GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski
When times are stressful, it’s more difficult to be effective and skillful in our interactions with others. Here are some thoughts that could help.
Decide how you want to respond, and then respond accordingly.
Before you respond, take a breath. Your response will be better.
If you find yourself responding before giving yourself permission, stop your response and come clean.
Better responses from you make for even better responses from others.
If you interrupt someone in the middle of their sentence so you can make your point, you made a different point.
If you find yourself preparing your response while listening to someone, that’s not listening.
If you recognize you’re not listening, now there are at least two people who know the truth.
When there are no words coming from your mouth, that doesn’t constitute listening.
The strongest deterrent to listening is talking.
If you disagree with one element of a person’s position, you can, at the same time, agree with other elements of their position. That’s how agreement works.
If you start with agreement, even the smallest bit, disagreement softens.
Before you can disagree, it’s important to listen and understand. And it’s the same with agreement.
It’s easy to agree if that’s what you want to accomplish. And it’s the same for disagreement.
If you want to move toward agreement, start with understanding.
If you want to demonstrate understanding, start with listening.
If you want to demonstrate good listening, start with kindness.
Here are three mantras I find helpful:
- Talk less to listen more.
- Before you respond, take a breath.
- Kindness before agreement.
Image credit: Wikimedia
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