Sometimes we vent to one another and say frustrated things we would not say to the involved parties. We often write this off as "I wouldn't say this to them, but.....” In a way this is quite understandable, not all of those emotions will benefit the conversation, particularly if the other party is defensive.
Let’s discuss how to leverage emotional clarity in problems to create stronger relationships.
WHY ARE WE TALKING PSYCHOLOGY ON A RECRUITING WEBSITE?
Because it’s interesting to me. I’m a nerd, okay?! Relational dynamics are a fascinating, complex, endless source of benefit, puzzlement, and growth. Hopefully, you feel the same way.
Internal/external dialogue consistency applies to interviewing, peer-to-peer work relationships, superior/subordinate relationships, and more. If you are a fan of diverse inclusive environments you also know the healthy conflict that comes with them. Ideas must compete. HOW we compete and interact has a world of impact on how those relationships scale.
Often we see leaders with grand aspirations working very hard who fail to recognize sources of interpersonal friction, invisibly holding them back.
WE’D LIKE TO INVITE YOU TO CONSIDER IF THIS MAY BE A SOURCE OF FRICTION HAMPERING YOUR EFFORTS.
When you have a dichotomy between your filtered and unfiltered self you are living two different selves. Two different ways of thinking and communicating. One is more true than the other. The more you can align those, the better you can bring your full self to challenging conversations and speak your mind with collaborative gentleness. You can advocate for your perspective without vitriol but also not weakness. Beliefs have a way of controlling our behavior in ways we don't perceive so if we have beliefs about people we work with that we don't openly express, those beliefs subtly undermine those relationships. Limiting beliefs about people limit our ability to interact with them.
This is the theme reflected in the well-known quote “If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it.”
If you won’t say it to their face, why is that? Is it untrue? Is it unkind? Would it be unproductive? Can the complaint be framed with more compassion and optimism? Can I see this issue as an opportunity for growth in our relationships and be an ally instead of a critic?
So consider a goal of consistency between the stories you tell yourself and others about a conflict you are experiencing. You will find holding yourself accountable for being explicit and charitable will force a more disciplined and productive way to process conflict.
A healthy byproduct is you are less likely to slip into gossip and undermining others since the story you tell yourself, the other party and any affiliates is consistent and charitable. Consistent people are trustworthy.
To be clear, this is not about suppressing emotions. This is about understanding and leveraging them consistently with training so they can provide helpful cues earlier. Often you will get emotional signals before you recognize intellectual signals. This happens in interviewing all the time. The question is, what do you do with that signal?
And always be ready to tell yourself “I don’t know enough” instead of concocting a mental story about what the other side might be doing or be motivated by. Understand your own story and ask sincere questions to understand theirs. No assumptions.