Dave Kashen with an excellent post on how to communicate. Here is a small excerpt:
"Too often, when we communicate, debate and/or give feedback, we ‘Cross the Net’ and state our interpretations and guesses of what the other person is thinking, intending and feeling as if they’re facts.Here’s an example. You notice that a team member who used to come in at 9:00am and leave at 8:00pm has started coming in at 10:00am and leaving by 7:00pm. You say something like: “You’re not as engaged in your work as you used to be.” What is their most likely reaction?
Their reaction will probably begin with negating your claim as false (“yes, I am still engaged in my work”) and end in an argument over whether they are more or less engaged than they used to be. They’ll likely come up with examples that demonstrate how engaged they are, while you present counter-examples of your own. The reason for this downward spiral is that you crossed over onto their side of the net by claiming that you know what they’re feeling and intending. All you actually know for sure is that the time they come in and leave has changed; your idea that their level of engagement has changed is merely your own interpretation of that fact."