When you go into a situation that has been challenging, for whatever reason, there’s been lack of clarity or lack of communication or lack of performance, you have two intentions in a conversation like that. The first one is to establish and then to gain understanding. So you’re going to go in and say, “help me understand the situations taking place, and I’m trying to get clarity on it. So I’m asking you for your support.” And by doing that, you are then enrolling them in a help position. You’re not coming in as a power-play. You’re actually putting them in a position of they have information, or they have the strength in this situation to inform you. So it dismantles any feeling of threat that they may have, and it’s engaging them in a conversation. Again, “I want to understand, so I’m asking you to help me understand.” Then you lay out the situation and according to the four steps of Connected Communication, and we’ll go through that.

And then the next piece of this conversation is gearing up for different behavior in the future. And, after this has been clarified and explained, and you both have common understanding with one another, then you state, “Next time, I’m asking you to….” And you define what it is that you’re asking the person to do, without any kind of judgment, stating it that way, and asking for confirmation: “Are you willing to do that?”

So those are the two points you’re looking for understanding, and you’re enrolling them as the helper who’s going to give you the understanding you’re seeking. And the second part is that you are going to be asking for a change of behavior and for their agreement with that. Or, if they don’t agree, then you don’t get agreement. And then you get to decide how you’re going to move forward. So that’s how you walk through a conversation based on a situation that has been contested or difficult in general.

And you stay away as much as you possibly can from generalizations. Every time you, you always, or the only thing you had to do, those kinds of accusations, do nothing. You stick with the facts as best as you can, while you are explaining the scenario after you’ve enrolled their help. And then, when you come to the request, again, you stick to the facts and be specific. “When they distribute the slide show, and you are asked to do the six slides for this deadline, I’m asking you to please have them polished and to me by the deadline so that I can simply pass them forward. Are you willing to do that?” And then you get your answer. And from whatever answer you receive, then you’d make your next decision.

The other benefit of taking such a strategic and, um, structured approach to a conversation like this, is that if it happens again, you have something to hark back to and say, “In this conversation, we spoke about it. I requested you said, yes, here we are again.” So, doing the same thing again. “I’m trying to understand why are we here again? What’s happened?” By the third time, that’s when you then say, “Okay, I’ve asked twice. I need now to call somebody else in because this isn’t working. I can’t do my job the way I’ve been contracted to do my job. The team is suffering. The company is suffering and we’ve had this conversation multiple times. So, I need to now take action because I don’t know what else to do.” Or however that however that can best be phrased.

When you grasp that your behavior, how you hold yourself in esteem and what you ask others for and what you are willing to give to others, you literally are rebuilding yourself through that interaction. So, if you aren’t coming from a place of low self-esteem and you are training others to either treat you poorly, dump work on you, not respect your time boundaries, or not respect you in whatever manner, and you are training them to do that, they’re going to keep showing up that way, which then affirms the sense of low self-esteem you have that has permitted or actually trained that behavior. Here’s the cool thing. When you recognize that you have trained them, it’s not just that, “Oh, he’s always….” Or “She’s always….” But actually that you have had the, you were the genesis of that patterning.

When you change that, then you literally can design your world. That is because then you begin training people to treat you with respect. You set boundaries about when you can do something: “That’s a shame because I could have done that two hours ago when I said I had a break. I can’t do that now until tomorrow morning. If you still want it then, that’s fine. Otherwise you need to find somebody else.” That’s training somebody to respect that my time is valuable. If you want my assistance, I’m here for you under these circumstances. And then, when it turns out that way, they either come back tomorrow morning, or they don’t bother you at all. You then walk away with, “Wow, and I’m worth that.” So then it’s an upward spiral of affirmation of your value?

The point that that you’re not letting him come back to you in the morning, you’re training him. That is a crucial distinction because that puts you in the driver’s seat, not the victim seat. You’re actually the driver of this and that’s really key. It all stems from knowing and standing in your value. When you bring that forward, you will see the difference.

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