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Opinion

Constructive communication

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

With a lot of negativity going around lately, whether it be in private conversations or on social media discussions, it seems to be the appropriate time to remind one another of the need to communicate better. While dissenting views can give us fresh perspectives (to a certain extent), the real concern in my opinion is on how we are all truly able to communicate our beliefs, especially when we disagree.

By now we understand that constructive criticism can be both helpful and useful as it entails only the right attitude to accept feedback and suggestions. Everything we say, however, also depends on the way we communicate to others. Constructive communication is all about preserving positive relationships in addressing issues. While poor or destructive communication can harm a person’s morale, good communication on the other hand puts premium in the way you and I relate to and respect one another.

When we find ourselves in situations where we do not agree, it is important to understand that using our feelings as weapons is not the way to go but describing one’s feeling objectively instead of aggressively gets the point across. When criticism is not constructive, more often then not it becomes a blame game and it can certainly be overwhelming for one to be on the receiving end. Constructive communication keeps the statement clean, with a straight message that does not leave another in doubt.

Focusing on the issues at hand is also a good way of communicating constructively and produces results that are productive. Keeping your emotions in check also prevents us from saying something that we will regret later on. It is a conscious effort for one to be mindful of their emotions, particularly in difficult situations but definitely worth it having the end goal in mind. There is power in communicating effectively and it takes commitment. Constructive communication is fueled by empathy as this helps one to understand, accept and transform issues through win-win solutions that are best for those involved.

Communicating is an art and the challenges that come along the way should motivate us to improve our communication skills as, after all, whether you look at issues from the small or larger scale of things, in the end, it is all about safeguarding our relationships and all it takes is the willingness to listen.

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