Thank God It's Monday®! Blog

The #1 Way to Show You Care…

 

The great philosopher Homer Simpson says: “Just because I don’t care, doesn’t mean I’m not listening.”

Okay, there you have it. You can always quote some good stuff from Homer.  He’s pretty brilliant.

But are you showing that you’re listening to show that you care?

Look, listening is a hard thing to do.

Most of us are waiting our turn to talk instead of actually listening to hear what is being said.

Listening is not just with our ears, but with our hearts because we need to understand why are they saying that? What are their motivations? Gosh, it seems like this person is hurting. What is the concern here? How do we move through this particular piece?

As we’re thinking about listening, think about how you’re being a listener in your life.

How are you listening to your supervisor? Your spouse? Your children? Your colleagues? Your clientele? How are you hearing what’s really underneath the words?

Listening is hard. And listen, nobody’s perfect. I’m sure not. It is something that when we choose to get better at it, we do get better at it.

So don’t take advice from Homer Simpson. Instead, decide to make sure that you are listening and that you care.

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The Key to Conflict Re-SOLUTION…

 

Anyone who thinks there aren’t two sides to a conflict probably isn’t in one. Can you relate?

The time that something is going wrong is also about the time that most people dig those heels right in to make the case that they aren’t wrong.

What is it with whoever said there was something wrong with being wrong? We’re wrong all the time.

Being wrong is what we do. We’re humans. We can’t possibly be right all the time.

Instead, why don’t we just say, “Oh, that’s interesting. Tell me more about that. I want to understand. How can we work this out together? Sounds like we disagree on this? I wonder what the common ground is? Tell me what do you think we could do to find a common ground to move ahead on this?”

The fine art of the dialogue to work through a complex situation is a skill that we need to figure out as we put our big boy and big girl pants on in life.

We learned our conflict resolution skills, sadly, in about the fourth grade… and most of us have really never gotten more development since that time.

It’s not our fault. But, now it’s time to figure this out. Because we live in a conflict-ridden world.

Work is filled with conflict. Life is filled with conflict.

Learning the skills of conflict, of staying calm, of asking questions.

Don’t assume that you’re right. Be curious about the other side. And bring your best, most respectful self forth.

That takes you through the complexity of conflict so that you always understand the relationship is always more important than being right.

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When to Be More Like Your Cat than Your Dog…

 

Can’t seem to operate under the principle that there’s no problem asking a question, huh?

Diane Sawyer says, “a criticism is just a really bad way of making a request, so why not just make the request.” 

It’s so easy to go into a victim mentality and build a case against something when instead you could be asking for someone to do something about it.

We all tend to go into victimhood occasionally because we get something from it.

Whenever we’re a victim and don’t get what we want, we get to blame somebody. Then, everybody feels sorry for us, and they say “Oh, you poor thing!” and quite frankly, if we’re really truthful, there’s a need inside of us that is met by that. But it isn’t our healthiest self.

We’re far better off making a request for what we want.

Let’s face it, the world goes a lot faster when people just say “can you give that to me, we need to move over here right now, I need you to change this report.”

Simply make the request as opposed to saying “I don’t like the report and he never moves over where he needs to be.”

You can see the negative energy that comes along with a negative request as Diane Sawyer calls it. So, why not be more like your cat rather than your dog and assume that you can ask for things that you might get?

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The Fine Art of Dialogue

 

Leslie Charles said, “Of course I’m yelling! I’m wrong!”

You have to love the honesty there. But don’t you even see that as being true for a lot of people?

When they start yelling and needing to be right, it’s usually because they haven’t taken in the other side of the story into consideration. Oftentimes, it’s easy in this world to forget the fine art of dialogue.

I have had a dear friend for the last 20 years, and one of the things I love about him is he’s a brilliant, brilliant man at the very top of his profession. Anytime you bring up any subject at all, he’s intrigued.

No matter how much information he already has, he’s always open to listening to another perspective. And he says: “Hmm, there are always more sides to the story” and “I’m curious.”

What if the whole world operated like this? This is the world where we’ve forgotten how to have a dialogue. Where we read the paper, and just go with some dogma… not even curious about another side.

Wouldn’t the world be better if we all just had open hearts to learn from each other and say: “Hmm, that’s interesting, tell me more” as opposed to waiting for them to stop talking so you can teach them why they’re wrong.

I think there are a lot of opportunities to be open to being wrong. Be inquisitive. And be okay with that.

Why not? And here’s the answer anyway… we’re always wrong about everything anyway, there will always be new information that proves everything we know to be true to be wrong.

So get over yourself. It’s time to open up to dialogue.

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Play Tall, Not Small

 

Collette says: “The better we feel about ourselves, the fewer times we have to knock someone down  to feel tall.” 

When we say something negative about another person, it’s important for us to ask ourselves, where does that come from?

We’ve all done it before. When we do it, it usually doesn’t help the situation, and it certainly doesn’t help the person.

This usually comes from someone who doesn’t feel good about themselves.

When we’re hurting, we want to create the impression that we’re above others and that we are doing things right, and that they aren’t. That’s not the best because as soon as we say something negative about someone else, about what they’re not doing, or how they’re doing right in front of others, we’re only making the situation worse.

So today, get into action by saying only good things about others. And if something’s wrong and not okay, it doesn’t mean that we ignore it and don’t deal with it but that we’re not talking down to the person.

Instead, we’re talking about what’s wrong with a process, what’s wrong with the outcome, as opposed to knocking down a human.

Be conscious of this because those words can be hurtful. And as you knock somebody else down, sometimes they stay down. And that’s going to be hard to live with.

Bring people’s spirits up instead, by only saying positive things about people behind their back. And if it’s a management thing where you have to talk about what isn’t done, that’s different.

Bring those challenges to managers with a request for a change, not a complaint.

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