Whether it’s in your regular catch ups, team meetings or just hanging out in the kitchen, how well do you respond to information that you disagree with? If you’re like most people then you may need some work to become the Dalai Lama when someone shares something that’s not in line with your thinking.
As a regular yogi, it’s pretty common at the end of classes for the yoga teacher to put their hands in prayer, bow their head and say ‘namaste’. It translates to ‘the divine in me sees the divine in you’. It shows respect. So how do we still show respect when you might want to duck and weave from someone’s opinion or ideas? Or maybe you feel like giving them a little ‘professional’ sideswipe or piece of your mind. How can we actually respond with grace and respect?
The good news is, we don’t have to bow but we can be the gracious person no matter what someone else says and how they say it. But like yoga, it’s all about practice.
Harvard tells us that if we want to get into the top 10 percentile of people that peers want to work with, we need to have a strong relationship to feedback. After 10 years of researching this space, 160,000 words of writing about it and 2 books later – we need to learn to practice three things; Trigger, Truth and Transformation.
1. Know your triggers
If you don’t know what irritates you, what cheeses you off, before you communicate with others then you are highly likely to get taken out by your own stress responses. Which means you can’t think of what to say in the moment – you just want to avoid the person and conversation. Or you do or say things you regret. If you understand what gets under your skin before, then you are more able to self-manage and less likely to blame others for your responses.
2. Understand the ‘truth’
Most conversations go south because someone else’s ‘truth’ is as far away from yours as the North Pole. And you’re pretty sure Santa isn’t there either. So how do we manage this? We get curious. If someone thinks a certain way, or has an opinion that is not yours, you have a choice about how to respond. So get curious, ask for examples, seek to understand – not react. They may not be right but you won’t learn if you don’t look. And you certainly won’t be seen to be listening either.
3. Create your transformation
A caterpillar doesn’t turn into a butterfly overnight. Nor does a human transform after one conversation. But what we chose to learn from each moment will certainly get us there faster. If we are always waiting for people to talk to us the way we want to be spoken to – then you are giving someone else the keys to your future. They don’t hold the key – you do!
I’ve had such fun designing a new program all about how we respond to feedback called ‘Give it to me!’ (thanks for the title Niki ;-)). If you want you and your team to become the top 10%ers in the business you’re gunna love it.