"One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears – by listening to them." - Dean Rusk

Communication & Conflict

While we've been communicating since we were babies, we seldom take the time to review how well we are communicating with others. There is new evidence that links poor communication with physical and emotional illness. Good communication skills improve relationships, self-esteem and are essential to managing the demands of life.

How well do you communicate? Do you have the skills you need to express yourself, make requests, set boundaries and resolve conflict? Good communication requires knowledge, practice and evaluation. These resources provide information. You then need to practice the skill and learn from each experience. Don't get discouraged. Remember, the great thing about improving communication is that we have a lot of opportunity for practice!

Problem Solving Quick Tips

Recommended Books

  • People Skills – by Robert Bolton
  • How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts. A communication-skills handbook that can help you eliminate communication problems. (Simon & Schuster, 1979)
  • Crucial Conversations – by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, Stephen R. Covey
  • Tools for Talking When Stakes are High. Gives you the tools to handle life's most difficult and important conversations, say what's on your mind, and achieve positive outcomes. (McGraw-Hill, 2002)
  • How to Talk to Kids So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk – by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish
  • A communication tool kit based on a series of workshops developed by the authors that provides a step-by-step approach to improving relationships, through helpful cartoon illustrations and exercises designed to improve your ability as a parent to talk and problem-solve with your children. (Avon Books, Inc., 1980)

Additional Web Resources