15 Sep Great communication skills. In Australian politics?

13165339603_d10b6b49c8_b_australian-house-of-representativesDear Malcom,


Now, please let me ask a favour of you.

It’s just a little thing I’m thinking.

I’m thinking about when you’re at work. In that big room, the one with all those seats, where all you political people get together to discuss political things.

It’s just a small favour. And one that I’m not too sure your predecessors got right.

But it would be so nice to know that the leader of my country knows how to conduct a difficult conversation without dissolving into criticism and contempt.

It would be super cool to see our Top Dog conduct a disagreement in a respectful and grown up way.

A crazy idea, I know. And as mentioned, I’m not too sure that it’s been much done in politics before.

But us relationship and marriage therapists spend our lives helping couples get this one right.

It’s a crucial difference between a relationship that works and one that fails.

Criticism and contempt are antidotes to constructive communication, productive problem solving, and healthy relationships, whether in Parliament House, or in the kitchen.

So Malcom, would you please communicate with people (your opponents included) without criticism and contempt?

Let’s say you disagree with something someone says. Or thinks. Or stands for.

Let’s say you’re really cranky with them, because something they said, or did, or stood for, didn’t sit well with you.

Let’s say you’re so cranky that you’d like to lash out. Maybe say something hurtful.

Maybe act like you’re all superior.

But even in these moments, could you please communicate with people (your opponents included) without criticism and contempt?

Please be firm. Be very firm, when needed. Please feel free to express whatever thoughts and opinions you see fit.

Let there be no doubt as to your position on any topic, decision, or debate.

But please Malcom, could you please communicate your position without criticism and contempt?

Marriage research tells us that relationships in which communication is marked by criticism and contempt are relationships that don’t thrive.

And in Australia, there are a whole lot of marriages and relationships that don’t thrive.

So if you can get it right, I’m thinking there may be more hope for the people.

If you can demonstrate how it’s possible to be hurt, angry, and even enraged, without resorting to criticism and contempt, then maybe politics can start setting the benchmark for expert communication, masterful conflict resolution, and optimal relationship health everywhere.

It would be so awesome to have our PM showing couples all over Australia how it’s done!

OK, that’s all I needed to ask. Go get ‘em. And all the best.

If you need a few tips, I’m only too willing to help. There are skills to learn, and I guarantee they work.

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Or contact me here. I love helping relationships thrive.