Round Hole Square Peg

images

How long do we need to continue putting a square peg into a round hole before we throw it up in the air and try something different? We all learn as babies how this works. Triangle shape fits into a triangle hole. I don’t know one who got it right the first go. As adults we sat and watched encouraging the fumbling little fingers and intense concentration to keep trying, knowing they would eventually get it right. When they did, we celebrated their accomplishment just as enthusiastically if not more than they did.

Flash forward years and change your view just slightly and imagine these pegs as our belief systems, morals, values and opinions. We may not have the pegs in front of us physically but the idea is just the same. We have a way of thinking and our partner has their way of thinking. His may be the round peg and you may have the square hole. <~~~ that sounds just weird after writing it but I am going to leave it.

We all have different opinions, belief systems, morals and values. Some we are willing to compromise on and some are set in stone. We can either try to change the other to adopt ours or we can compromise and blend them together. Keep in mind that each human being has walked a unique path making them who they are because of where they came from and the life experience they had along the way. When we can dive deep to the root of who they are it is much easier to understand why they may have formed a different view on life than we have. Unlike the baby trying to fit that rigid peg into a hole we have learned over the years to compromise in our work relationships, friendships and love unions. We evolve and learn that what is best for the team is a blend of everyone involved. It is not as cut and dry as wood pegs.

Lets say within a relationship we are given 10 pegs, we can see how many we agree on by placing them into the right slot. Again celebrating the ones that fit so perfectly. But what happens when they don’t fit?

We can take weeks, months even years to figure out some of our pegs are not going to match no matter how hard we try. Some of us are slow learners, or are we? Maybe we just know what we want and were relentless in finding a way to make it work? Maybe we are not willing to compromise? Maybe we just need to find a heavier mallet to smash the square peg into the round hole and be done with it. The problem is the peg we smash into the wrong hole is going to be damaged. Now what? Should we be get out our sandpaper and start smoothing the edges of our pegs and try to keep going? <~~~ that is called compromise. Or do we give up and walk away from all the pegs we have damaged?

This is where communication steps in…Hallelujah to words but even better the actions that follow. In my humble opinion, if you are not willing to follow through with the actions behind the words, you should keep those words inside a little longer. The time will eventually present itself and be a moment to celebrate! Mean what you say and say what you mean.

Some of us can communicate better than others. If we try, over time we evolve into better communicators with practise. If you consider yourself a poor communicator with words, you can always fall back on your actions…you know what they say about actions, they speak louder then words. There really is no reason to fail at communication, it’s just whether or not you are doing it to listen, or to reply. Muting someones words just tells them they don’t matter. I have learned over the years that if you stay in the room, even the worst case scenario…agree to disagree, you fair better than walking away.

Communication is a choice. Here are a few prime examples, you tell me what appears to be the best form of getting your whole view across.

Text messaging is a form of somewhat broken communication, good if you are sending brief information required, but for anything more meaningful it is passing back and forth fragmented thoughts that can lapse over days. This is for those who want to think so long before they speak and even when they do it is so wide open for interpretation it most often goes in the wrong direction, leaving both parties more confused.

Email can have it’s advantages for those who want to get their thoughts down without being interrupted but isn’t injections from the other person necessary to have the flow go in the right direction, a natural ebb and flow of a conversation. You both help the other understand by clarifying something along the way as to not have the wrong impression.

Phone conversation are the second best in my opinion, hearing the persons voice can help direct you as to what they are feeling with simply the tone of their voice.

Standing in front of another human being is the only way to truly communicate. The only way you can have any real success in trying to get his round peg into your square hole. 🙂 You see their eyes, their body language and if both are open to expressing themselves honestly it is a communication celebration.

So life is not about being completely structured, fitting a square peg into a square hole and thinking that is the only option. Life is about how we deal with situations when the square peg and round hole present itself to us, how we communicate to solve the problem, whether in business or our personal lives.

~ Tracy

Share

Are You Listening?

