Carl Roger’s Rule
One Communication to Rule to Help Us Get Along
Q. How do you get opposing forces to be able to talk to each other, despite their conflicting opinions and diverse perspectives?
A. You get them to agree to one thing, a communications rule by Carl Rogers.
It creates an environment that forces hearing and listening. It allows the opposing voices to vent while feeling confident that they will be heard. It forces empathy and takes the wind out of each other’s sails. Plus, it helps to reconcile what was said with what was meant.
Who is Carl Rogers?
“Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.
For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology by the APA in 1972. Towards the end of his life he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with national intergroup conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland. Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century and second, among clinicians, only to Sigmund Freud.”
His rule is referred to as the Carl Roger’s Rule.
The rule states, that to minimize contentious communications, “Each person can speak up for himself only after he has first restated the ideas and feelings of the previous speaker accurately, and to that speaker’s satisfaction.”
Basically, the rule asks how does each person feel about the other person’s ideas, and how does each person think the other person feels about his ideas. Remember, until the other party feels understood, it’s not your turn to speak.
Flip a coin to see who goes first.
The rule works whether we’re talking about a fight between a husband and wife, a boss and employee, partners in business, a democrat and a republican, or a real-estate broker and client.
The rule is over 50 years old but not likely to be applied if not learned and remembered. As Will Rogers said, “You don’t know anything unless you’ve learned it and you haven’t learned it unless you remember it.”
Why not play by the rule. You’ll be amazed at its effectiveness.