Interpersonal effectiveness skills can give you the tools you need to communicate better with others. While there are several skills that prioritize different objectives, one of these skills, DEARMAN, focuses on helping you get what you want from an interaction. The DEARMAN skill can be used for a variety of situations, from simple problems, like wanting to change where you’re meeting a friend for coffee or turning down an invitation to hang out, to complex issues, like communicating to someone that you need space or there are issues in your relationship.

Describe the situation – stick to the facts!
Express your feelings and opinions about the situation. Use phrases like “I want” and “I don’t want” instead of “You should” or “I can’t”.
Assert yourself by clearly asking what you want or saying “No” clearly. Be clear – other people can’t read your mind!
Reinforce or reward the person ahead of time by explaining the positives of doing what you want.
be Mindful – don’t get distracted and focus on your objective.
Appear confident by eye contact and a confident tone of voice.
Negotiate – be willing to give a little to reach a compromise that works, or ask for alternative solutions!

While DEARMAN focuses on what you want out of a situation, over the next few weeks, we’ll cover other interpersonal effectiveness skills that have different objectives. Used in combination, you can better your communication with others and you’ll find more success in getting what you desire!

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