Don’t Assume- ASK

Get Clear Information from Someone in the Know

One of the hardest parts of any job is feeling like you are missing critical data you need. Sometimes that data is product and service-related and other times, it is personnel-related. Lately, it might be economy-related and you might not be sure you will have a job next week.

Man overwhelmed with photosIf you are in a situation where you don’t know the guidelines, you don’t understand the ramifications of a decision, or you’re not sure of the politics, ask someone wise whom you trust (preferably someone higher up.)  Explain that you sense there might be something more to a given issue, and that you would like the history of it.  Ask if they could please share their perspective.

Then, make your decision from a more informed viewpoint. There are politics in every job, in every workplace.  Some are minor and insignificant, others are insidious and unfortunately, critical to your success. Diplomacy and tact are key in every workplace, and thinking rather than reacting will serve you well. When in doubt, ask. It is far better than assuming, which can frequently get you in trouble.

 

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.

Fire Up Your Communication with Clarification

Shaking hands  after disagreement to relieve stressMinimize the Stress of Conflict with Better Communication

So often when colleagues are disagreeing with each other, they rarely listen to what the other is saying. In today’s world, we are all so busy, it’s rare that people give each other their undivided attention.  To help diffuse a potentially volatile situation, do the following:

• turn off phones & beepers and give total eye contact to the other person

• be sure you understand exactly what the other person is saying. Rarely do we truly hear the message the first time.  If you are unclear, own it.  Say “I want to make sure I understand your perspective.  Could you please restate it in another way for me?”

That action alone will disarm someone, because they realize you truly want to hear them. We all have that basic need. Most people are delighted to elaborate on their viewpoint.

• While listening, if you find yourself getting more and more agitated, stop the conversation and clarify again, respectfully, carefully.  You could use phrases like:  “Can you elaborate more on that?  Please say more about____.”

Each time you do this, you honor the other person, you cool down and you actually clarify their viewpoint. You might also learn something new.  And best of all, you have diffused a potentially volatile situation that might have led to unpleasant working relationships. Listening well is key to good communication.

To sign up for Snowden’s ezine newsletter on stress, happiness, marketing and motivation, go to: https://firedupnow.com/firedupemailregister.html

 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.