February 15, 2022

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Responsible Communication: The Key to Interpersonal Wellness

Have you ever had someone say or do something that hurts your feelings? I think we have all been there.

As a girl, my friend and I had this little rhyme we sang. "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can do me no harm". As I get older I am realizing how silly and incorrect that little rhyme was.

Research now shows that the optimal ratio is for every negative comment to be matched by five positive ones. This is why I believe Responsible Communication (RC)is important for well-being.

We must improve our relationship or have a relationship where there is an exchange of positive and negative comments. When you have a relationship with someone it is sometimes easier to see their strengths and weaknesses. We should remember to acknowledge their strengths. This is something we teach our coaches to do as a key skill in their ability to support clients.

We must view communication in its entirety. The way you look at someone or listen to them, respond to their query, and relate to them is all part of the communication we are used to addressing. However, communication happens when we ignore, accuse, condemn, complain, or gossip about others.

Responsible communication

Responsible communication (RC) reminds us to communicate without doing harm. This means that we will examine the things we say and don't say as well as the things we need to make right.

RC reminds us to practice empathy, acknowledgement, encouragement and not cause harm. It is not always easy but we can always learn to do better. I am still working on getting better and want to encourage you to do the same.

The essence of RC is the ability to make amends and restore our relationships. When we do this it is often considered conflict resolution but I like to think of it as interpersonal wellness.

Making amends is a very healing and rejuvenating process for our cells and our mental health. If there is someone you have hurt, take some time to correct and make amends.

if you need help or support, join us at the Global Workplace Wellness Community of practice where we build wellness competencies to help change our behaviour and interactions with others.

To Your Wellness,

About the author

Joyce Odidison is a Conflict Analyst, Corporate Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Author, and Master Leadership and Well-being Coach. Joyce is the Thought Leader behind the groundbreaking Well-being Intelligence Curriculum™ and WIS® Assessment that identifies well-being risks for individuals and organizations. Her work includes harassment and psychological safety consultation, designing inclusive wellness systems, wellness assessments, diversity conflict and well-being consultations, train the trainer certifications, and relational leadership coaching. Joyce also hosts the annual Global Workplace Wellness Summit and her weekly What’s Happening at Work podcast. She is the author of six books and President of Interpersonal Wellness Services Inc. Joyce is passionate about helping people identify and reduce barriers to living their best lives. In her downtime, you will find Joyce reading, cooking, taking long walks or enjoying time with family and friends. She can be reached at www.interpersonalwellness.com

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