This is the skill of having balance in dialogue, and most especially when under pressure. A seemingly essential concept yet one largely overlooked if not totally ignored.
It should come as no surprise that we are hardwired to treat our views and opinions as truth. It is part of our emotional programming. In a conversation, when someone has a differing point of view, we instinctively default back on our primal predispositions of fight-or-flight.
These predispositions often hijack the conversation; triggering us to avoid or win on the issue.
If we want to be more aware of the impact these tendencies have on us, we must pay closer attention to how we react in difficult conversations.
Let’s be clear, it is no easy task to resist the gravitational pull of these programmed responses. It takes practice to instinctually set aside our tendencies and seek a higher set of objectives. The hallmark objective is to move from unconsciousness, to awareness, to a guiding mindset where we manage these primal behaviors. Only then can we ensure balanced conversations with positive end results.
Given the pivotal impact this has on relationships, teams, and organizations; it’s a mystery why the subject gets so little attention and training. Treating dialogue as a discipline is a much needed skill in today’s day and age. After all, do you want to participate in conversations in a way that leads to informed choice or willful ignorance?
“Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.” Mark Twain
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. ~Henry Ford
Why do some people accomplish their goals and others do not?
It is because of the reality they “choose” to live in. Neuroscience discovered that a human brain receives eleven million pieces of information every second yet it can process only forty bits per second. Essentially your mind chooses what tiny percentage of input to process and attend to, and what huge portion to dismiss or ignore. Thus you do have a choice in shaping your reality.
Take out a sheet of paper and write down all the resources you have that can be used to get you toward your goals. By resources I mean peers, leadership, and other company support. This will help you shift to a more positive reality where you can focus on all the reasons why you are likely to achieve your goals – rather than waste mental effort worrying about reasons you might not.
No matter the situation or circumstance, it takes no more mental effort to choose a positive reality over a negative one. It’s not that you don’t see the negative realities around you, but rather you recognize and focus on the positive choices you have. You can and should choose the reality that will better support your success.
If you choose a reality oriented around discouragement and lack of control, then all you will see are failures, rather than all the resources and paths to success. When you choose to focus on the positives, then you can see how all the opportunities and resources are connected. Thus you are better equipped to chart a path to achieving your goals.
What your mind concentrates on will affect every decision you make and every action you take both at home and at work. Choose the right mindset and hitting goals will seem much easier!
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