Alright, time to roll up our sleeves! Change is coming!
Imagine a balanced, loving kindergarten teacher:
In a conflict, she’d get down to the child’s level, listen to them, let them finish, maybe ask some questions, and then perhaps suggest a course of action.
She certainly wouldn’t get offended, shout, become stubborn, or outright ignore the child.
So, our goal is to tackle every challenge just like this balanced kindergarten teacher would.
Now, let’s use an example to make it practical.
Back when I was constantly running into relationship issues at work, I eventually decided to view the whole situation as a project.
I tried to observe the situation as an outsider, like a detective looking into a case.
- What’s happening here?
- How can I label what’s going on?
For instance, “I feel like the atmosphere between us hasn’t been great since Friday. We both seem to be avoiding each other and dodging eye contact.”
- Show sincere appreciation. Like so:
“You know, I feel uncomfortable with this tension between us because I genuinely value you as a colleague/love you/you’re important to me.”
- Ask questions! The other person has their point of view, and it’s crucial to understand it.
“So, what’s your take on this?”
- Listen! And do it without preparing your rebuttals in your mind. (Psst: The other person may actually have a valid point. 😳)
- The goal here is NOT to win the argument or prove the other person wrong.
The objective is to find a mutually beneficial solution. Think this step through beforehand. What would you prefer? What can you do to meet the other person halfway?
Suppose your conversation partner tells you they’re annoyed because you always set appointments without informing them. (And you were unaware of this! – Good thing you asked.)
On the other hand, you’re annoyed because they seem to take offense all the time.
“Okay, how about if I schedule appointments with a question mark initially and try to discuss them with you as soon as possible before confirming them officially? And if you see an appointment with a question mark in the calendar, you come to me and ask about it. What do you think?”
This is all hypothetical and tough to capture in an email, but I hope you grasp the concept.
And remember, no one becomes an expert overnight.
So, practice, practice, practice!
Any thoughts? Questions?
I’d love to hear back from you!
Next time, we’ll go over the 6th and final step in this series on how to successfully navigate any challenge: Helping others.
You’ve got this!