Positive conversations work better than negative ones when you are trying to develop trust and influence others. In the work setting, they can inspire others to take action, drive business results, and complete tasks. In your personal life, they help create respect and get cooperation.
Also, when you are able to project your positive intentions, others are more likely to respond to your questions positively and feel confident about taking risks and accomplishing tasks.
Offering support and praise or encouragement is important to help others believe you trust them. It makes them feel more positive about doing extra work or tackling challenges.
However, when negative conversations occur, others internalize your message based on what they think you are saying – not your actual words. This is a problem because you think you are being clear. Since words are rarely neutral, they can mean different things to different people. The difference between the two messages creates distrust, possible betrayal, and avoidance. In the work setting, it can lead to lower productivity, innovation, and success.
If this is happening to you, it helps to check or validate what has been understood so you do not leave yourself and someone else open for surprises. Since two people talking together cannot be sure they are on the same page, you need to take time to validate or check out the meaning of your conversation by:
- Slowing down and breathing deeply to allow time to process what has been said and see the impact of your conversation
- Checking your emotions frequently so you can manage them
- Doing what you can to keep you and the other person feeling safe to proceed with the conversation
- Staying focused on what the other person is saying
- Asking the other person if you have understood him/her fully by telling you what you meant
- Asking questions that help you discover more information
- Asking the other person to tell you more about specific things to increase your understanding and verify your interpretation of the situation
- Validating shared goals and meanings
Breakthroughs occur when you take time to share and discover what each other mean. This is creating a shared reality and eliminates reality gaps and blind spots that destroy trust.
Comment below about what you will do during your next important conversation to decrease conflict, stay positive, and build trust.
Until next time,