Tell Me Something I Don’t Know…. with Lady J
Today I want to talk about communicating better with fewer misunderstandings. Originally it came from an organization called Slack; it was meant for the workplace. However, I am adapting it to our current situation whether it’s sheltering in place or working from home if you are lucky enough to be able to do that. We are, as a society, using a lot more digital and virtual communication tools than we ever had. Here are 7 ways to help be sure that you are communicating what you think you are communicating in a manner you mean to be communicating. (There’s a lot of ‘communicating’ in that last sentence; seems like we are doing a lot more communicating these days being cooped up together like we are.)
1. Meet people where they are. Before you just say what you’re thinking or get upset about something that has just been said, take a moment to consider what the other person is feeling, going through or frustrated with. That could allow what you have to say to actually be heard rather than cause a knee-jerk reaction that could spiral out of control for either of you.
2. Be in charge of your words. That means you have to actually think about what you are going to say before you say it. I heard the other day that you can say 10% of what you want to say, wait for a response and then give 10% more depending on what that response was. That process will get you further in the long run and it does give you a chance to change how you are coming across. Which leads into #3.
3. Choose your words wisely. You have the ability to empower, educate and delight even while saying something you really need to get off your chest. Unfortunately, if you don’t give a little thought about what you want to say, it could well be that the same thought can alienate, offend or confuse the other person.
4. Make sense. If the subject brought up by another person doesn’t fit what you are thinking, then stick to the subject on the table for now. Bring the subject of your choice up after the other person has their time to express their feelings or even wait till another time.
5. Keep the conversation personal and in the present. Don’t assume everyone knows exactly what you are talking about. This seems to be especially true if tempers are rising. Be kind and be specific. Generalizing things leaves a lot of room for misunderstanding.
6. Give specific positive feedback wherever possible. Everyone is now feeling some pressure for one reason or another. It is really nice to hear “I really liked that way you helped your Mother with the dishes without being asked”. Say it like you mean it. Please and thank you are a thing of our past culture but it seems like it would be nice to see them come back.
7. Know when it is time to stop the conversation. Do so in a polite way and if you think more time is warranted, make a time when we can discuss this “after we’ve both had time to think it over.” One time a long time ago I heard a little prayer that helps me immensely when I am in disagreement: “If I am wrong, change my mind. If I am right, change their mind.”
Please remember to do your part in helping to stop the spread of this virus.
It is in our power to help; let’s all do it.
WORDS of WISDOM: It is Spring and time to plant. May I suggest you Plant Lettuce:
Lettuce be kind, Lettuce be patient, and Lettuce be faithful.
Lady J 2020
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