Communication is the key to preventing or resolving conflict. This is what I tell my clients as a long-standing family law firm surrey who specializes in family law and dispute resolution. This is also something I practice at home as a father to a baby boy.
COVID-19 has changed the way we communicate at work and at home. It’s made me rethink my communication practices. People were forced to live in close quarters with their family members, rather than being confined to their homes. Given all the high-tension factors, it was not surprising to hear about an increase in family disputes both professionally and anecdotally.
However, over the past few months, I have learned important lessons about how to improve my communication skills at work and home to avoid and resolve quarrels. I want to share these simple tips with you today, in the hope that they will help you.
1. Be patient and kind. Everybody is going through difficult times.
When you’re all together at home, it can be easy to become frustrated with your family members. You can make small, everyday issues like forgetting to clean your mug or not getting enough sleep, but they become much more significant when you spend more time together.
It’s important to remain calm and not allow petty grievances to cause large disputes. The household is already feeling anxious about major changes in their school or work lives, as well as being upset at not being able to see friends and worried about the future. Instead of getting into a heated argument, remember that everyone is going through difficult times and communicate calmly with your family members.
2. Instead of waiting for them to anticipate your needs, communicate with your partner in advance
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, there has been an unprecedented overlap between professional and personal environments. Married couples have had to try remote work while also taking care of their children. You probably never worked for your spouse before the quarantine. This can lead to a lot of disagreements.
Communication is crucial to avoid any possible arguments. It is important to inform your spouse in advance of any aspects of your schedule that you would appreciate their attention. You might need to be alone during a conference call. Perhaps your spouse is due to meet an important deadline and you are willing to take on additional childcare responsibilities for them to be less stressed.
You and your spouse may have been married for a long time, but you do not mind readers. Therefore, it is important to communicate with one another, rather than expect the other to anticipate their needs.
3. Do not underestimate the importance of small gestures that show you care for your loved ones
I am a strong advocate for mental wellness and mental health. The many stressors 2020 brings can lead to increased anxiety and depression. It’s important to show your loved ones and colleagues that you care even if it takes a few minutes of your day.
Ask your child or spouse how they feel, then listen attentively to what they are going through. This will allow them to open up communication with you regarding any issues at school or work, and help strengthen the bonds of trust and partnership.
Send a quick email thanking your colleagues for their hard work. It’s easy to feel unappreciated or ignored in the age of remote work. Reaffirming your appreciation for their contributions to the team is important, even if you haven’t seen them for a long time.
These lessons are still applicable to everyday life in Hong Kong, despite the relaxed social distancing regulations. Instead of getting into an argument, I am patient and understanding. My wife and I make sure we communicate well ahead of time so that we can agree on childcare and work responsibilities. I make a point to say positive affirmations to people and remind them of how much I care. I know that 2020 was a difficult year for many people. I hope these simple tips will help you to make the most of your day.