A little more than a week ago, I promised to share with you a communication technique I heard about in Mauritius. Then I got so busy with my travels, it’s taken more than a week to fulfil that commitment. For those who reminded me, thank you!
While in Mauritius, I told you about two Chinese women I had the pleasure of meeting there. One of them, See Yin, shared a communication tool she began using in her marriage many years ago: O.S.B.D. (emotional intelligence).
O.S.B.D. is a method created by Etienne Chomé after the riots of 1999. He was summoned by the Bishop of Port Louis (capital of Mauritius) to facilitate trainings on, “Learning how to better resolve our daily conflicts.”
Finding much information on Chomé proved to be difficult and finding information on his teachings in any language other than French, proved nearly impossible.
I began with his site, communications.org, but even translated into English, it doesn’t give much insight. From what I was able to gather, Chomé streamlined the teachings of a number of well-recognized communication teachers around the world into a single communication technique.
See Yin, who speaks fluent French, explained how this book and Chomé’s teachings helped her marriage. “The method is easy: Observation, Feelings, Needs, Demands,” See Yin shares. It is referred to as the OSBD method because the acronym is in French: Observation (observation), Sentiments (feelings), Besoins (needs), Demandes (demands). With the exception of one word in this acronym, I just realized, I can read French! Well, at least I can read their words adopted into the English language.
When See Yin’s husband is frustrated or upset, she uses the following method. First, observe the situation as it is, void of emotion. Second, notice his feelings by listening; and truly listening, not thinking of her response or defense while he’s speaking. Third, she must identify his needs. And fourth, what is he demanding, or more clearly understood, what is he asking be done differently in the future.
See Yin explains a scenario of how this looks in real life. “O [observation]: I arrive at 11pm. S [sentiments, or in English, feelings]: “Are you upset?” she asks. And then openly listens to his response. B [besoins, or in English, needs]: “Is it because you want us to spend more time together?” she continues. D [demandes, or in English, demands]: “Would you like me to come back at 9pm instead?”
Because most people aren’t accustomed to speaking (or listening) in this manner, “it may sound unnatural at first,” she says, “but it does help to have a better relationship when we do not use words that sound like we are attacking the other person and when we understand the reason why we are so upset, we can stop being upset.”
Question: Is there a specific technique or tool you and your husband have used to assist in having better communication?
Join me tomorrow as I share tips from the Mauritius couple I traveled halfway around the world to interview. After more than 50 years of marriage, they still live by their own secrets to a happy marriage.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
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