Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi says, “We have added health care as a right, not a privilege. And when we did, we not only made history, we made progress for the American people.” And what about House Republican leader John Boehner’s opinion? He thinks: “We need to repeal this jobs-killing government takeover of health care and enact real reforms…without destroying jobs, raising taxes, cutting Medicare to create a new entitlement program or saddling our children and grandchildren with trillions in new debt.”
The photo above, of Pelosi and Boehner exchanging the gavel in less volatile times, looks like it’s sending a mixed messsage. As a card carrying member of the Sandwich Generation – squeezed between children growing up and parents growing older – you may be in conflict with a family member. So what lessons about commuication can you learn from the present political situation?
We all know that words can hurt and an offhand remark or slip of the tongue can be emotionally damaging. When addressing a sensitive subject, state a specific goal that you want to accomplish. Be direct and clear in what you have to say. Try not to get side-tracked by pointing out past oppositional behavior or questionable character traits. As body language and tone of voice really matter, in a conflict, assume a non-threatening stance. Calibrate your emotions, monitor the negatives and be slow to criticize.
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