Choose Instructive and Constructive over Destructive

In our personal and professional relationships, we have a number of choices. How we respond or react to unfortunate, unexpected or stressful situations is a choice. I can be reactive, directive, constructive, negative, positive or even destructive. The situation can be diffused and corrected with a proactive, instructive, constructive approach. Meeting on a bridge where there is understanding or agreement or both is far better than negatively shouting across a chasm.

A constructive approach is a big improvement on destructive but being proactive (honest, authentic and clear) can reduce the tension and possibly avoid the stressful situation altogether. If you find yourself feeling uneasy or resentful, think through what is irking you, why it is bothering you and then let your family member or colleague know in a respectful and constructive way. ” I feel insecure when you don’t appreciate what I am doing.” ” I understand what you are saying but here is how I see the situation” ” Yes and if we add one more step  we can avoid …”

The key is to respectfully say something before it becomes a festering boil on your butt. Clear the air with clarity. Choose brevity over belaboring the point. Make your case calmly and the be prepared to listen (longer than 17 seconds) and listen for the bridge (that place where you already have agreement) and then stand beside them on that bridge and begin solving the issue for both parties.

Another ‘easy to say, harder to do’ message but I challenge you to give it a try today and this weekend.


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