I had some interesting experiences last week that struck a chord with something I just read in Leadership and Self-Deception : “Whether people skills are effective or not depends on something deeper [than] behavior and skill… . No matter what we’re doing on the outside, people respond primarily to how we’re feeling about them on the inside.”
It sounds kind of corny, so I questioned this at first. But I’m coming to believe that this statement as I examine my interactions with my family and co-workers. If I’m frustrated with my kids, and that’s the main feeling in my heart, it doesn’t matter too much that I keep my voice level and say reasonable things; somehow my they sense my frustration with them and react to it defensively.
The same thing seems to hold true at work. When I am mostly thinking how I want someone else as a problem or roadblock, they seem to sense that somehow, even if I’m smiling and making chit-chat. Some defensiveness arises, finger-pointing starts, etc.
So what do you do about it? Chang