What's beneath the superficial layers we show the world?
Getting to the heart of this question may answer many quandaries about how to get along with others. Not only get along with others but appreciate them.
We spend a lot of our time and energy working. And though most of us are part of a team, and in service industries with an obligation to customer satisfaction, we don't often think about affect and authenticity.
How often do we lament about working with colleagues and the consumers we depend on to stay in business? How might we be sabotaging ourselves by charging others with our happiness?
How might connection shift our mindset and outlook?
When someone is complaining that they don't have enough, what's your internal chatter? Is it that it's not your problem? Or that they always complain? Perhaps you feel uncomfortable and wish they wouldn't burden you? How are you evaluating the other at that moment and how do you respond? And are either of you sharing beneath the perfunctory, or getting your needs met?
What would happen if you acknowledged their concern and asked them to tell you one golden nugget related to the topic? For instance; a colleague is droning on about their supervisor always rejecting their ideas. What if you said you could hear the frustration in their voice and are wondering what they value most about creating?
In that response, you've validated that you heard them and their feelings, then offered them an opportunity to talk about something enjoyable. A subtle shift in noting the positive while feeling heard is often disarming and provides an opportunity to build connection and trust. These two qualities aren't optional in fostering strong teams and thriving businesses; they're vital.
Peeling away a bit of the outer layer that gives the illusion of safety strengthens relationships. Noticing others and feeling seen by others cultivates unity. Unity and connection beget loyalty and morale.
The next time someone is airing their frustrations with you, take your best guess at their feelings and shift their attention to the silver lining — You'll both welcome the ethereal shift in energy.
We humans like fairness. And, we like to know we're the best and that we're right.
Of course if we're the best and right, then by default everyone else must be less than the best and wrong.
What would happen if we each looked at all the ways we cajole to appear right, the best, and to get our fair share?
How many ways do you appraise and judge others? Have you learned how to observe people and things without evaluating them?
What happens when you discover others have judged you? If you're like most people, you turn the tables on their flaws. After all, you're just balancing the score, which is only fair, right?! And, it's an instant self-esteem booster. It's also an attempt to affirm (to oneself and others) that the other is amiss.
When you realize that you are not blameless or faultless (nor do you get to be the martyr), compassion for the plight of others appears. If someone gives you the stink-eye, interrupt your assumptions and contemplate the lessons available to you.
The next time you find yourself sharing your evaluations of others, pause and examine your intentions. Get curious about the benefits you're reaping while appraising others. The picture isn't pretty, yet the reward that arrives with personal responsibility is tranquility.
Learn to be authentic with yourself. Learn to self-reflect. And learn to take responsibility. Only then can you be authentic with others.
If you do or say something that compels you to tell others who find out not to tell anyone else, perhaps it's time to change what you're saying and doing.
If you'd be ashamed or embarrassed to have some people find out what you're up to, what's your intention in doing it at all?
When you hurt others with your words or actions and then blame, rationalize, project, justify, or deny the hurt you've caused, what might happen if you took responsibility?
If it's too ugly to look in the mirror and face your intentions, you've just learned something valuable about yourself.
Keep looking. Then take responsibility and make changes.
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian