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We all have feelings and we all react - No Problem!
If we handle those reactions appropriately then we will secure a far more productive result when engaged in communication with others.
Here are five pitfalls to avoid for your healthy, daily conversation diet at work.
1. Tunnel Vision
Example: "I expect it'll be another future conversation"
This is all about being stuck in a mental groove. People who say this are looking for those things that confirm their fear or prejudice, remember it from the past and expect it in the future. They ignore other points of view or the possibility of alternative approaches or solutions.
Example: "Nothing can change the way I feel"
Making an assumption, presupposes knowledge that you don't have. Assumptions are often beliefs that have been adopted without looking at their basis in fact, such as "I'm over the hill now that I'm forty". Making decisions based on assumptions may lead to disaster, as when an executive assumes that a staff member won't improve their performance. Often, taking things for granted causes people to be blind to possible solutions. Build up some objective data through the use of Open Questioning. Ask yourself; What leads you to believe this? Why do you do it this way? Who says? What alternatives are there? What would happen if you did? What would happen if you didn't?
3. Blame (yourself and others)
Example: "It's your fault that we are under investigation"
If you see yourself as externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate or "the System". You don't believe you can really affect the basic shape of your life, let alone make any difference in the world, so you try and manipulate others to take care of your interests. Someone else is to blame and is responsible for your pain, your loss, your failure.
The truth is, we are constantly making decisions and every decision affects and steers our lives. It is your responsibility to assert your needs, to say no or go elsewhere for what you want. In some way, we are responsible for nearly everything that happens to us, including our distress and unhappiness. Taking responsibility means accepting the consequences of your own choices. Ask yourself: what choices have I made that resulted in this situation? What decisions can I now make to change it?
The opposite distortion is also very common - the fallacy that makes you responsible for the pain or happiness of everyone around you. You carry the world on your shoulders. You have to right all wrongs, fill every need and balm each hurt; if you don't you feel guilty and turn the blame on yourself. Blaming yourself means labelling yourself inadequate if things go wrong. With this view point you are very easily manipulated. The key to overcoming this doesn't imply that you are also responsible for what happens to others. Remember, part of respecting others includes respecting their ability to overcome or accept their own pains, make their own decisions and be in ccontrol of their own lives.
Example: "I'll never be any good at people management" after just one bad experience!
In this distortion you make a broad, generalised conclusion, often couched in the form of absolute statements, based on one piece of evidence. If something bad happens once, you expect it to happen over and over again. If someone shows evidence of a negative trait, this is picked up on and exaggerated into a global judgment. This inevitably leads to more and more restrictions in life and your view of the world becomes stereotyped. Cue words that indicate you may be over-generalising are; all, every, none, never, always, everybody and nobody. To become more flexible use words such as; may, sometimes, and often. Be particularly sensitive to absolute statements about the future such as "No one will ever listen to me" because they may become self-fulfilling prophecies.
5. World View
Example: "this always happens to me"
As a practical matter, we must all proceed with the business of living by relying on "maps" of the world that we have taken on trust and that we have not tested and often cannot test. To make sense of personal experience, we all absorb a constant stream of reports, descriptions, judgments, inferences and assumptions coming from a multitude of sources. From this abundance of stored information, you piece together a mental "model" of the world and its workings that literally becomes your world view. however, people do vary considerably in their misinformation - or the accuracy of their map. people also vary in the degree to which they actively seek out new information, take opportunities to correct or update their mental models, and expose themselves to new experiences. be more active in the way that you test your view of the world and a good way to do this might be to ask yourself " how would I advise my best friend in this situation?" If you would advise them to test their views, what's to stop you testing yours? .......
Peaceworks run courses in lots of subjects to help you stay healthy in your relationships at work.
1. Conflict management and mediation skills
4. Anger management
5. Leadership and Management
6. Personal and executive coaching