"Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say Without Being Mean When You Say It" ~ Meryl Runion Rose                                ShoppingCart Plum NB 50

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Effective Communication Skill Blog

My chiropractor operates on a walk-in basis, and offers yearly plans for unlimited services. So I go fairly often - especially since he is so close by.

I used to have trouble with my feet - which is pretty foundational. I credit my stretches, dance and his regular adjustments for the fact that my feet are happy now. However, despite regular visits, there is a catch in my neck that persists. We had focused on it previously, but I hadn't brought it up for months. This week, I decided I'm ready to take that on.

I entered his office yesterday and told him, "We haven't made much progress on the tightness in my neck on the right side."

It wasn't a mean, nasty, horrible, evil way to raise the issue. My foot only went half-way in my mouth. But it it wasn't gracious or fair, either. Yes, he adjusts my neck every time I come. But it has been months since I mentioned this particular obstruction. We've been more focused on overall ease of movement, plus my feet and hands. The fact is, I feel like those challenges are taken care of enough that now we can shift the main focus of our efforts to the obstruction in my neck, (which is in no way debilitating and has been with me for ages.)

What would have been a better way to say it? How about:

  • I have a mobility limit on the right side of my neck that I'd like us to unravel.

That wording speaks to our next focus and future opportunities instead of implying existing failure. My chiropractor invited me to remind him of this focus every time I come, and he gave me a stretch to support his efforts. I will remind him as requested - and I will be gracious and fair when I do it.

Or maybe I won't. Perhaps next time my foot will go a just quarter of the way in. Unravelling the obstructions in my spine and joints is a process - and so is learning how to introduce a new area of focus with graceful assertiveness. 


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©2015 Meryl Runion Rose. Meryl is a Certified Speaking Professional and the Creator of the SpeakStrong Method of Dynamically Effective Communication. Find her at www.SpeakStrong.com

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