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Opinions, Facts, and Emotional Static

Jun 24, 2019, 4:20:00 AM

Symptoms:

Roberta just had one of those weeks where everyone she talked to seemed difficult. Her inside teammates acted defensive, her boss had snapped at her after a simple request, and even a few clients had blown her off after, what she thought, were some straightforward meetings. She wasn't sure what to think about the difficult week. 

Diagnosis:

When two people or departments are interacting, they are usually coming from the position of sharing opinions, facts/information, or emotional static. Many conversations break down when each party views the topic of conversation from a different perspective. Research tells us that when two parties have a conversation and share information, the chance that they are grounded in the same reality is less than 15%. In other words, the majority of time you are on a totally different conversation path than the other party. DISC styles can come into play as well, especially if either of the two parties is under any level of stress.

Prescription:

Learn to recognize which conversation path each party is on and work to get them in sync:

OPINIONS: Opinions are preset, subjective ideas and attitudes. You have already predetermined what is important and what you should worry about. Your objectivity is tainted by your personal viewpoint and experiences. In business, many times we need to recognize and suppress our prejudices in order to make wise decisions.

FACTS/INFORMATION (Adult to Adult): When you are on this path, your conversations are rational and logical. Your most important tool is the ability to ask questions. You take an objective position to gathering data. You do not have an opinion nor are you emotionally involved with your own ego or personal agenda.

EMOTIONAL STATIC: This conversation path ends with both parties losing perspective. Your conversation is "out of control”. You often see personal attacks where none are intended. Conversations are wasted on fulfilling personal agendas, or meeting emotional needs, instead of taking care of business.

Science also tells us that it is often not "what" was said, but "how" it was said that determines the direction and outcome of any conversation. Check your tone, put your ego where it belongs and make sure to use pillows and cushions to set up the dialogue so that everyone is comfortable. 

If you’re encountering these landmines, get out your DISC profile and review the Do's and Don'ts of Communication while remembering that other people may have different needs or styles than yours. Learn how to "rewind" a conversation to the point where you can restart from common ground.

Critical Thinking:

We all have them: those conversations you wish you could stop rewinding in your head and actually rewind it in real life. As you replay your most recent situation where you want to call "DO OVER" what was it about that conversation didn't play out the way you hoped. More importantly, how can you go back after reviewing your DISC and try to change the outcome?

Final Thought for the Morning:

Lack of control is at the root of all anxiety.

Clutter (both physical and mental) doesn't create itself. You are probably the one that put it there or invited it in.