Dialectical Behavioral Therapy/Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills/Objective Effectiveness

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Guidelines for Objectives Effectiveness: Getting What You Want

A way to remember these skills is the term “DEARMAN”



DESCRIBE

EXPRESS

ASSERT

REINFORCE


(stay) MINDFUL

APPEAR CONFIDENT

NEGOTIATE

Describe Describe the current SITUATION (if necessary). Stick to the facts.

Tell the person exactly to what you are reacting.

Express Express your FEELINGS and OPINIONS about the situation.

Assume that your feelings and opinions are not self-evident.

Give a brief rationale. Use phrases such as “I feel”, “I believe”, instead of “I need,” “you should,” or “I can’t.”

Assert Ask for exactly what you want. Say no clearly.

Assume that others will not do what you want unless you specifically ask.

Make your request clear and understandable. Others expect you to ask directly for what you want.

Reinforce Tell the person the benefits of getting what you want or need.

Help the person feel good ahead of time for doing or accepting what you want.

Explain the advantage of your request. Explain the consequences of attaining your objective. Tell him or her (if necessary) the negative effects of not getting it.

Reward him or her afterwards with a smile and thanks.



(stay) Mindful Keep you focus ON YOUR OBJECTIVES and what works. Practice non-judgmentally. Avoid being judgmental.

Maintain your position. Focus on your objective and return to it if distracted.

“Broken Record” Calmly and firmly repeat a short, clear statement (asking, saying no, or expressing your opinion) over and over until the other person gets the message.

Ignore If another person attacks, threatens, or tries to change the subject ignore the threats, comments, or attempts to divert you. Don’t respond to attacks. Ignore distractions. Just keep making your point.

Appear Confident Appear EFFECTIVE and competent.

Use a confident tone of voice and physical manner; make and hold eye contact. No stammering, whispering, staring at the floor, retreating, saying “I’m not sure,” etc.

Negotiate Be willing to GIVE to GET.

Offer and request alternative solutions to the problem. Reduce your request. Maintain no, but offer to do something else or to solve the problem another way.

Focus on what will work. Stay away from “fair”, “unfair”, “right”, and “wrong”.

Turn the tables Turn the problem over to the other person.

Ask for alternative solutions: “What do you think we should do?” “I’m not able to say yes, and you seem to really want me to. What can we do here?” “How can we solve this problem?”


Asking for What I Want or Refusing a Request: “DEAR MAN”

Describe the troublesome situation. Tell the person exactly what you are reacting to. Stick to the facts. No judgmental statements. Be objective.



Express your feelings and opinions about the situation. Use “I” statements which show you take responsibility for your opinions and feelings.



Assert yourself by asking for what you want or saying no clearly. Assume that others cannot read your mind or know what you want unless you tell them. Don’t expect others to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for what you want.



Reinforce the advantage of your request. Tell the person the positive effects of getting what you want or need. Help the person feel good ahead of time for doing what you want. Reward him or her afterwards with a smile and thanks.



Mindfully keep your focus on your objectives. Maintain your position.

Appear Confidant Use a confidant tone of voice; make eye contact. Relax your body. Stammering, whispering, staring at the floor, or saying “I’m not sure” undercut your message. Focus on the objective, not the fear.

Negotiate by being willing to give to get. Offer and ask for alternative solutions to the problem. What am I willing to “settle for” or “give up” in order to achieve what I want in the situation?