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Guidelines for Communication

Guidelines for Communication

Good Communication skills are essential for conducting effective neighborhood association meetings. When members attend meetings where positive dialogue occurs, they are more likely to enjoy the meeting and feel it was valuable to them. They are then more likely to become an active participant in the neighborhood. Please share these tips with your association members and others.

  1. Begin with a Clear Mind: Take a moment and center yourself before you say, write or do anything. (Take a deep breath or refocus on your purpose)
  2.  Use Clear Language: Keep in mind that your purpose is to communicate with the people with whom you are speaking. Using technical jargon may detract from this purpose. Keep it clear and simple
  3. Speak Only for Yourself: Remember the saying that you can't know what a person is thinking or feeling unless you have "walked a mile in their shoes".
  4. Be Honest:
    • Don't feel you must answer every questions. Sometimes you don't know.
    • Speak directly without using a lot of words to try to avoid topics or skirt issues.
  5. Emphasize the Positive:
    • Try to translate the negative to positive and a crisis to opportunity
    • Don't appeal to peoples fears.
    • Never blame or accuse anyone nor repeat or bolster a negative accusation
  6. Stay in the Center:
    • Never underplay or make light of a situation.
    • Don't overreact or exaggerate.
    • Don't be sidetracked by focusing on extreme situations, impossible dilemmas, questionable authorities, or false premises.
  7. Remember Your Opinion Has Value: Don't' be threatened or defensive. You have right to speak.
  8. Respect Other Speakers:
    • Encourage each person in a group to speak. Some of the quietest people have the wisest things to say.
    • Allow each person to finish speaking. If a group has some long winded people, you may want to agree on a time limit for each speaker and stick to it.
  9. Be a Good Listener:
    • Listen carefully to what each person has to say. Don't assume anything.
    • For group discussions, you might want to jot down some thoughts ahead of time to help you remember what you want to say. This will help you focus your full attention on what others are saying when they speak

 

 

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