"We see things not as they are, but as we are."
Meaning is in the Response You Get
We often deal with new ideas, with changing how things are done, with trying to persuade others about our point of view. The longer you've lived, the more you realize the number of obstacles to people automatically accepting and absorbing your information.
Maybe the greatest single stumbling block to real communication is the one-sided nature of speaking.
I know that you already know about this: intellectually. But let's face it: Most of us concentrate on what to say and how to say it. In our zeal to get our message across we forget that at the other end of our message is a real, live person with her own zeal, goals, and concerns. These may not coincide with ours, especially at the moment when we are about to start communicating our new ideas.
So, Do This:
1. Openly acknowledge the areas of similarity first.
2. Re-state why you are together and what you hope to accomplish.
3. List the areas of disagreement or fuzziness. Don't discuss them yet, just list them.
4. Identify and work through the items that have the least value or emotional attachment. This creates a quick track record of successes.
5. Get to the tougher ones, with this important element:
Explain why it is important to you.
It's a lot easier to work together when you understand the deeper issues involved. Without this, you aren't really operating at a human level--you are just exchanging information whose underlying realities may be much more sympatico and understandable than the statement given on the surface.
Remember: Meaning is in the response. The deeper, more honest the response, the more chance you have of understanding the truth of each other's reality.
How do you approach these kinds of situations?