What Are Some

Effective Communication Strategies?

  • Schedule time to talk every day without interruptions.

  • Find a quiet time and ask if it's okay to talk.

  • Try to avoid serious discussions at night. This is when people are most likely to be tired and messages may not communicate clearly.

  • Be clear about why you want to talk. Let your spouse or loved one know why you are having this talk and what you hope will come from it.

  • Use "I" statements, such as:

    • "I know this is hard to talk about. I'm ready to listen or talk any time."

    • "I feel that it would be helpful to talk about how your treatment is going so far and how we are both coping with it. Would you be willing to talk with me about that sometime this week?"

  • Avoid using "you" statements, such as "You always..." or "You never..."

  • Make a list about what you want to say.

  • Practice what you'll say in advance.

  • Express your feelings and try to communicate openly.

  • Speak from your heart.

  • Clarify statements with each other, "Correct me if I heard you wrong, but I heard you say..."

  • Explain your statement's meaning if it was not heard correctly.

  • Know that your loved one may not want to hear what you have to say.

  • Allow your loved one to talk. Listen and try not to interrupt. The best way to communicate is to sometimes just listen. By listening to your loved one, you are showing them that you are there for them.

  • Do not feel like things have to be settled after one talk.

  • You don't have to always say, "It'll be okay."