Day 2 of our Leading Yourself and Leading Others experience.
One of the biggest concepts to appreciate when you’re learning to improve your communication skills is this:
“If you care about the relationship, use your skills. If you don’t care about the relationship, take the gloves off and have a go.”
What does that mean?
It means that we have a choice.
We are always choosing whether to use our communication skills or not.
Why would we care about the relationship?
- The person you’re in relationship with is important to you
- The relationship is important to you and worth fighting for
- Another relationship is important to the person that’s important to you, eg. An inlaw or friend
- Harmony is important to someone you care about, eg. your mum or dad or grandparents
- You have to work with the person
- It’s important to your boss and you care about your relationship with your boss.
Years ago, Ross came home from work and told me about a conversation he’d had with a colleague.
I was initially horrified to hear what Ross said to the colleague until I thought about it and processed it and then realised it was a valid point.
Having what we refer to these days as a “robust conversation”, in other words a fight, Ross told his colleague, “I have to work with you, I don’t have to like you”. His colleague didn’t like hearing that because he wanted Ross to like him.
How about you? Is it important to you to be liked?
For me, reminding myself of the choice I have when it comes to relationships, I usually end up choosing to use my skills.
Those skills include:
- Active listening to what the other has to say. It doesn’t mean you agree with what they are saying, it means you demonstrate that you heard and understood their message.
- Understanding if the issue is a conflict of needs or a values collision. Depending on the answer, we use different skills.
- Engaging my empathy and following Steven Covey, “seek first to understand before seeking to be understood”.
There are many many more skills and concepts we can choose to use and if you’re interested to know more, you’re welcome to join our Practical Leadership online membership or register for one of our Leading Yourself and Leading Others experiences.
For today though, your mission is to look at all the relationships you are in and decide if you care about the relationship and why or why not.
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