Thursday, March 28, 2013

Context Is King

Context is King
We get upset.  We get confused.  We’re often disappointed.  We are frustrated too frequently.
By the same token, we upset people, confuse people, disappoint people, and whether we realize it or not…chances are pretty solid that we also frustrate the people in our lives at work and at home. 
(People that know me will tell you that I've managed to become a professional at all of the above...however, I'm working on it...)
Too often we don’t know where they’re coming from on certain topics.  Maybe they don’t really know where our sudden burst of conviction and passion is coming from on those very same topics.  We AND They…far too often, just don’t know WHY
OneMoreStep Thought: Tell ‘em why!  Give people the why’s.  Give people the context, the reason, the back story, the challenges…give them the CONTEXT of the situation.  The real OneMoreStep lies in not only giving the context, but ASKING FOR the context. 
It’s easy to preach, pontificate, and dictate our thoughts and our convictions.  That’s what everyone usually does; which is what usually turns off the person on the other end of the phone or the person in the other department or the person that has a complete opposite view.  Relationships get nowhere, fast, as a result.
On the other hand, when we pause, take a deep breath, and ask for more context, and ask for the why’s; if and when we not only ask, but listen to them…that’s when we begin to understand.  That’s when they begin to feel more comfortable with us; and it’s that comfort that leads to TRUST, and the trust, is what leads to thriving, productive RELATIONSHIPS.
Now…we’re partnering.  Now…we’re a team.  Now…we’re enjoying the conversation rather than avoiding it.
The challenge is usually rooted in the inability to communicate effectively, and the missing link, more often than not…is CONTEXT.
Context is King.  Provide it and Ask for it.
Have a great day.

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