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|"The whole task of psychotherapy is the task of dealing with a failure in communication. . . .
the major barrier to mutual interpersonal communication is our very tendency to judge, to evaluate, to approve or disapprove, the statement of the other person, or the other group. . . .
Real communication occurs when we listen with understanding - to see the idea and attitude from the other person's point of view, to sense how it feels to them, to achieve their frame of reference in regard to the thing they are talking about."
DON'T be rude and pushy
DON'T be patronizing, superior or sarcastic
DON'T make personal attacks or insinuations
DON'T be direct or expect others to follow your advice or always agree with you
DON'T suggest changes that a person can not easily make.
For example you're arguing with a peer about why he consistently shoots down your ideas. Or your boss often makes sarcastic remarks to you. Those are example of difficult interactions and iIf you don't deal with them skillfully, they may escalate to highly undesirable outcomes—strained relationships, wasted time, and declining performance.
You might avoid dealing with difficult interactions because certain barriers get in the way. The table below shows examples of these barriers and explains how to remove them so that you can more effectively manage difficult interactions.
|Barrier||Ways to clear or lower the barrier|
|Fear of interpersonal conflict||Acknowledge that although conflict can be uncomfortable, it's a fact of life. Focus on the positive outcomes of addressing conflict and minimize "intrusions" into other personal space.|
|Failure to recognize that you have a problem with another person in the workplace||Consider acknowledging that these relationships are hampered by difficult interactions.|
|The belief that a difficult interaction is the fault of others||Acknowledge your own role. Identify what you can do to improve the situation.|
|The conviction that other people won't change no matter what you do||Remind yourself that you're not trying to change another person you just want to alter the way the two of you interact. You can also consider changing your own behavior.|
|Desire to accept the status quo because you're not prepared to manage the outcome of the situation||Evaluate whether the risks of the difficult interaction are worth the potential benefits. If they are and you chances look OK, map out a plan and carry it out slowly but steadly. Don't rush. Cooking a goom meal requres time.|
|The belief that the problem will resolve itself||Most interpersonal problems don't resolve themselves but distincing from the person who couce problems can dinimish the intencity of the conflict.|
Despite the challenges inherent in dealing with difficult interactions, it's essential to recognize situations that need addressing—and to manage them promptly and effectively. If you don't, difficult interactions may escalate to a level that destroys workplace relationships.
Difficult interactions in the workplace can have a variety of causes. One way to deal with them is to try to classiy them based of the follwoign catagories (HBR):
Differences in positions and interests
Differences in perceptions, motivations, and style
Differences in life experiences and cultural background
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