we have feelings they are valid and need to be heard. Again, we do not have to agree to understand someones feelings.

An example would be “I hear that you are saying that when I yelled, you felt hurt, that was not my intention and I am sorry that you felt that way”.

Notice that this is not taking blame for the other persons feelings but simply acknowledging them. The apology is to empathize or care about their painful emotions.

Basic format for the person speaking:

1: I feel…. (Start with the emotion, hurt, sad, mad, lonely, etc.)

2: Because or when….

3: I need, or would like…….

First think this through before even approaching the topic so you are prepared to come up with a solution rather than become overwhelmed by the emotions.


Basic format for the person listening:

“I hear that you are (emotion) because, or when…… and you need……….”

Empathy: “I am sorry you are (emotion) I can understand why you feel that way”.

Note: Even if you disagree you can empathize.





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Littleton, CO 80128




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