Tracy

Do you ever feel like your not being heard.  You start to raise your voice thinking it will make a difference, but by then the people you are talking to think your angry.  It can be frustrating.  It makes you think either your really boring or people are so focused on themselves that they just don’t hear what you have to say.  Self importance can be a slippery slope!

I was told a funny story about when you are having a conversation with someone you are to say ( in your head) while they are talking, “you”.  When you speak or adds to the conversation you say (in your head) “me” and it goes from there.  It should be about equal, you-you-you, me-me-me, you-you-you, me-me-me, equal amounts of input to make the conversation flow and not one sided.  It makes me laugh every time I get into a conversation with someone who doesn’t let anyone else add to the conversation.  Me-me-me-me-me-me and so on.

There are also those who manipulate the conversation around what they are trying to talk about (self importance rears it’s ugly head) but it just doesn’t naturally go in their direction so they force the topic change.  Those who are listening exchange that puzzled looks to one another and the self important person is back in control!  It all comes down to “listening” skills.  There are basic listening skills and entire websites just to learn how to listen, so it must be an epidemic!

Listening is one of the most important skills you can have.  How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.
We listen to obtain information.
We listen to understand.
We listen for enjoyment.
We listen to learn.

listeningWith all the listening we do, you would think we’d be good at it!  In fact we’re not.  Apparently we remember a dismal 25-50% of what we hear.  That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers or spouse for 10 minutes, they only really hear 2½-5 minutes of the conversation.  Well that’s just great isn’t it!  No wonder, it’s all starting to make sense to me.
So that must mean that when we are receiving directions or being presented with information, we aren’t hearing the whole message either.  Let’s hope the important parts are captured in your 25- 50%, but what if they’re not?  The dots are starting to be connected!
There is huge room for improvement here, so by becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate.   This will help avoid conflict and misunderstandings – all necessary for workplace success.

So I ask, Are you listening?

Here’s some tips:
Pay attention. (Duh)
Give the speaker your undivided attention and acknowledge the message.
Eye Contact and head nods help the speaker be aware you ARE listening.
Put aside distracting thoughts. (God I’d like to reach out and kiss him right now~ not good)
Avoid being distracted by environmental factors. (what’s the smell?)

Body language can tell you heaps about someone, read them as they speak but don’t over analyse.  (his fingers are separated from his thumb on his chin, I just read that in a book, what’s the name again, it means either he is going to shoot me or… OMG he thinks I’m easy !)  Another distraction.

Allow the speaker to finish. (unless… your so totally bored and late to where your going, cut your losses and run)
Don’t interrupt, you will get your turn.  (At least you hope you do.  If you don’t, you’ll know for next time to say a quick hello and keep walking!)

Listening can sometimes be difficult depending on who is talking, but it is a respect we should all have for others.  If we become good listeners, maybe, just maybe it will rub off on those around us.  Lead by example~ If they see we are giving them our undivided attention when they have something to say it should be reciprocated!  We can only hope.

Share the air, you just might learn something.  Wadja say?

Tracy signiture

Share

We’d LOVE To Hear From You!

Bonnie Johnson's PostI was recently told by not one, not two, but four different people that they were afraid to leave a comment on our site.  What? Why?  Apparently they all felt a little intimidated by it.  One even admitted that she had started a comment but then erased it all before she hit the submit button.  OMG (Oh My Goddess)! Never be afraid to leave us a comment!  We live for comments!

We are always anxious to hear what you think about whatever it is that we have just written about, the good, the bad or the indifferent.

Whenever a comment is left on our blog we get an email notification asking us to accept or deny the comment.  Unless you are spam, we always accept your comment.  The only other reason we wouldn’t accept your comment would be if you were…well actually I can’t think of a reason why we wouldn’t.  Even if you were being incredibly rude or slanderous we would still probably accept your comment because we are desperate for more comments would then be able to respond with why we disagree with your rude or slanderous behaviour.  That way we would then have just logged two comments rather than no comments and we are all about getting comments here!  The site is meant to be a conversation between us and you after all.

