Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Magic of Understanding

The Magic of Understanding

We can all agree that it’s very difficult to foster productive, meaningful relationships at work, at home, or in the community without effective communication. 

By the same token, it’s nearly impossible to communicate effectively, with anyone, without some level of understanding.

OneMoreStep thought for the week: Spending time, seeking to understand…in any situation, magically transforms heated arguments into conversations, mere acquaintances into meaningful relationships, and bad days into better days

You and I both experience frustrating conversations at home and at work.  How often is the person sitting across the table from us – whether at the dinner table or at a meeting in the conference room – completely on a different page than we are? 

We receive emails or phone calls from people making their points, sharing their opinions, and often times drawing lines in the sand.  Coworkers, bosses, friends, or even the people we care about or love the most often share their opinions.  Sometimes we agree…sometimes we don’t.

What about those times when we don’t agree…when we’re frustrated with a problem, a teammate, a friend, a loved one, or a rather annoying situation?  We tend to react…get even more frustrated…even more disappointed… we lose faith in them or any possibility of ever reaching an agreement.  At least that’s the trap I find myself falling into far too often.

Too often we miss understandingsand when we do, we miss out on the very magic that understanding creates…

Misunderstandings cause arguments and hurt feelings, which lead to failed relationships.  The irony is that if we want to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us at home or at work, we can’t miss understandings

The extent to which we ask questions to learn more about why the person across the table feels the way they do, we begin to engage in fruitful conversation, which leads to understanding.

When we find it in our hearts to sympathize with them and whatever may be going on in their own life – possible heartbreak, stress, or fear – we understand their situation.  All of a sudden we begin to show them compassion rather than our frustration, and our compassion leads us to new realms of understanding.

When we meet them where they are…if we are interested in them, their thoughts, expertise, and opinions, we find that our disappointment turns into opportunity. We gain a better understanding of the situation and how we can collaborate…and reach a mutually beneficial outcome, together.

Do you have potential frustrating conversations or situations on your agenda today?  This week?  I have a few.  Let’s both give it a try…let’s seek to understand the what, how, & why behind their opinion…

I bet we will all have better days…and they will too...we'll experience the magic of understanding...

One for the road...

If I think about the people I really want to be friends with, work with, form a bond with, and most importantly reach that magical state of mutual beneficial partnership with...they're all folks that I know truly care about me.  They care about my feelings.  They're concerned less about who gets the credit and more about how to make me and others better.  They ask me questions.  They're interested more than they try to be interesting.

I want to work with those people.  Not only do I want to be on their team, I enjoy being their teammate, friend, and with some, maybe I'd even enjoy a relationship beyond friendship...perhaps a more meaningful, longer term relationship.

Wouldn't we all like to have more of those types of people around us?  A great way to have more of those people around us is to be and do all of those things ourselves.

We should:

Care - Make Others Better - Ask Questions - Be Interested

Soon those around us will too...

Have a great day.


No comments:

Post a Comment