Today’s post starts when all of you were two years old. There’s a theory out there that when we were around the age of two, we knocked something over and broke it or did something to cause a negative reaction from authority, “Why did you do that?!”… or something along those lines.
The theory speculates, that at an early age, many of us built up a resistance to the question, “why?”, which gives us a reflex reaction of fear, defensiveness, and rejection.
This isn’t a long post, but I feel some of you could use it. Do you notice that the people you frequently interact with get easily defensive, closed off, or particularly harsh toward you? Take time, after every conversation, to mentally recap what you said. If it happens consistently enough, write it down verbatim what you can remember after the conversation. Then analyze it.
This may seem extreme, but it never ceases to amaze me, as an executive coach, the power of misunderstanding that comes from just a set of words, or in this case, one word. We can’t know people’s background or upbringing. This, however, is a great way to navigate that deficit in understanding.
We’ll go over tactics on how to rephrase things on Friday, but for now, your challenge is to: observe body language and try to pick out what words you use daily that leads to tension or coldness in others.
Best of success with this!