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Living the dream is published on the 27th of every month by Tania Basheer of Blue Sky Coaching.
by Tania Basheer, Publisher

10 Tips for Talking and Listening to Each Other

Vol 4, Issue 2
27 February 2008

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Quote of the month

'Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticise me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you.'

- William Arthur 

Next month's feature:

10 Tips to Free Up More of Your Time

In this issue:


Welcome to Living the dream, Blue Sky Coaching's monthly e-zine, written to inform, inspire and invite you to take action and start living your dream.

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Hi! from Tania

Hi there,

Did you have a happy Valentine's Day? Ours was a definite improvement on last year's, which we spent at the doctor's surgery with Jake.

This time, Rick and I actually got to enjoy a tranquil dinner for two at a French restaurant I've always wanted to go to. 

However, as for my mum's shed, it's continuing to haunt me. I can't believe that replacing an existing shed with a new one could take over 4 months to do. The sale of my mum's house settles this Friday, and the new shed's still not finished! The roller door is being fitted today, I truly hope, and electrical wiring completed tomorrow. What a nightmare! I can't wait for it to all be finished.

I'm so looking forward to this weekend! Rick's turning 40 on Saturday, so fingers crossed, we'll have more than one reason to celebrate.

Warm wishes,


Tania Basheer - Publisher
Living the dream e-zine

Feature: 10 Tips for Talking and Listening to Each Other

Feature: 10 Tips for Talking and Listening to Each Other

Talking to your partner each day is an essential ingredient in a happy, long-lasting relationship.

Actively listening to your partner and being interested in what they have to say, is even more important.

Like most relationship skills, listening and talking to each other properly requires some effort.

Here are ten good communication skills worth practising until they become natural for you. Some are specifically for men (M), some for women (W) and most are for both (B):

  • Listen actively (B): A good listener isn't someone who just sits there quietly letting you talk. It's someone who actively listens to you. Their body language will show you if they're genuinely interested. They''ll lean forward, eager to hear what you're about to say. If you're sharing something funny with them, they'll laugh with you. If you're worried, they'll looked concerned as well. They'll acknowledge what you're saying every few sentences with an 'uh-huh' and comment on the subject. When you've finished the conversation, you'll feel as though they've heard every word you said and tried to experience it with you.
  • Don't allow your emotions to stop you from listening (B): When you're having a discussion with someone and something they've said has triggered an emotional response in you - such as anger, shock or hurt - don't get stuck there and tune out of the discussion. If you need to, ask them to stop what they're saying, so you can clear the air, and then continue your discussion. Issues seldom get resolved between two angry people if one of them shuts down and walks away or refuses to listen and continue the discussion
  • Take turns (B): Ensure that you each have an equal opportunity to speak without interruption. If that's not occurring naturally, try using a 'talking stick'. A 'talking stick' can be any object readily at hand, from a wooden spoon at home to a ruler in the workplace. Give the person who's speaking the 'talking stick' and tell them they have your undivided attention, to speak without any interruptions from you, for the next 5 minutes. Then swap over and ask them to do the same for you. To ensure that you've each understood the other's point of view, mirror back what they've just said to you in your own words.
  • Don't blame or accuse! Use 'I' statements instead, to convey your feelings and the impact on you of the other person's behaviour (B): Instead of saying, 'You're a __' or 'You made me feel __', say, 'I felt __ when you behaved in that way.' 'I' statements were introduced by Dr Thomas Gordon in the late 1970s as an assertive communication skill. 'I' statements help us to express our point of view calmly, without blaming the other person or treading on their toes, as opposed to a command, threat or complaint. They also help us communicate in a way that won't make the other person defensive.
  • Be specific (B): If you want someone to know you really care about them, be specific in your communications with them. Ask them specific questions and acknowledge or wish them well with specific things you know are coming up for them. For example, instead of just asking your partner, 'How was your day?' each day, ask them 'How did your meeting with the shed guy go today?' or, instead of the stock-standard 'Have a good day!' say to your child, 'Have a good time at your friend's party this afternoon!'
  • Be patient (M): When listening to a woman speak, accept that often, women tell long stories, unlike men who, generally, just summarise. Accept she'll tell the whole story. Don't say 'Can you get to the point?'
  • Don't jump in with the solution (M): When a woman is talking to you about a dilemma, don't assume she's asking you for an answer and jump in with one. She might just want to talk about her dilemma with you. If you're not sure what's expected of you, then ask her 'Are you wanting my advice or are you just talking this through?'
  • Don't rush him (W): When raising an emotional issue with a man, give him time to think about what he feels before expecting him to give you a response. Not all men find it easy to express their emotions. Give him an opportunity to search for the right words to explain what he feels, as chances are, he might not have previously thought about the issue at all.
  • Don't interpret silence as disinterest (W): If you don't receive an immediate response to what you've just said, don't assume that means he's not interested. He might just be thinking it through before responding. This is one of the main differences between how men and women communicate: women tend to think out loud, men tend to work things through in their heads.
  • Work out how you communicate best and work with your strengths (B): Do you find it easier to explain yourself verbally or to write things down? If you're about to tackle an issue with someone that could potentially lead to an argument, consider writing down everything you'd like to say down and handing them a letter, then discussing what's written. This way, you can state, clearly and specifically, all the points you'd like to get across. What's the perfect position to talk with your partner intimately? It's sitting face to face, about five feet away from each other. Apparently, women are uncomfortable discussing personal matters from any further away and men don't like it when women are any closer.

