Alright, folks. So today I'm going to walk you through handouts, five and five, a, also known as the dear man skill, which has to do with meeting your objectives.
And as a refresher from last week, objectives and conversations with other people can be anything from things like asking for wants or needs, saying no to unreasonable requests or requests that you simply can't meet for whatever reason, I'm getting people to take your opinion seriously resolving conflict, these types of things.
Generally, I think about this particular skill as being the core of assertive communication, it's going to be the foundational cake layers that we're going to pile other skills on top of, okay, like, I think. So, as we go through this, a couple of things for you to be aware of, first of all, the dear part of this, which stands for describe, express, assert and reinforce, is essentially a structure for you to follow, when needing to ask for things or say no to things.
What we know about following this structure is that when people do that, they actually significantly increase the likelihood that they are going to get their needs met in a given situation, that they're going to have the outcome that they're hoping for, generally, because the other person across from them understands why it is that they're asking or saying no for something,
And how it would be beneficial to actually do this thing, along with what specifically is needed in a given situation. Okay. That being said, we can't make any guarantees about what will happen in a conversation between you and another person, we can just say that this is going to increase your likelihood for success.
As we go through this, I'm going to do two examples. I'm going to do an example of saying no as I go through and just explain the skills, and then we'll put it all together with asking someone for something at the end.
So step one in a conversation refers to describe. Now, in the describe section, you are essentially orienting the other person to what it is that you're talking about, and to the facts of the situation. This is a particularly important step one, so that people know what the heck it is that you're talking about.
But to because it also lays some foundation in which you and the other person can hopefully find agreement. So if, for example, you are having a conversation with your kiddo, and you said something along the lines of, I've asked you to do this thing six times, and your kiddo was like, You never asked me ever, the chances of having a successful conversation here, you're already going to be able to tell are going downhill because you can't even agree at the facts at hand.
That gives you information for how you might shape the conversation moving forward, if that makes sense. When you do this, your goal is to essentially use the describe mindfully skill that we've talked about, where you are using just the facts, things that objectively can be observed and described in a given situation with a goal of orienting.
So let's say that you are in a situation where you and your partner are disagreeing on a budget situation, okay? So your partner wants to spend money and you don't, because you have been looking at this budget, and you can tell there ain't no money to spend here. Okay. So I described statements statement that you might say, Here is something along the lines of, I've gone over our budget and our deaths really, really carefully over this past week. And I honestly can't see where we can we have X number of dollars for this thing that you are wanting to purchase. Okay? So that would be just one example.
You would then move into Express pretty seamlessly. This is where you go over your feelings and opinions about a given situation. Okay. So you want to be strategic here, especially if you know the person across from you. There might be certain things that you know, they tend to shut down for avoid those And other things where they really, really will slow down and listen to you.
Try emphasizing those while being honest. Right? So if I'm feeling both frustrated and confused with some people, I might focus on the frustration with other people, I might focus on the confusion, right. And this particular scenario, I might say something like, I am really, really worried about our finances. Okay, that's the Express statement.
What you need to do next is move into making a specific assertion, or a very clear cut no on a given situation. So where people tend to go wrong here is well in a few places, to be honest, first of all, realizing that expressing isn't asserting, so not being specific enough, and just making vague generalizations about what it is that they expect.
Alternatively, people can mistake asserting for demanding, and my either have the idea that someone else should just know what it is that they want, or that asking for it directly. Is is weak, and so asking in a much more aggressive sort of way. Okay. So in this particular situation, a firm no would look like, I do not. Let me think about this, I was being more passive here. We simply do not have the money to go on a vacation this year, we simply do not have the money to buy X, Y and Z things this year. Okay?
You want to be specific here so that there's no wriggling out, there's no potential for miscommunication.
And finally, you want to reinforce, okay, this is where you highlight to the other person, either what positive things they're going to get out of, sort of listening to you or respecting your decision, or what negative things they're going to avoid. Okay. So a simple reinforced statement here might be I think that we'll both sleep a lot better feel a lot more comfortable with that money in the bank, instead of on vacation, for example.
I'm going to go through this one more time, this time, in a scenario where you are asking a friend or family member or partner to help out with taking care of your kid.
So in this case, I might start with a describe statement towards my family member of saying, Susie Q. has been up all night this week. Every night, she has been colicky and l temper. And I have just been spending every minute of the day, trying to keep her calm.
Now I'm moving into Express. I am exhausted, burnt out and sad. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take a cert. I wonder Would you be willing to come over for a few hours this week just to take over care for her and give me a chance to I don't know take a shower or go for a walk or take a nap or something like that. That would be assert
And then reinforce. It would mean the world to me to have your support in this way.
And I I know it's going to make me be able to be a better mom to Susie Q. That's it. Now, not every conversation will go as smoothly as you would hope.
And there's a couple of qualities that we want you to bring to the table when you're using this skill.
The first of these is being mindful. So specifically being mindful to what your goal is, and ignoring efforts to essentially divert attention away from what the goal is.
You're going to ignore threats, insults, attacks, any of those types of things. Should they come up with a given person You're also as a way of being mindful going to use what we call the broken record technique. So sometimes people think that they have to be really creative or keep explaining or approach situations in different ways. And I'm letting you know that you can let that go.
Once you figure out what it is that you want to assert, you're just going to keep coming back to that point and repeating it, I just really need I just really want to know if you can come over this week and watch Susie q for a few hours, or we do not have enough money to go on vacation this year. We don't have enough money to go on vacation this year, over and over and over again until the point is driven home.
Quality number two that you want to bring to the table is appearing confident. Okay. So the key word here is actually appear not confident. If you are wiffle waffling, that's a fun phrase, or sort of going back and forth, or looking down or not asking for what you need in a way that conveys your own confidence and self respect, the chances of that person actually being willing to give that to you go down tremendously.
You want to approach this with eye contact with confidence, sort of shoulders back with your head held high, while at the same time not being super aggressive or demanding in your body language. So thinking through what that might look like.
Lastly, you want to be willing to negotiate. When it comes to negotiation. Probably the biggest thing that I would make recommend for you to do is thinking about the skill of turning the tables.
If you offer some alternatives, and the other person keeps saying no, or denying that those would work, turn the tables and ask them, okay, so we can't go on vacation or okay. So it sounds like X, Y and Z dates aren't working for you. And I really, really need some help here.
Is there any way that you can see that we can make this work and ask for them to come up with some different ideas about this? Because sometimes it's really obvious to them and not so obvious to you.
And sometimes it gives them perspective about how tough this art of negotiation can be.
Hopefully this drives home, at least initially, what the skill is, and we are going to practice, practice and practice some more in group. Alright, Bye, y'all.