“You need to have as much discretion to give advice as docility to receive them.” François de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French writer.
All, for better or worse, we are able to communicate in the sense that we can engage in conversation and convey an idea (and, sometimes, to receive). But that does not mean that we are communicating with strength, grace and elegent. In fact, often the communication does not lead to anything more than that: pure exchange of information rather than building healthy relationships and enriching.
Over the years I learned that OTL is much simpler than it seems. He just needs to develop a series of simple habits, which unfortunately often conspicuous by their absence.
It is discreet, do not count your life. Obviously, when there is a relationship of trust with the other person, nothing prevents you talk about your personal things. It may even be desirable. But during the first contacts, especially the former, you should not. If someone pulls out in conversation the dentist is out of politeness or to hang out, not because you are interested in your life. Nobody will care what you say about your grandmother, or how badly they treat you at work. Breaking the unwritten rule that the other person will ignore you immediately.
Genuinely listening. It is assumed that the other person is telling you something that matters, so your obligation is to listen with attention and your interest in what he says in a genuine way. Many times all we need is to listen to us. In fact, what attracts people is not so much what you have to say, but how you listen to what they say. It usually happens that the person ends up feeling more confident speaking and knows the listener.
Do not give advice. Especially if no one has asked. Even if you feel tempted to do so, bite your tongue. Even when I asked for advice, be cautious. In counseling almost always make mistakes and injustices. Each person is a world, and rarely have all the evidence for our wonderful advice is 100% effective. What applies to you does not necessarily apply to others. You can try to steer if they ask, but always taking it very clear that it is the responsibility of each find their way.
Avoid rumors and gossip. There is no faster way to lose credibility and will no longer trust you to criticize others. As a rule I try not to talk about anybody who is not present, except to make a compliment. If your office partner is pregnant, it is up to it, nothing more than to her, tell the other fellow. As tempting as it is, you should not talk about things you do not incumbent.
Accept gifts and compliments readily. It is common to declare that it does deserve a present or a compliment (sometimes with false modesty), but it does not stop being rude. He thinks that the other person has taken great interest and excitement about it, and “reject” detracts from that effort. If someone gives you something or a compliment, thankful heart. It is proven that there is more pleasure in giving than receiving, so if you are a grateful person, you will be much more attractive to others.
Do not try to change others. Usually, it’s a waste of time. Instead of using energy and time to make change another person, think if it bothers you is also a feature of your character that you hate, and therefore only see in others. Better would be to devote the energy to work the defect yourself. In any case, the most we can hope for is to be a model for others, and whoever would take it, take it.
Do you know other secrets to keep enriching personal relationships? Leave your ideas in a comment.