For more business, executive or life coaching tips and strategies to help you achieve your goals and create and live the life you've always wanted, visit: or to find out more about the many ways you can work with me in 2008, go,call me at (08) 8338 3134 or feel free to email me on

2008 Intentional Resolutions - Coaching Group Starts Next Week

Could you use some added inspiration in your life right now?

How about a place, created just for you, to go to for an hour a fortnight for the next three months, where you can focus, without distraction, entirely on you, and find all the resources you'll need to ensure your goals and dreams finally come to life?

Next Wednesday evening, 5 March, I'll be starting my 2008 Intentional Resolutions group coaching program, to help a small group of clients (maximum of 8) virtually effortlessly and, best of all, enjoyably, reach their short-term goals and dreams. 

My coaching clients usually pay between $250 and $950 a month to work with me, so if you thought you might not be able to comfortably afford to invest in working with me personally, but have some important short-term business, career, health, relationship, spiritual, family, financial or any other life goals that you'd like to achieve right now, then joining my group coaching series might be just the thing for you!

This group is almost full. I have 5 people registered and only 3 places now available if you'd like to join me. And, until midnight tonight, you still CAN for just $247!

For full program details and to register your place now, go to:  

What will you get for your investment?

  • You'll get six, one-hour, group coaching sessions with me, based on specific themes to help you get going, keep moving and achieve your goals.
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  • You'll get the opportunity to receive some one-to-one coaching with me.

And, because I'd like you to have everything that I can possibly provide you with to help you succeed, I'm also including 2 *special* BONUS gifts with this program:

Bonus Gift 1: A copy of the book Coach yourself into action: how to get what you want with 7 simple strategies by Mary Lou Johns


Bonus Gift 2: A beautiful Soul Journal from the Intrinsic range, with an inspirational quote by Adele Basheer on the front cover, for you to use in our coaching series.

On registration, you'll also be provided with a $20 phone card to cover the cost of our coaching calls (or you can, of course, use Skype.) That's right! You don't even need to leave home to be part of this group. Just dial in from either home or work, or wherever you might be at 8 pm (Adelaide CST), for each of your 6 coaching calls.

Are you interested? Then BE QUICK and register your seat TODAY before the group is full at: 

I'll only be offering this course once this year, so if you're interested, register NOW!

This group is strictly limited to a maximum size of 8 participants to ensure everyone receives maximum benefit from this program.

I hope you'll join me! I'd love to 'see' you on these calls.

Summer Special Competition - Winner Drawn This Friday!

Summer Special Competition - Winner Drawn This Friday!

Enter now! This competition will be drawn on Friday 29 February 2008.

Simply click on the competition image to enter for your chance to WIN Finding your passion, a four-CD live lecture series by Cheryl Richardson PLUS a life coaching session with me, valued at over $150!

Christmas Competition Winner: G. Amphlett 

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Visit to learn E.F.T. at home with one of my Energy Tapping Workshop packages. Or, call me on (08) 8338 3134 or 0411 471 941 to place your order or to arrange a one-to-one E.F.T. session with me, in person or by telephone.

p.s. As a subscriber to Living the dream e-zine, you can receive any one of my E.F.T. packages free of postage charges by entering 'ezine' in the promotional code field when ordering at:

Next Month: 10 Tips to Free Up More of Your Time

Would you like to be able to free up an extra 10 hours a week just for you?

Next month, we'll look at 10 time management skills you need to master to enable you to set strong boundaries and free up more of your time.

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Don’t Miss This Attracting and Retaining Talent Master-class in Adelaide

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14 March 2008, 9 am – 5 pm at EDC, Port Rd, Hindmarsh SA

Facilitated by Bridget Hogg BSc. MSc. Principal Consultant, HR Development at Work, Attraction, Recruitment and Retention Group Convenor (AHRI) and Editor of Dinkum Oil (Adelaide’s free attraction and retention newsletter). 

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Reading this ad? Then why not place yours here. Do you have a product, service or special offer that you'd like to let hundreds of entrepreneurs, SOHO business owners, busy professionals and business executives know about? To find out more about advertising in this e-zine and to reserve your spot for next month, e-mail Tania your details today at and include 'e-zine ad' in the subject line.

Advertising Disclaimer: Blue Sky Coaching does not endorse or represent the accuracy or reliability of any of the advertisements included above or the quality of goods, services or information obtained by you in connection with engaging the services of or purchasing goods from the above suppliers.

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