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4-Step Communication Model

This simple communication model will do wonders for building your self-confidence. The trick is to step over nothing. Get in the habit of addressing everything that bothers you on the spot or as soon as possible and appropriately afterward. It often seems easier to let those little negative comments and subtle digs roll off like water on your back. So many of us mistakenly assume that it’s better to let the little stuff go by and save our breath for the big ones.

The problem is all those little negative comments add up and can undermine your self-esteem. So don’t ignore them.

The time to inform is right away: “Do you realize that you left the dirty dishes on the table?” Give up being the saint and start letting people know what bugs you, in a calm and neutral way. There is no need to tolerate unpleasant behavior from others.

If your colleague makes a negative remark, instead of letting it slide, simply inform: “Do you realize that comment hurt me?” or “Ouch, that hurts!” or “That remark was inappropriate.” It doesn’t take much to put an end to these insidious, destructive comments, whether they come from friends, family, colleagues, or strangers. You can use this powerful, 4-step communication strategy to nip hurtful comments in the bud, which can transform relationships instantly by creating an atmosphere of respect.


4- Step Communication Model:
  1. Inform. “Do you realize that you are fifteen minutes late?”

  2. Request. “I ask that when you are meeting me, you show up on time.”

  3. Demand/Insist.(add consequences). “I’ll wait fifteen minutes and then I will leave.”

  4. Leave. You may leave the situation temporarily (by ending a conversation or leaving a room) or end up leaving the job or relationship permanently if you see that your boundaries will not be respected.

All four steps must be delivered in a neutral tone of voice just as you would say, “The sky is blue” or you may not get the result you desire.

Coaching Tip
Take the time you need to calm down before informing. If delivered neutrally, you will rarely need to go beyond steps 1 and 2. Although with children, you must be prepared for step 3 and have consequences with ‘teeth’ that you are prepared to enforce. Never threaten, always act on the consequences you set or your kids will run allover you.

You will soon find that people won’t be making these sorts of comments about you. You will keep your relationships clean and your confidence will go up.

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