We need to always be aware not to impose our self-beliefs on others. Without being mindful of this can lead us to lose our objectivity and neutrality as we will be influencing, and/or even forcing people to adopt our ways of thinking or doing things. This can quickly bring an end to an otherwise good conversation, even hurting our relationship with people all because we think our ways are the best ways for ourselves and others.
While many of us know that maintaining a distance between what we want for ourselves and respecting other people’s choices is important, yet many still fall into the trap of unconsciously imposing our ways on others. This is because our beliefs often generate subconscious expectations that silently assert our thoughts, behaviours and actions on people whenever we interpret that theirs are different from ours.
When we get caught in this trap, a certain bias will emerge in us, blocking us from seeing and feeling the person in the purest way; making conclusion, judging, and even to the extent of forcing our ways on them based on our own standards and expectations.
What usually happens inside us is this. We judge people and situations by first taking in information through observing and listening to them. Then we process this information by comparing it against our subconscious expectations (derived from the pre-programmes formed. We then look for supporting evidence that reassures us that we are right.
How we can avoid this from happening and ending up with making quick conclusion on people is to get rid of our ‘autopilot’ and replace it with a conscious and deliberate effort not to fall into this trap.
From my personal experience, I do this by usually taking a deep breath and telling myself to exercise understanding and compassion consciously not to pass judgment or make conclusion but instead give the other person the benefit of doubt.
I also connect with my inner self by asking myself whether I am irritated or adversely affected with the person because he is not doing what I think I would in the same situation.
So instead of calling the person irresponsible or lacking in urgency for not acting fast enough, I would tell myself that it is alright as he has his own way of dealing with the situation, even to sometimes tell myself that there are always things we can learn from this person on his patience and calmness.
The learning lesson here is not only to avoid thinking that our ways are the best ways for ourselves and others, but have the humility and openness to accept that we too need to learn from others as well. With a mind-set like this, we will be able to stay connected well with people, grow further in our relationship with them and make better decisions in life too.
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