The Art of…Effective Communication

Let’s face it, having a conversation with someone who has ruffled your feathers is not the #1 thing on most people’s Top Ten Best of Times List.

And I am talking conversation, not fighting, because fighting is so much easier.

You get to rant and rave about your side without really taking in what the other is saying.

I had such a conversation yesterday with someone I somewhat oversee.

This time she brought the conversation to me I believe because I had gotten to the point right past frustration where I wasn’t going to work on resolving the problem anymore, at least not for the time being.

And I responded in kind for the last couple of days, with an attitude.

Not my normal MO.

As with any conversation, at first, both sides are stating their position.

However, I was listening to what she was saying, and in turn she was listening to what I was saying.

But just because you are listening doesn’t mean in that moment in time you are ready to move to the next level.

One of the things she shared with me was when I brought something up I had a tone in my voice that wasn’t my normal nice and relaxed tone, and that whenever I pointed something out it left her wondering if I thought she was stupid.

I responded totally dumb founded and told her, dude, I am one of the nicest people.  I go out of my way to hook you up with stuff because I like you and like working with you.  I wouldn’t do that for someone I didn’t think much of or someone who I considered stupid.

I also got pushed to the point of, I don’t want to talk anymore, and told her so.

She went to the bathroom to collect herself and I shifted my focus back to getting done what I needed to get done.

Shortly thereafter however, we spoke again and did resolve our differences.

I shared with her that it totally blew my mind that she thought I would think she’s stupid when I need to point things out.  I don’t like the way that feels myself, so to the best of my ability, I certainly don’t do that to others.

I told her, I can’t control what you are thinking in your mind.  I don’t think you are stupid.  So however you are processing what I am saying is out of my control.

I point things out here and there because (a) once upon a time I had your position for two and half years so I do know a thing or two and (b) we need to be doing things the same way to have a working process going on.

I also admitted that yes, when I had to come and share something with her, that I didn’t use my normal relaxed tone because each time I pointed something out I was met with resistance later followed by attitude, so my tone was strained because I was frustrated and didn’t know how to get pass this way of interacting.

She admitted some things as well and we hugged and made up, followed by some truly working together, her asking me questions, and me being able to show her some things while she was opened to learning.

I did share with her, dude, during tax season we are going to get tired and we are going to get pissy, and you will be pointing things out to me too because that is just how it goes.  I want this to be a good working relationship, and I think we have great potential.

I also pointed out to her that she is in the perfect position to have a great job and to use the down time to explore what she might want to do with her life.

I was 40 when I had her job, completely starting over to break into a new field.

She’s only 23 and can do anything and go anywhere from here.

I have kinda had to point out our 20 year age difference, and therefore work experience difference, a couple of times because I look younger than I am.

She also serves as a great teacher for me, because on the one hand I know where she is coming from because I had that position and the same frustrations, but on the other hand, I do need to kinda manage the process.

So in the end we are both learning the art of effective communication that will serve us well in all areas of our life.

And for that I am grateful.

Until tax season really hits, and then I might just be pissy! hahahaha

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2 responses to “The Art of…Effective Communication

  • Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    Oh i hate having to go through all of that, but I am glad you got it resolved! Nothing worse than having to discuss your feelings, lol. I think the age difference does play a factor, too!

    • Saving My Belly Button Ring

      I hate going through all of that too. It took me six months to get pushed to the point of responding in kind with attitude and dismissiveness. I am constantly checking in – you good dude? What’s up? Is it personal or is this something to do with work? If it is personal I’ll leave you, but if it is work related we need to talk about it. The age thing really does play a difference. The girl before me, who in the end decided not to continue with the job, was near her age and told her, we are the same, we are a team, our jobs are no different. Which is not the case b/w her and I. 95% of the time we get along. Such is life. I just prefer when everyone gets along and works together and enjoys their co-workers.

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