Are your communication skills in a stuck state?

by Betty Lochner on November 12, 2013

The following post is adapted from 52 Communication Tips: Weekly lessons for improving your relationships at work and home

failure to communicateTIP #4:  Avoid the stuck state cycle.

If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.   ~ Tony Robbins, Author

When things are not going the way you want, do you keep repeating the same response or behavior but hope for, or expect, something different to happen?

When that happens, it won’t take long before you’ll find yourself in a stuck state – repeating the same cycle over and over, and getting the same result.

To get out of the stuck cycle, you must respond and react differently. Rather than responding to a situation in an unconscious and automatic way, try responding in a conscious and accountable way.  You can do that by being specific and clear in stating what you want and why.

Let’s say you repeatedly state that you need help on a household chore.  You say it in the same way, and the response you get back is always the same.  Instead of continuing to ask in the same way with increasing anger, try asking in a new way.

For example, Instead of an automatic response such as: “You didn’t load the dishwasher again,” say what you want and why.  Take a short pause, and respond in a different and more accountable way. Try responding in a different way. For example, “I need you to load the dishwasher each night before you do your homework, so that the dishes are done before we go to bed.”

Think of at least one situation that has you in a stuck state cycle.  Now, find a way to respond differently. Try asking in a different way, describing what you need in a different way, or stating your concerns in different words.  What can you say or do to get a different response?

Now, do that.


If you’d like to have all 52 Communication Tips, you can order the book of the entire collection.   It’s a great tool for weekly staff meetings or family dinners to begin to improve your communications skills, one tip at a time.


Betty Lochner

Betty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on



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