I have my cell phone programmed to receive these notifications and to play a really cool little tune called “Inspired Epiphany” whenever one arrives.  How perfect is that?!  We want your voice to be heard right away!
When I hear “Inspired Epiphany” coming from my purse or pocket or wherever my phone is, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling all over.  It feels like Christmas morning or a birthday or any other gift receiving time of the year.  That’s how excited I get about receiving a comment on our blog.

Oh, and don’t think it’s just me either.  When Tracy and Jacquie were here recently they too raced for a lap top or pc whenever they heard that little tune.  The person posting that day would check her computer every half hour just in case a comment had been left and we hadn’t heard my phone.   I think you’re getting the picture now.

When we do receive a comment it means, to us, that we have written something that you have found interesting and compelling enough that you wanted to participate in the conversation regarding it.  Plus it gives you the opportunity to tell us if you appreciate or do not appreciate our point of view.  I have to admit a lot of comments are a boost to the ego but they also help to inspire us to want to write more.  So please don’t be afraid to leave a comment on our site (which is waaay better than emailing us privately or leaving a comment on Facebook, although we do really appreciate those too).  You don’t have to say much.   Just let us know you are out there and what’s on your mind.  Pleeeese make my phone play “Inspired Epiphany”.  It means far too so much to us.

I found the following list written by Liz Strauss at successful-blog.com and I’ve added my 2 cents worth in blue.

10 Reasons Readers Don’t Leave Comments

1. What you write is so complete, that I don’t know what to say except good job. I feel silly writing that, so I read and move on.  Oh don’t feel silly.  We’d love you to say “good job”!

2. You’ve taught me something I didn’t know and I need to think about it before I even have a question. Much like number 1, I don’t want to embarrass myself. I’m better off moving on.  We are certainly not judgmental so you should never feel embarrassed by your opinions.  Everyone’s opinions are valid.

3. I get ready to type a comment, but I notice you only respond to a few friends who mostly share inside jokes. I won’t take the risk of being overlooked in public. We don’t do this.  Besides we don’t have enough people who leave comments to be accused of this yet…and then we still wouldn’t anyway!

4. The folks who comment on your posts like to argue and I don’t. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to fight my way into the crowd.  Sheesh! I wouldn’t blame you, but we haven’t experienced this at all on our site.

5. You rarely respond to comments. So, there’s no point in writing one. We do respond! Sometimes we feel like we do it too much…like we are just so glad someone is saying something to us that we can’t stop talking…it’s a nervous thing really.

6. Your blog has geeky attitude and I’m not geeky enough to keep up. I’m pretty sure we can’t be accused of this one!

7. I really like your blog and your post, but I’m too tired, busy, or any one of a number things that you can’t control. I’ll comment the next I come back to read.  No worries.  We wouldn’t expect you to feel like you always had to comment.

8. You end your posts with a giant general question like “What do you think of the Big Bang Theory?” That question is such a big one. I don’t have time to answer it. I feel strange answering with a lesser comment.  This doesn’t fit our blog either.  We aren’t trying to solve the world’s mysteries…just trying to connect with people.

9. You put up a fence by making me login to comment. I have too many passwords already and I don’t know you well enough to add one to my list.  We don’t do this either.  You just have to give us your name, email address (not shared), web site (only if you have one) and then the comment.  Easy.

10. Your content wasn’t fresh and exciting, and I couldn’t find anything YOU inside it. It seemed the same post that I’ve read on 10 other blogs. If I commented, I would have to tell you that.  Ugh! Leave us a comment telling us to quit if we ever get like this!

PLUS ONE: Your post was negative. Negative is scary. Most folks don’t like negative stuff, because they know they could be next to be the recipient. I don’t comment, because I don’t want to be part of it.  Again, same as above.  Our focus at Tara Cronica is to inspire and to share and connect with you.

A heartfelt thank you to those who do comment on our site.  Now, Ready.  Set.  Comment!

Bonnie

Share