What I’m about to say may sound harsh, and it’s not meant to. Here it is: when it comes to your communications and your relationships …

…you create your own reality.

It’s the flip side to freedom of choice and it’s called “responsibility”. You have it, every time you communicate with yourself or someone else. That means that you control the way you respond, what you say or don’t say, how you behave, what you look like, your tone and words, and everything you do or say that communicates in any way.

Think about the last time a communication exchange of yours didn’t go well. What is it that went off the tracks? What was the turning point that took it in the wrong direction?

Usually, there’s a pivotal moment where you initiate or respond that tips the outcome to the negative.

Maybe you say something that would have been better left unsaid or worded differently. Or perhaps you roll your eyes or respond to a nasty comment with equal vitriol. Do you have a difficult person in the workplace and find yourself embroiled in conflicts more often than not?

QUESTION: What’s your role in the miscommunication?

As much as you may not like to admit it, you are part of the dysfunctional dance. You can’t control how the other party responds; you can change how you communicate and that changes the dance. So how can you change it? The answer is …

1) acknowledge your role

2) learn from it

3) take a small step to change it

If you’re sitting there whipping yourself for things you said or didn’t, save your energy.

You’re human. You do the best you know how, under the circumstances and with the tools you have at hand. You likely do what feels most comfortable in the short term and what may be your default response. Sometimes you may shoot back a sarcastic comment. Other times, you may give the cold shoulder. Even though it might feel good for a fleeting moment, it doesn’t mean it works forever or for everyone. The key is flexibility in, and responsibility for, how you communicate. 

That’s what leaders do. They recognize that the freedom of choosing responses comes with the responsibility to choose wisely.

You are best served when you realize that the only thing you truly control is yourself.

If you want to connect with others, bend your communication style to best suit the other party’s. Stretch yourself not to the point of being fake or phony, just to the point that you are mirroring their communication style in some way. 

You’ll discover that this approach may be tough and, you’ll also find, it yields the most results. If you don’t like your outcome, change YOUR behaviour. Thinking that you can change someone else’s is futile. By changing how you communicate creates a chain reaction and may evoke change in how the other person or persons respond. You can’t change them — you can influence.

I have seen people spend years and tons of energy thinking they could change the way others communicate. They’ve been left with nothing but frustration. Avoid that pain for yourself and spend your limited energy on controlling what you can — you.

Want results? Change yourself.

That’s the message I truly believe best serves everyone. In other words, “suck it up, buttercup”. You alone have both the power and the responsibility for creating your own environment, your own reality. You have an impact and you decide, by your actions, if that impact will be positive or negative.

That could be the best news you hear all day, as long as you put it to action. The choice is yours.


©2021 Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Until next time, here’s to …
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
Sign up for  “Marion’s Communication Tips” at www.MarionSpeaks.com

Post your comments and reactions below. There are no right or wrong responses, just honest, respectful ones. I’d love to hear your opinion. What about this article resonated with YOU?

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Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Marion Grobb Finkelstein helps leaders use their natural communication strengths to build resilient teams that talk.

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