You are able to read this article right now because you have learned to communicate through the understanding of written language. All communication can be classified into three categories; these include speaking, listening and understanding. Communication Etiquette therefore involves courteous and well-thought out interaction between individuals or groups that includes informed speech, attentive and active listening and a sincere grasp or understanding of what is being communicated.
One common cause for the breakdown of communication between friends, within families or amongst co-workers is the introduction of conflict or a difficulty. In these instances, the person of etiquette, should desire to resolve the conflict and move on as quickly as possible in order to resume a right relationship with any and all of those involved. Others will recognize you as a fair-minded, logical communicator with leadership qualities when you take the lead in resolving conflicts within relationships.
Here are some Principles for Solving Problems you can use in your every day life in order to get along, influence and communicate better within your sphere of influence.
- Know and Embrace why you believe the conflict needs to be resolved. It is important that you have a conviction or belief about why this particular conflict is unhealthy and unnecessary and needs to be dealt with immediately. It is true that some amount of conflict may be needful in some situations in order to facilitate or cause change. For instance, if your teen-aged daughter continuously oversleeps and causes the house to be in a frenzied state before work and school, perhaps choosing to allow some healthy conflict will cause her to change her behavior. How about letting her deal with some consequences such as a family that is disappointed in her lack of respect for everyone else and has determined to let her know that they find her constant tardiness to be rude behavior. On the other hand, most conflict is destructive and disruptive and should be dealt with immediately. Is the conflict causing discord in the workplace? Is the problem effecting productivity? Make up your mind why this is a problem to be handled immediately and proceed from there.
- See the good in the conflict Decide what good, if any, can or has come from the conflict and use that to increase your knowledge of human relationships and intra-personal communication. Often times there is a lot of emotional growth as a result of conflict.
- Determine your goal and Start with yourself You don't want to attempt to resolve a conflict having ulterior motives. Be clear within your own mind about why you feel it is important to restore the relationship and examine your heart and motives. Ask yourself what role you played in the conflict and deal honestly with your own feelings, failures and faults.
- Humble yourself and seek and give forgiveness. Pride will prove to be a stumbling block to reconciliation every time. Be sure to be transparent in your communication, speak truth, listen to the needs and perceptions of the others and relate that you understand by restating their concerns and needs.
- Deal with the problem, don't ignore it. It may be difficult to deal with a problem head on, but this is the only way to move past it and move on. If the attempt at reconciliation is marked by shallow apologies and vague references there will be no real resolve. State the actual problem and then deal with ways to overcome the difficulty. If your co-worker constantly does the bare minimum at work, causing you to carry more than your fair share of the work-load, it is important to let him or her know that this is causing a problem with how you respect or perceive him or her and that you are becoming resentful of his or her lackadaisical attitude toward the bottom-line at work. Handling this issue sooner rather than later will enable you to communicate in a polite manner. If you wait, things might get ugly.
- Try not to nit-pick. Determine whether this is a real problem rather than a mere annoyance. If you consider the situation carefully and recognize that this conflict is really just a difference of opinion, you may want to just let it pass. Change your mind about the situation and recognize that people have little quirks and differences, but this is definitely not a cause for major conflict and disharmony.
Solving problems is definitely something that the person of etiquette wants to be known for doing well. As leaders in the social setting, you want it to be known that you are a level-headed thinking versus emotional responder to whatever life may present. As you go through life you will find that people will respect you and your opinions and see you as a person they can trust to be fair and honest.