Tip #1: Use ‘I’ statements. An “I” statement is a way of communicating about a problem to another person without blaming that person for the problem.
Tip #2: Clearly express how you feel, what you think and what you want. Assuming that others know what you want can create all sorts of problems.
Tip #3: Do it now. If there is an issue you need to raise or a situation that needs to be resolved, try to deal with it as soon as possible.
Tip #4: Ask for clarification. Just as people can’t always read your mind, sometimes it is difficult to interpret what someone else is thinking or feeling.
Tip #5: Express your discomfort in raising an issue. If you feel uncomfortable raising a particular issue, it can be helpful to let the other person know this.
Tip #6: Be aware of your body language. The way you speak—including the volume and tone of your voice, your physical gestures and your facial expressions—all have an important impact on how your message will be received.
Tip #7: Communicate positive feelings. Developing good relationships means being able to express positive feelings, too.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.
Special Thanks: Rebekka Meyer, Project Director at FirstPic, Inc.