Friday, February 24, 2017

How to Increase Your DISCERNMENT

How To Communicate With Difficult People You Need To Help You

“Thou shall love thy neighbor…” according to the Christian Bible.  Yet, when we watch television, listen to the conversations of strangers and read the newspaper, there isn’t too much loving each other happening.  Some of us will attempt to show love by doing thoughtful things for friends, family, co-workers and strangers and at times it seems our efforts are in vain.  Establishing quality relationships with people aren’t easy for everyone.   Further an even greater challenge when trying to communicate with difficult people who don’t return thoughtful actions.  How do we manage to build relationships with difficult people we may need in the future, although they may not seem to care too much about us?
  1. Know who you are trying to impress.  Is he or she really difficult or is that office gossip?  Is Uncle Mark really a hard person to deal with or did someone in the family say that because they couldn’t get what they wanted from him?  Listen to what people say, but avoid the temptation to prematurely judge them before you get to know them.
  1. Know your limits.  If you want to impress upon someone that you need them in your personal or professional life, then know how far you would like to take the relationship before you spend time meeting with them, doing favors, talking on the phone, visiting, sending letters and buying gifts.  You do not want to invest time in someone who may or may not help you in the future.

  1. Watch out for other opportunists.  The one that you may be seeking to make an impression just might need you for something as well--that would be perfect; however, there is the possibility that they may only be using you to get what they want.  Find out what their plans are by knowing what their role is in the company, what they have accomplished in the past and with whom do they spend their personal time.
  1. Set boundaries.  The rules that you create for yourself when communicating with individuals should not include any negativity.  Define what you will and will not say before you begin conversing with him or her.

  1. Be careful of those around them.  People who we are trying to impress will always have a favorite friend, family member or someone around them that is extremely loyal.  He or she has made their selves responsible for the one you are trying to impress.  The rule of thumb here is to make a good impression on the loyal associates as well.  How you do it is up to you.  You will have to study the people around them, because as you may already know, they are studying you.
  1. Be a power persuader. What this means is to communicate to the one you are trying to impress how relating to you will be in their best interest.  You will have to know what you have to offer.  For example, if a man wants to date a woman, he will take the time to find out what she likes in a man while recreating who he is based on what she wants.  Although this tactic has burned a lot of men later in the relationship, because they took out far too much of who they are and could not maintain the act, it certainly helps to at least provide some benefits.
  1. Stay focused. If you know that this person is actually taking an interest in who and what you are representing, then make them feel as if they are the only one.  Don’t provide any indication that you may drop them and go off with someone else.  This type of behavior not only occurs in intimate relationships where cheating occurs, but also with family members and co-workers. Tom needs Uncle Mark’s assistance with his car.  Uncle Mark helps him.  Tom needs another favor.  Uncle Mark can’t help immediately, but would like for Tom to come over to watch the game, then he will help him later.  Tom passes on the offer and tells Uncle Mark he will ask someone else.  He calls Uncle Pete instead while bad mouthing Uncle Mark about not helping him.  Do you see the problem?  Now think of an example similar to this that occurs at your workplace.
  1.  Remember to say thank you. There is etiquette to saying these words in various ways.  A simple thank you mouthed for a simple task is nice and appreciated.  However, when people have come together to show you support, you want to keep them close.  Do a little something for everyone, taking one day at a time or simply buy a stack of thank you cards, pencils, candies, etc.  These people may be able to help you get closer to what you want if you just acknowledged them.  Your kind deeds may also get to that difficult person you are trying to impress as well and may help you establish credibility with he or she in the future.

  1. Don’t take reactions personally.  People have bad days.  Eye-rolling, head swinging, deep sighing and other similar body language may not have anything to do with you; therefore don’t take it personal.  Be polite. Say what you need to say.  Allow them to come back to you with any questions or comments.

  1. Keep your promises.  If you make an appointment, keep it and show up early.  Don’t spend time talking about yourself.  Avoid making meaningless statements of flattery, talking quickly, in excess and interrupting a lot. 

Once you receive that long awaited meeting with this difficult person, remember to do the following:  If he or she is a professional…
  • When selling an idea, have a plan outlined on paper being sure that it is detailed, grammatically correct and has a timeline. 
  • Mention who will be working with you, benefits to the company and how much it will cost and how it will be financially supported. 
  • Add short and long-term goals and what impact your plan will make on the future.  If he or she is a personal acquaintance.
  • Be open to answering questions, provide thoughtful answers, watch how you speak and what you say. 
  • Avoid rushing into exactly what you want unless asked.  Instead, talk about what you can provide then lead in to what you need.  Be sure that what you are requesting they will not feel as if you are asking far too much for what you are willing to give.  Be ready to compromise.

Nicholl McGuire author of What Else Can I Do on the Internet?
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