Over the past few weeks I’ve touched
upon a few ways in which to deal with communication. It doesn’t matter if we’re
talking about communication between vendor and customer, husband and wife, or
father and son (etc. etc.). Communication ultimately is about human relationships.
Some of us are good at managing relationships, some are okay, and some people
just struggle because they have flaws in their personality. As I wrap up my
posts pertaining to communication I am reminded of advice from my father. Two
simple words: Be Kind.
My father is an accomplished attorney
and lobbyist. He has been involved in a series of mergers and acquisitions over
his 45+ year career. He is an excellent negotiator. And with all of these
attributes, his best advice for communicating with others, “kill ‘em with
We can call it human nature or something
similar, but when dealing with human relationships and communication, no one is
perfect. That is just a fact. We all can be short tempered or lose our cool
every once in a while, just ask anyone that has been married for more than a
week. However, if you manage your career (or life) with these instances being
the exception versus the rule, and you simply remind yourself to communicate
with kindness, well then you are less likely to end up on the losing end.
I’ve shared my ideas about communication
in documenting all of your notes and conversations. When delivering the
information back to a client, do so in a sincere manner, that you’re just
wanting to make sure everyone is on the same page, and not with an attitude
that you are forcibly reminding them of what they are or are not buying from
you. When you deal with an abusive client, by email or telephone, do not stoop
so low as to attempt to match them with insults. There is no place for
disparaging remarks in an honest and open relationship. Sure, there are times
for constructive criticism, but not for criticism alone. Bite your tongue and
be kind in your tone. Maybe the other person is just having a really bad day or
received bad news about a loved one. Give them the benefit of the doubt and
hope they’ll understand by you Not losing your cool that maybe, just maybe,
they were out of line. And, when push really does come to shove, and the other
person in the relationship has no sense of reason, your kindness will shine
through in the form of professionalism. Again, no need to lower your standards.
Not to bring religion into a post, but I
am reminded of the “Golden Rule” – treat others as you wish to be treated. If
you want to be treated with respect than you need to treat that person with
respect. If you wish to be treated with kindness than you need to be kind. And,
when the other person doesn’t necessary abide by these lifelong rules, you will
come out ahead, simply by being a better communicator and a better person.