This week I have been pondering on what makes some people easy to talk to and work with, while others are a continual challenge and seem to grate? What makes the difference? What they say? What they do? Their attitude? Probably a mixture or all of those! What can I do about it? It seems to me that the key is treating others like I want them to treat me. Yes, this is not a quick fix but rather a long-term solution which we need to keep working at. Where do we start?
John C Maxwell suggests that there are 5 things that we all want:
1 Encouragement! In the environment of OTS I see this as an integral part of my job, making sure that in the military indoctrination process they get more positive messages than negative ones. What are you doing to encourage those around you?
2 Appreciation! We all want to feel that we have made a worthwhile contribution to the team or the project but we will never know unless someone tells us. Who have you been taking for granted – show your appreciation today!
3 Forgiveness? No matter who we are we all make mistakes, and if we feel that there is no forgiveness available inevitably it will destroy the relationship. Are you withholding forgiveness? You cannot demand it – it must be freely given!
4 Listening ear! Loneliness is a killer disease, I meet people every week who just need somebody to really listen to them. We are eager to refer them to the specialist professionals, like Psychologists, when all they really need is a friend. When was the lst time you made a new friend?
5 Understanding! We all need to know that those around us understand our hopes and dreams, as well as our fears and failures. To do this we must seek to get below the surface and refuse to prematurely judge. Only then can we build strong relationships we all need and desire.
Are these the things that you want from others? Then start by giving them to those you live with and work with and you will find that your world will become one where everyone is easy to talk to and work with!
Chaplain Ian Whitley