During uncertain times, it is important to remember that we will encounter a wide variety of opinions and perspectives on matters connected to values and beliefs.
Be Patient: With a wide range of emotions flying around, it’s imperative we remain patient with one another. I’ve seen many instances of people being impatient with one another and this always results in 2 negative outcomes. 1) Both people become frustrated, and 2) the original objective of a conversation gets lost in the skirmish. Remaining patient will allow ideas to process, clear communication to occur and results to have a chance.
Listen Carefully: Active listening is a difficult thing to do when we are only waiting to give our response. Often times, we act like we’re listening when what we’re really doing is waiting for our turn. Instead of doing this with our clients and vendors, we encourage one another to actively listen to spoken and unspoken needs. Wait for your turn to speak and have a productive talk that guides the conversation towards an objective, not to the end of the conversation with nothing accomplished.
Ask “How can I help you?”: Although this question is simple, it’s powerful. You may be the ONLY person during the day to ask this to the person your talking with. Heck, these days you could be the only person this week that’s asked this question!!! This question not only seeks to understand how we can actually help but always uncovers what the respondent’s true trouble is. The answers can be a wide range of things we could do to assist them, and sometimes just asking the question and allowing them to be heard is all they need. So many time recently I’ve asked this question and simply by caring, the other person feels better. Last thought on this (be honest with yourself) How do you feel when someone asks you “How can I help you?
Respond swiftly and communicate clearly to finish your duty: My good friend once told me “unspoken expectations go unmet”. Wow, is that ever true! Whether it’s in a personal relationship or a professional relationship, unspoken expectations go unmet. Now that may seem obvious right? But how many times has this happened in your life where someone had an expectation of you, but you NEVER knew it!?! They ended up disappointed right? Likewise, we can also hold expectations of others but never verbalize it. It’s important we respond to needs swiftly and communicate clearly so proper expectations are met. Finishing what we start is a rare occurrence these days and the ability to commit to finishing requires action and clear communication. Respond swiftly, communicate clearly and watch relationships take on a new dimension of trust and care.
Follow up to check in and see if there is anything further we can do: How do you feel when someone calls to check in on you? Feels pretty good! Similar to the question above “How can I help you?”, you might be the only person in someone’s life right now following up to see how else you can serve them. It’s been said the fortune is in the follow-up. There’s truth to that statement in a business sense, but more so in the personal relationship sense. One of the meanings of the word fortune is substance. There is value (substance) in relationships and the follow-up up confirms the relationship is valuable to you.
It’s crucial to remember we work with PEOPLE. Each person sees the world through a lens we may or may not relate to. These suggestions above aren’t rocket science but are very important to maintaining the quality of relationships with people we care about and interact with frequently. It is important to note that WE may not always be treated with the same sentiment, and that shouldn’t change the way we engage with others. Personal responsibility is where these 5 responses live. Let’s agree to hold the mirror up to our own reflection before we aim to shine a light on how others are acting.