How we communicate is every bit as important as what we are communicating. Too often we may choose to spend time on being clear in our message when in fact we need to spend equal amounts of time being considerate.
How we act towards others will influence how others respond to us. Does it always work? Is it tit for tat? No. But the way we choose to reveal our truth will go along way towards others accepting it and us as a result of it.
When I communicate in writing I spend more time thinking and planning than when I communicate in person. In person is always easier because I can read the reaction. I see the others face, eyes, expressions and full body language. It allows me to adjust, temper, increase or decrease my message. But in writing I must do it all in black and white. And that’s not all. I have to decide what do I want as well. When the communication revolves around a conflict I always make sure to take the time and really decide what it is that I want and how I want to share it. A few notes never hurts in my worldview but then words are my schtick so to speak.
What I want is an open and transparent world where we help one another and refrain from judging. Observing and then owning our observations is an important part of creating successful outcomes. It requires thought and expressing ourselves in a non-judgemental manner.
When I do not meet a deadline I am not an “idiot” I am just a man. A man, who in this case, missed his deadline. Now other people may have relied upon my deadline and my missing it may have caused them difficulty so I need to own up to my responsibility. But I can do it simply. I normally apologize and ask their experience. “I am sorry Jerome. I missed the deadline. How did it effect you?” When I avoid blame and then ask I am doing two things. Admitting I was wrong and indicating I care about what happened to the other as a result of my actions. I find it to be a successful combination for forgiveness.
And I practice how to forgive others when I am the one who is inconvenienced or was relying on another persons deadline as well. We all make mistakes. In fact if we are not aware we are making mistakes there is probably something wrong or we are not admitting to them. Correcting mistakes is what is important. Avoiding mistakes is good but perhaps naive. The real success comes from learning from and fixing our mistakes.
And it is not just mistakes. We could be incompetent at a particular task or in a given situation. We all have many times more incompetence than competence so there is never a reason to be alarmed. Even if we have a license or some qualification when in fact we still lack competence there is no cause for negativity. There is cause for action. Asking friends, family, colleagues to be open and honest will result in our having more information to decide our best course of action. Maybe training or maybe moving on. Choice is always our key to success.
Open, honest and transparent. Remember, it starts with us first. If we are a window we can look into ourselves and it is also easy for others to look in as well. Windows are glass. They are fragile. Remember this the next you have a “hard” message to deliver. Think of yourself as the receiver not just the sender. The truth may set us free. But the gentle delivery makes sure we are not cut loose into a malestrom of conflict (either internal or external).