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Maybe There Is Just No Talking To You Either

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about what it was like to be on the receiving end of you. It was about how you need to be aware of how your communication style effects the people you are trying to reach and what you can do to make sure you’re being effective in your efforts.

Something recently reminded me of the flipside of that idea. For the past few weeks I’ve been helping an elderly family member through a challenging change in her living situation. My usual strong and logical family member went right off the deep end in the middle of it all. And while that’s not uncommon due to the stress involved, it certainly doesn’t make things easy.

I was on the phone with my mom after a particularly difficult conversation she had with this person and she blurted…”There’s just no talking to her!”

She used to say this to me a lot when I was a teenager, “There’s just no talking to you!” She was probably right at the time.

So my question to you today is this: “Is there just no talking to you?”

Everyone easily agrees on the damage that can be done to a business by a bully, or someone who is vulgar in his or her communications, or a know-it-all. But what about the problems caused by someone who is overly sensitive to every suggestion at improvement and can’t handle being told they made a mistake. Or what about someone who is offended every chance they get?

A know-it-all is bad enough when they’re the one talking, but what about when you need them to contribute to a team project where they’re not in charge?

How much productivity is lost in the workplace when someone has to be overly coddled and has everyone walking on eggshells around him or her?

The goal of course is not to create a workplace full of emotionless robots but if you are wondering why you’re getting passed up for promotions, not making as many sales as your peers or not being included in more projects, maybe it’s time to take a bit of a self inventory.

Take a minute not just to think about how you deliver information, but also how you receive it.

Being able to listen to and absorb constructive criticism shows maturity and a desire for improvement. Shutting down during these difficult conversations makes it harder for the person who is trying to help you continue to do so. Make it hard enough on them and they may stop trying altogether and just write you off in their mind. Think about the effect that can have on your career or your business.
Defensiveness is another big problem. Sure there are times when you need to explain your actions or your decisions. But you can feel the difference between someone who is providing more information about why they are doing something and someone is offended having even been asked to do so.

Remember, you are responsible for all the relationships you have. If you want to be an effective leader, a valued contributor or a good sales person; think not only about how you are being received but how you are at receiving.

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