Thursday, February 3, 2011

Connecting with people

This week I'm focusing on how I connect with people.  I think I usually connect with most people quite well.  I think I'm a pretty good listener and I think I'm pretty empathetic to people.

That being said, I have also been told that I can be curt.  This curtness can be perceived as unfriendliness.  I need to work on this.  Fortunately I am blessed to have a good friend willing to walk with me in this process.  She is encouraging to speak in a warmer, friendlier, more positive manner.  

This is going to be challenging for me.  I've been thinking long and hard about WHY this would be a challenge.  I'm a nice person.  I don't want to hurt people's feelings.  I believe I AM friendly.  However, I am an introvert.  Being around people or talking to people for a extended period of time, sucks the life right out of me.  It exhausts me.  I draw energy from time spent in the quiet, even solitude.  Another personality quirk of mine is that I NEED order in my space.  Disorder is very distracting to me.  I can't concentrate in disorder. 

So, what have I learned to improve the way I connect with people.  Well, I learned one huge thing.  And I'm going to share it with you, dear reader.  Sometimes a person like me, an introvert, needs a phrase to use in situations that can be difficult.  For example, when someone says something to me that I may perceive as condescending, I have a tendency to respond in a curt manner.  Now I have a phrase I can use to put a positive spin on the conversation.  I can say "WOW, that's a GREAT suggestion (or question, or idea)."  I have learned that people hear this as validation of their comment or suggestion.  This surprised me, because I don't hear this comment quite the same way.  My boss says this and I find it patronizing, but there you have it. 

I'm going to work very hard at this.  My intention is to use this phrase at least once every day.  I want this to become a natural part of my everyday banter.  Oh yeah, and I put a post-it with a smiley face and the word SMILE underneath it on my computer screen.  My old post-it said Don't Cuss.  I think I'm moving in the correct direction.

1 comment:

  1. I think it will come naturally - what's the rule about habits? after 19 days it becomes a habit? Get out there and connect!!! I have to concentrate on not cussing inside my head! :)


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