Problem! What problem?

Do you find that some people, despite your best efforts, are just plain hard work to get on with?  That building rapport is nigh impossible?  Perhaps, also despite your efforts, they don’t behave the way they should or you want them to?  Do you find yourself saying, “The problem with . . . . . . . . is that he or she . . . . . . . . . (disparaging remark)!”

Before we explore this further, let’s be aware of the possibility that what another person thinks of you is none of your business and what you think of them should be none of theirs.

Research suggests that our emotions are much more strongly influenced by those around us than we realize.  Harvard Professor Rand suggests, “Many variables affect the way we feel. But there is one crucial factor most of us don’t take into account:  the emotional state of others.”  It has been found in a study (ref. Manage your emotions, they’re contagious; http://www.healthinsite.net) that positive emotional contagion has led to improved co-operation, decreased conflict, and increased perceptions of task performance.  Negative emotional contagion has the opposite effect.  Negativity is an energy drain.  Consider the possibility that your negative remarks, perhaps not even vocalized, has an equally negative impact on your attempt to build a relationship with another.

But people you are attempting to get on with may not be negative.  Quite the contrary, they may appear quite positive.  Yet, your attempt at building rapport is quite debilitating.

Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D. states that the behavior of others isn’t a reason to be immobilized.  Or worse, being mobilized by action that serves no purpose especially yours.  Also, remember that which offends you only weakens you.  If you’re looking for occasions to be offended, you’ll find them around every turn.  It was Bono that said/sang, “If you need someone to blame, throw a rock in the air and you’ll find someone guilty.”  Being offended by others is merely your ego at work convincing you that the world shouldn’t be the way it is.  As Dr. Dyer says “Being offended creates the same destructive energy that offended you in the first place.”

Consider this: I believe you could exercise your choice as to whom you associate with rather than whom you are associated with.  It is up to you to decide whether your associations are acquaintanceships or relationships, driven by your ego or conscious alignment with your values.  People demonstrate behavior that is consistent with their beliefs and values.  It is incumbent on you to decide whether that behavior and hence values are consistent with yours and for you to determine your degree of association accordingly.  This is not about bowing down to peer pressure.  If your values are different, it is not that you have an issue. It is just that they are who they are, as you are too.  It is not about judging someone or their values.  It is not about making them wrong.

Marc Steinberg, MCC, Consciousness Coaching Academy Director, states that ‘making wrong’ provides a false sense of empowerment and “to the degree we make wrong, our destiny gets stuck.”  Self-imposed hurdles do not serve our purpose.  We have more than enough opportunity to put our values of integrity and authenticity to a ‘reality-check’ without attracting negative incompletions.

In a social context, what is absolutely evident, is that active dissociation, even-though not verbalized, probably creates more negative mind-space than we realize.  Not ‘making wrong’ in the first place and actually forgiveness, after the fact, are infinitely rewarding.  At the same time, acknowledging your ‘making wrong’ and apologizing does not mean that you are wrong and the other is right.  It means that you value the relationship more than your ego, says Marc Steinberg.

This is appropriate in a social context, but in a professional context ‘associate’ has a different context, perhaps?  In a professional context, association has more of “I have to make this relationship work, whether I like it or not” connotation.  There are potentially financial implications. And, when you’re a Sales Consultant, there certainly are!

I believe providence in a professional context is equally appropriate and starts with letting go of your need to be right.  This is a developmental client engagement style.  Ego is the source of a lot of conflict and dissension because it pushes you in the direction of making other people wrong.  By letting go of this ego-driven need to be right, by stopping yourself before a disagreement and asking yourself, “Do I want to be right or is it my intention to build a sustainable relationship?”  The epitome of providence in professional context is embracing the possibility of not personalizing what is said and simply accepting another’s perspective without necessarily agreeing with it.  Let go of your need to be superior.  It is when you project feelings of superiority that’s what you get back, leading to resentment and ultimately potentially hostile feelings.  These feelings become the vehicle that takes you farther away from your intention – that of building a sustainable business relationship.

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