23 Mar It will never go away
Okay so you can talk, you’ve been doing so since you were about 18 months old. But are you succinct and persuasive? Can you effectively deal with a difficult customer and create loyalty? Can you give your staff necessary constructive criticism and still keep them motivated?
Of course, if you are reading this you have the gift of sight, but do you have insight? Are you able to see your own flaws in difficult conversations? Can you perceive what’s going on for others?
You may have been born with the faculty of hearing but are you an effective listener? Do you hear what is not being said?
If you are lucky enough to have both your hands you can carry things, but can you hold your nerve in difficult circumstances? Can you hold on to good staff? Can you hold an effective meeting? Can you carry out your objective and bring people along with you?
It is easy to take our gifts for granted, because seemingly, everyone has them. But, the faculties that the majority of us are born with need to be exercised, refined and added to, to be of use to us in negotiating the complex world of business. Or even, families and friendships sometimes.
Unless your parents were really good at it, the chances are you have picked up some poor habits in difficult conversations when stakes are high. At this point emotions start to enter the conversation. When issues are important to individuals they will get emotional about it. Once this happens over time we can get into poor response habits.
Some people shut up like clams and others won’t shut up, lose their cool or are blunt and ham-fisted. And some might shut up to your face but look out for the backlash after; passive aggressive behaviour is still alive and well.
Of course, you might have an even temperament but still not be sure how to deal with the people who behave like those mentioned above.
And here is the really important point. Despite all of the technical advances of the last twenty years, which are designed to make workplaces more efficient, the above issues will never go away. There is no phone app that replaces being a better listener. A computer program will not empathise with a customer problem or take the place of you being more emotionally intelligent.
On top of this, many of the technological advances can cause more problems. Remote conferencing and virtual teams can be harder to manage than a face to face meeting or a physically present team. The email deluge can create stress and hamper productivity. Not having a person to speak to in a customer service situation can be a source of further annoyance to a dissatisfied customer. Then, when they finally get to speak to someone, their emotions are harder to deal with.
In my book Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations, and Boost Emotional Intelligence, I introduce you to a set of 10 tools to manage your own and others’ emotions in difficult situations.
Because Judo means the gentle way in Japanese and works on the idea that a weaker opponent with the right skills can beat a stronger opponent, Emotional Judo® does not look at beating the other party, but rather, respectfully holding your position while moving toward win/win. EASE is the best way to do that.
Empathise, Assert, Suggest, Expect. These four steps are easy to deploy but you might like to find out some details about each step before you give it a go. With out the proper finesse in a judo throw, you can do yourself an injury.
And when you combine EASE with Significance Positioning (another Emotional Judo® tool) the combination is a very potent tool.
Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations, and Boost Emotional Intelligence is on special for $1.28 for the next few days, as an ebook at Amazon. (you don’t need a kindle, you can read on any device by downloading kindle for PC or Mac)