There is a gentleman that I follow on assorted social media sites that tends to provide very hard-hitting and pragmatic observations and direction in regards to interaction between people. His focus is on that we value each other and respect the business and personal relationships that create success. In this, he gives us clear direction on said success, not just from the measure of profit, but from the standpoint of reputation.
He recently posted a comment on Facebook that was titled, “16 Ways to Let People Know that You Don’t Value The Conversation You Are Having With Them.” I thought about all of the times I had fallen into these traps and about how I would do things differently if I could. I have posted them below (with a few tweaks):
- Text or email or post to social media during the conversation
- Be late for a meeting, especially one that you requested
- Keep looking at your watch or phone while they are talking
- Take phone calls during the dialogue
- Suddenly change the subject or interrupting them by pointing out something happening outside the conversation
- Bring a third-party into the conversation
- Look around the room instead of keeping eye contact
- Correct the individual in a one-way conversation fashion or monologue
- Be disconnected that there is an obstacle or impediment causing an emotional response
- Ask no questions that help to clarify and understand the person’s point
- Talk over them while they are speaking or raise your voice to be heard
- Develop your response or defense while they are talking instead of listening to the intent of their conversation
- Argue over words instead of listening to the intent
- Dismiss emotion or common empathy when dealing with impassioned topics
- Correct someone’s vocabulary when it’s obvious what they are saying
- Finish their sentences for them
And a bonus prize is to not provide space for cultural or national differences when it comes to body language or language.
Part of the 21st Century skills that we are trying to teach professionals is to be able to communicate effectively. I consider the above “conversation” killers. In this, we are not trying to remove the professionalism from business or industry, but rather strategically enhance the concept of common decency.
Focus on the positive change; focus on improving relationships with your colleagues and see how much more successful everyone can become!
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