Have you taken your Tonic?
Conversation Peace includes numerous doses of “Tongue Tonic.” A tonic is a solution that maintains, increases, or restores the health of the system or organ. The Tongue Tonics explored in this study contain practical concepts and skills to help increase or restore the health of your speech.
[ton•ic] ton´ik, [Gr. tonikos]
a solution that maintains, increases, or restores the health of the system or organ
In order for the tonic to be effective, you’ll need to take a dose on a regular basis. You’ll need to practise the new communication skills you’re learning.
Here are some suggestions to help you:
- Read: When you see the Tongue Tonic symbol, don’t skip over the section. Read it carefully and think about the meaning. You may benefit by reading it several times.
- Consider: Each Tongue Tonic has practical implications for improving your interpersonal communication. Some Tonics provide insight into the communication process, while others outline communication techniques. For each Tongue Tonic, ask yourself the following questions (and jot down the answers in the margin):
- “How am I doing in this area of communication?”
- “In what type of situations can I apply this Tongue Tonic?”
- “How can this help me become a better communicator?”
- Practise: Practise the communication techniques by rrehearsing and simulating how you might use them in various situations. Try to come up with your own examples of what you might say. Say the words out loud so you can hear how they sound. (Are the words peaceable and constructive? Does your voice sound calm? Does your vocal tone go down at the end of a question?) If you want to use the techniques to address a specific situation with someone in your life, rehearse what you will say ahead of time. The more you practise, the better you will get at the communication skill. So practise, practise, practise!
- Implement: Identify one or two communication skills and focus on implementing them. Don’t attempt to change everything about your communication habits all at once. Just focus on implementing one small change at a time.
- Get Feedback: Ask your family and friends for feedback about the way you communicate. (For example, you might ask: “Do I sound combative?” or “What did that sound like to you?”) Let them know that you are working on being a better communicator. Role-play and practise communication skills and techniques with them. Getting feedback and working on your communication skills in ordinary situations is much easier than in situations that are emotionally charged or when you are in the heat of battle.
A fitness consultant once told me that it takes 21 days of consistency to replace an old habit with a new one. Over the years, speech habits become deeply ingrained. To overcome negative patterns, intentional, consistent effort is required.
The more effort you put in to learning and practising the Conversation Peace Tongue Tonics, the more positive results you’ll see in your communication and relationships.