Please Join Us!
When: Friday, October 12 @ 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. GMT/10:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Navigating the Complexities of Human Interactions
“Recognize that every interaction you have is an opportunity to make a positive impact on others.”
– Shep Hyken, U.S. author and speaker
About This Week’s Chat: Scene 1, Take 1
It’s Tuesday morning. Justin walks into the office and, as he always does, greets everybody with a cheerful, “Good morning!”
Usually, everybody returns his greeting. But today, Caryn just mumbles something and doesn’t even look up.
Justin starts to think about all his interactions with Caryn over the last two days. Was it something he said? Something he didn’t say? Maybe something he forgot to do? But he can’t think of any reason why Caryn would be so unfriendly.
Just after 10 o’clock, Justin’s manager calls him into her office. She asks him, among other things, to take some documents to Caryn to get them signed.
His heart sinks. Caryn is the last person he feels like facing! He still doesn’t know what he did wrong, so he decides to act in a formal and officious way.
Justin goes to Caryn’s office and puts the documents on her desk with a rather curt, “Maria asked you to sign these.” She signs, and he thanks her politely but without his customary friendliness.
When he leaves, Caryn wonders what has got into Justin. He’s usually a very pleasant person but he seems so aloof this morning.
During the day, Caryn catches herself recalling all their recent interactions, trying to think how she might have offended him. Try as she may, nothing comes to mind.
Scene 1, Take 2
Justin walks into the office and, as he always does, greets everybody with a cheerful, “Good morning!”
Usually, everybody returns his greeting. But today, Caryn just mumbles something. Justin knows that Caryn’s mother is very ill, and he realizes that she’s probably preoccupied.
Just after 10 o’clock, Justin’s manager calls him and asks him to take some documents to Caryn for her to sign.
When he gets to Caryn’s office, he greets her and says, “I noticed you seemed a bit quiet this morning. Is everything OK? How’s your mom doing?”
After Justin has left, Caryn thinks what a nice person he is and how kind he is to ask about her mother.
What Made the Difference?
The two scenes above played out very differently, even though they started off with the same people, in the same place, at the same time, doing the same things.
What made the difference was how Justin decided to interpret Caryn’s mumbled greeting. In the first scenario, he made an assumption that he must have done something wrong. But, in the second scenario, he took the bigger picture into consideration.
In both scenarios, all Justin’s interactions with Caryn, from the greeting onward, were influenced by his thoughts about her mumbled greeting.
Navigating the Complexities of Human Interactions
These two scenes describe mundane, everyday occurrences. Yet even in this very simple example we see how complex and multilayered human interactions can be.
In our Twitter poll this week, we wanted to know what you think is most likely to cause conflict between people. The clear winner, with more than half of the votes, was “making assumptions.” Click here to see all of the options, and the results.
In our #MTtalk Twitter chat this week, we’re going to talk about navigating the complexities of human interactions. We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
- What makes interactions with others so difficult or complex sometimes?
- What obstacles do you most often encounter when you’re dealing with other people?
- How has technology influenced your human interactions?
- How have you had to change your thinking when you’re dealing with people?
- When you’re dealing with people, what’s the one “go-to rule” that you’d like everybody to embrace?
To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.
8 Ways to Improve Your Self-Regulation
Building Great Work Relationships
Boost Your Interpersonal Skills
Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict
Working With People You Don’t Like
Why Soft Skills Matter
How to Join Our Chat
Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.