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Corporate Teams, Effective Communication, EQ-i 2.0, Leadership Development, Leadership Skills, Personal Development, Professional Development

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Communicating from Our Corners

Election month, November is finally here. The political vitriol and hate speech will stop (hopefully). With internet jokes, pundit reports, and social media shouting at us in a never-ending cycle, it’s difficult to tune it out. I’m your neighbor from up north, and I think a lot of it is a communication issue. The United States has genuinely stopped listening and talking as a country.

Let’s examine the previous several months and how we got here.

Republicans came first, but only because of the order of their convention.

Ted Cruz declined to support Trump. For the purposes of this conversation, it doesn’t matter if you loved or supported him. What counts is that a group of people booed him, engaging in improper behavior of their own. This shows how strongly they felt about his message. Delegates then began to abuse him on the convention floor, calling him a traitor and other derogatory terms.

The Bernie or Bust Democrats followed suit a week later. Even after their candidate endorsed the opposing candidate, they refused to accept it and continued to spew hate speech.

then the debates would follow. I listened to a stammering Donald Trump ramble about, I don’t know, anything. I could share some advice with him about how to interact with a crowd as a leadership development expert. Hillary made a sincere effort to connect with the audience despite her worries about her ability to do so. She has been portrayed in the past three weeks’ worth of Saturday Night Live sketches.

Then came a series of one-liners from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including references to “Nasty Woman” and “Basket of Deplorables.”

Including the allegations of sexual misconduct, Wikileaks, remarks concerning the involvement of other countries, and so forth. We are impatiently waiting to exit the crazy Ferris wheel that is spinning nonstop.

One of the things that make the United States a nation full of ideas and opportunities is the freedom to protest and inquire. But somewhere along the line, people lost the ability to sympathize, compromise, listen, and act rationally rather than emotionally. They have retreated even further into their corners.

Do you stand in a corner and stare out? Have any of the following crossed your mind or lips?
– Because I despise candidate B, I’m going to vote for candidate A. I won’t be casting a vote at all. I wholeheartedly agree with what my candidate says. Everything the other candidate says is unquestionably false. Never support Trump! Never Hillary, I say!

If you answered yes to any of them, you’re probably in a tight spot politically.

What would happen if you declared that you would never collaborate with a person in your office or on your team? What would happen if you were asked to present evidence and information regarding a project to aid in solving a dispute but you objected, claiming the opposing side was incorrect? What would you say if a worker approached you and said, “Never”? There is a good chance that HR would receive a call.

This lack of leadership results from no one paying attention, making concessions, or showing empathy. Booing someone is simple. Finding a solution to a problem and shaking hands is more difficult.

We all have our own niches, but it’s important to identify when we start to attract less attention since all we do is boo. This is when we become the “Never.” And when we turn into the “Never,” we must understand the effect that has on other people.

What do you perceive from your position as a leader? Do you simply perceive things from your own point of view? Or can you move around the room and experience it from someone else’s perspective? Do you anticipate that everyone on your team and throughout the company will adopt your point of view? Or can you see that sometimes being a part of something bigger than yourself requires sacrificing your personal needs and ambitions in order to realize the wider picture? In my book, How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work, I discuss how empathy and perspective-taking are crucial for fostering teamwork. Although it’s not always simple, achieving an organization’s objective and the bottom line is essential to its success.

As an individual leader and a part of your professional and personal communities, I encourage you to turn around and look at things from a different angle. You are not required to alter your opinions. But maybe, just maybe, you can work out a compromise. Your efforts to try and meet individuals where they are will be noticed by your team, and your business will benefit as a result.

Also, don’t forget to use your voting rights!

Read the remainder of the November newsletter at Wise Words here!


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