Three keys to effective communication with coworkers
The way some people interact at the workplace reminds me of the guy who said, “Wait, before I get a leaf blower, let me make sure I know the rules. We just blow the leaves at each other’s houses, right?”
There is much more to communication than just blowing information, or attitudes, at each other. Good communication in the workplace can go a long way toward relieving workplace stress, if each person takes responsibility.
To follow a few basic rules:
Before you respond to words or actions from your co-workers, be curious enough to find out what they are really meaning. Once you think you understand, rephrase to the co-worker what you understood and let them confirm or clarify your understanding (while you once again listen carefully).
Give the benefit of the doubt. People come from many different backgrounds, and what they think should be happening can often differ. Instead of assuming the worst—that they’re out to get you—seek to find the best in them and bring it out. Often people are just trying to do what they need to do to get by, and don’t mean anything personal by what they say.
Make sure instructions and expectations are clear. If someone asks you to do something, find out what exactly is needed and what the deadline is. Are there others who are supposed to give input? How do you get the necessary materials? If you are the one giving instructions, take the time to answer and even anticipate the questions of the person you are assigning to do the work.
Just these three choices could make a huge difference in the average workplace. If elected governor of Michigan, I will seek to make sure these three basics are followed throughout my administration.
Paid for by Dr. Jim Hines for Governor; P.O. Box 5595, Saginaw, MI 48603
Avoid the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse to make your marriage strong
Who doesn’t want a marriage that is vibrant, exciting and fulfilling? Dr. John Gottman has spent his life studying couples and their relationships. He identifies four behaviors that are deadly to a relationship, labeling them The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He claims that he can tell with 93% certainty within five minutes of meeting a couple whether they will end up divorced.
The Four Horsemen are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling.
Thankfully, there is an antidote for each of these.
Instead of criticizing your partner, try to express your concerns without casting blame.
Replace defensiveness with an attitude of willingness to accept responsibility.
Avoid contempt (considering yourself superior to your partner) at all costs. Instead, seek to develop an attitude of appreciation and respect.
Stonewalling, which involves withdrawing emotionally from the discussion, only makes the partner more frustrated. Learn to communicate lovingly to your partner that you are overwhelmed by the discussion at the moment and need some time to think and calm down before you can engage again.
Paid for by Dr. Jim Hines for governor; P.O. Box 5595, Saginaw, MI 48603