Lately I’ve been having conversations where either I found myself getting defensive because of what someone said to me or the tone in which they said it. I recently spoke to someone and they took it a certain way and was all in their feelings because of what was said and how I said it. Sometimes it’s inevitable that we have difficult conversations in our personal & professional lives and what I’m learning is that it’s all in the delivery!
So, I’m just going to let you know that I’m a very blunt person. I’ve never been one to sugar coat anything and I can sometimes sound harsh but, it’s not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. I have no ill intentions when I’m talking. I “usually” have good intentions. Lol! I’m also very matter of fact… It’s always black or white to me no grey areas. Either you’re right or you’re wrong! AND… I’m that friend and/or colleague that’s going to tell you either way. I’m honest!
First and foremost we have to learn to listen effectively and learn to take constructive criticism without reacting. Sometimes we’re so caught up in our own feelings that we are missing a “teach moment”. If we are focusing on someones tone vs. what’s being said then we are definitely missing the message. The person may have had many valid points but, the delivery probably could have been better so it didn’t really resonate with us.
Listening effectively takes practice! I know I frequently interject when I disagree with something and will cut someone off in a second! I’m working on it! I also am learning to ask questions as to why someone might feel the way that they do. We are all different and they may bring up something you never thought of. We all think differently. Maybe after you hear them out, you may have something to think about or even be in agreement with them.
I’m also learning that our body language tells a story! It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. It’s what’s being perceived by others. I’m notorious for crossing my arms in meetings, when I’m sitting down or even standing up just waiting on something. If I’m not busy doing something, my arms are usually crossed. Now, I’m a cold natured person and most of the time I’m COLD AND… it’s a really bad habit! However, it will project that I’m closed off and not approachable.
To also add to that… I usually have a straight face. When I walk in a room, the first question someone asks me is “What’s wrong?” most of the time it’s nothing! I do show my emotions on my face and you can tell when I’m not myself. I need to work on smiling more. Lol! There are so many factors to take into consideration when speaking with someone. So here are the top takeaways that you should keep in mind…
First and foremost show respect, remain calm at all times, have open communication, be open to other peoples view points, take constructive criticism as a teach moment, you may or may not agree but, be open to listening to what is being said. You may surprise yourself and look at things a different way. Remain in the moment and remember… “We are all responsible for the energy we bring to a space”
Do you pay attention to the delivery when you are being spoken to? Are you quick to react and snap back? What tips would you add to this in order to have an effective conversation? I know it’s gong to be a little different for personal and professional relationships. Share away…