How To Communicate;
It is advisable to meet with all your co-tenants as early as possible once you have all arrived, everyone is still excited and keen and nobody has had a chance to fall out. This makes it easier to discuss rotas for cleaning, how to manage noise, how to share communal areas.
In larger developments your Housing Management Officer will arrange ‘Kitchen Meetings’ at the start of your tenancy, to help you to set up rotas and discuss some ground rules.
When people live together it is inevitable that issues will arise from time to time, so we would always suggest that you try to deal with issues yourself in the first instance. Try to talk calmly to those involved, before you become angry and distressed; it is important to be assertive and clear about what you want to say. When you want to discuss something important remember the key points below:
Is it the right person?
Is it the right time?
Is it the right place?
Do you have all the facts?
More information about communicating in a positive way can be found in the Tenancy Support Guide.
Compromise means nobody wins but most importantly nobody loses.
When we communicate with others face to face we take on a whole raft of information in seconds, including facial expression, tone of voice, body language, eye contact and gestures. These are all non-verbal clues as to what the other person is thinking, feeling, meaning and intending when they communicate. Does your phone give you all that information?
No it does not!
Intent: Without all the non-verbal clues we can sometimes struggle to understand the meaning behind the simplest of messages. We can also very easily misunderstand the intent behind messages, which can clearly cause a whole raft of issues which can quickly escalate into major fall outs.
Toxicity: Once there has been a misunderstanding it is difficult to calm situations down over social media. It is very easy to be brave behind a keyboard and people can say things they would not say directly, and that are difficult to take back. Other people in groups get involved and what had been perhaps a simple request to take the rubbish out can become a serious inter tenant dispute with everyone having their say, not always politely, whilst the real and very simple issue of unemptied bins does not get resolved.
Trolling: This is the deliberate provocation of an individual by posting inflammatory, insulting or distressing messages via the internet. The aim is to provoke an emotional response, cause distress or disruption to others and generate discord.
This is very close to bullying and can have serious, detrimental implications for a person’s mental health and wellbeing.
Remember: Try to avoid using social media to resolve disputes, remind people of their cleaning duties or make comments regarding others. Social media is great, but is easily misinterpreted or misunderstood and can cause issues of itself.
Don’t post hurtful, malicious or personal comments on social media, e.g. FB. These are public forums and you may find that your institution has clear and robust policies regarding Bullying & Harassment that include the use of social media.
For more information please have a look through the Tenancy Support Guide.