I found advice for clients I wrote 22 years ago (!!) and realized that they were words to live by that apply today– and will probably apply as long as there are people on this earth who need to interact.
Agree on your objectives.
This is true whether it’s a friendship, a fun vacation, a craft or any kind of meeting. Or even a fitness program. What do you want to achieve?
Form strong relationships.
We aren’t islands, although I must admit to acting like one sometimes. But we’re not. Relationships are important. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult. Still, find those strong relationships if you can. You don’t need a lot of them, but you do need some.
Communicate clearly in language anyone can understand.
Texting does not make this easy. Have you noticed more misunderstandings with the lack of context for texts or even emails? I think we need to go out of our way to make sure that our tone is understood. Because words on a page can seem snarky, even when they aren’t.
Listen to and understand concerns.
This takes us out of ourselves and into the head of another person, and believe me, it ain’t easy. I’ll bet that more relationships would go more smoothly if only we all listened. And tried to relate. Empathize.
Well, dangerous ground. Most people do not want to hear the negatives about themselves. But if we can find a way to talk about how something makes us feel–not how the PERSON made us feel, but the communication–it is a bit easier to find common ground.
Be responsive. And prompt with a response!
Respond to emails, texts and phones. It’s the only polite thing to do. If you don’t? It’s discourteous. Some things never change and this is one of them.
Actually, be prompt, period.
When you are not prompt, you are telling the other person that your time is more important than theirs. That’s really the bottom line, no matter how many reasons (excuses) you might have.
Be flexible–it’s the only way to develop creative solutions.
If we hold to the idea that our one way is the only way, we may never find the very best answer to a problem.
Make promises only if you can deliver, then…keep them.
Don’t bullshit. OMG I know people who BS constantly. I see right through them. And so do most people. But these folks continue to bluster and BS. Only promise what you can deliver and then? Keep your word.
Got any words to live by you’d add? I’d love to hear them!
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Perfectly said! We need to put ourselves in others’ shoes more often. We see the world one way because of our experiences and sometimes those past experiences can seep into future relationships good and bad.
yes, it does take effort to put ourselves in another’s place. I was thinking this week about someone who sent me a card that I interpreted as a fu ck you for years. Then the other day, I wondered, what if it wasn’t? What if it was an olive branch? I’ll never know.
This. Is. PERFECT! I think I will make a poster of it to put on my wall. (If that’s okay with you!) Thank you, Carol. Such great advice!
Oh honey, you just crack me up!
How timely. Yesterday I responded to a text from an inlaw and her response left me scratching my head. But sure enough, the way I had phrased my response it may have been considered a bit snarky (she had offered to give me something I didn’t have a use for and I thought I had politely declined the offer). It wasn’t meant to be sarcastic and I’m so glad I stopped and thought her response through!
electronic communication lacks context and emoticons just don’t do the job.