Effective communication starts with stop. Stop reacting.
Reacting is our friend when we're driving our car. We want to stop before we run in to something. No thinking needed. Just slow down.
However, reacting does not work for us when we want to communicate.
In communication we want to respond, which does require thinking, engaging our intelligence, and choosing an appropriate response.
We need to "put in the clutch" to disengage from our mental engine reaction. We need to pause and choose, "Where do I want to go? Where do I want to steer our communication and drive our relationship? Where do I want us to wind up?"
We need a new reaction designed to help us move from reacting to responding.
That new reaction is, "Yes, and. "
For example, "Yes, and tell me more."
Looking closely, we can understand that our "Yes" gets us out of the mental reaction "hole" and our "And" provides us with the pause we need to reflect and choose a gear shift that will get us where we want to go.
"And" places our hands back on the steering wheel. Anything after we say after our "And" is the future, our future - because we said so.
No magic wands or Phoenix feathers required.
"Yes, and..." and away we go.