The Art of Communication: How To Bring Out The Best In People At Their Worst!
You do just fine communicating with most people most of the time. But then there are those few who know how to get to you, and you can’t stand them for it.
So who are the people you can’t stand, and what is it you can’t stand about them? My guess is that they’re the people who don’t do what you want them to do, and do what you don’t want them to do, and you don’t know what to do about them.
That’s where the art of communication becomes indispensable. Healthy communication. If you’re fed up with laziness, frustrated by bullies, disappointed in human nature and tired of losing, don’t despair. Instead, remember that you always have a choice. Four choices, actually.
The most common choice is to stay and do nothing, and that includes suffering and complaining. If you ever find yourself miserable over the behavior of another, or complaining to someone who can’t do anything about it, realize you are making the least effective choice. A better choice might be to leave, to turn around and walk away.
Not all situations are resolvable. And some are just not worth it. Cutting your losses remains a viable option when dealing with difficult behavior. But you have two other options that are far more productive, and these choices go together and constitute The Art of Communication.
First, change your attitude, and then change your behavior.
To change your attitude, and thus stop suffering, you must learn to look, think and feel differently about difficult behavior. You can stop taking it personally when you recognize that it’s not about you, even if it has your name attached.
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “You’re no one’s victim without your permission.” And when you change your own behavior, the difficult people will have to deal with you.
Don’t get me wrong. Changing your behavior won’t ‘change’ your difficult person. They’ll still be who they are and do what they do. But as surely as some people bring out your best and others your worst, you have it within you to be one of the few who can bring out the best in others at their worst.
In my next post I will arm you with some specific strategies for bringing out the best in others at their worst.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your from-the-trenches stories of bringing out the best in people at their worst.
Dr. Rick Kirschner