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February 12, 2012

Tip of the Week 

Insurance Against Mediocrity 

Accept vs. Agree

What it is to Accept:  To receive or acknowledge something.  It can also mean to consider something as true or correct.  There are boundary issues with accepting.  

What it is to Agree:  To harmonize in opinion, feeling, or view.  It can follow accepting, but doesn’t always.  There are boundary issues with agreeing. 

Why It's Important:  Connections are made through conversation and information exchange.  To enable connection, one must be willing to accept the ideas of other people as, at the very least, true for them.  Truth evolves at an alarming rate and updates flow to us through other people.  In order for you to influence other people, you’ll need to demonstrate your willingness to listen to them.

The Problem:  The Widening Gap

It’s feels risky listening to another view point if you haven’t distinguished acceptance from agreement.  The alarm at the edge of your boundary alerts you to an unfamiliar and possible danger to the status quo you’ve grown accustomed to.  Because a new idea can threaten to unravel a carefully constructed life, most people slam the gates shut to outsiders—even when the outsider is a son or daughter or loved one.   We make snap judgments about the entire idea presented based on snippets of data and, with so much on the line, we tend to look for snippets that justify disagreement.  

The Tip:    Clarify Your Beliefs

To reduce the risk of listening to other people, clarify your beliefs first.  Imagine you are introducing an idea to someone new.  In order to do that well, your idea would be succinct, and delivered without strings or judgment.  That takes clarity.  Try these steps to bring clarity to something. 

Step 1:  Get the Facts 

Go for 3 to 4 objective facts that describe the idea.  (A fact is something supported by observable evidence.)   

Step 2:  Get the Truth 

Make sense of the facts.  Your opinion is based on objective facts filtered through your unique perspective.  It’s how your life’s experiences create a feeling about something. 

 Facts + Feelings = Truth

Step 3:  Clean the lens

Your filter is created by past experience and may need updating.  What may have been true for you as a child or true for you even 5 years ago may no longer be true.  Check in with present day reality and update your perspective if needed. 

Step 4:  Share and Invite 

Once you’ve clarified your belief about something, you’ll feel calmer about it.  The risk of someone confusing you or misleading (duping) you are much lower.  Now, if you talk with someone whose facts, feelings or truth differs from yours, you won’t get rattled because you’ll have a clear understanding of why you think the way you do.  You’ll be able to hold onto what’s important in your idea while considering the possibilities in the other person’s message.  

 

Benefits

Influence - The only way for you to influence others and make a difference is by exchanging ideas.  You’ll need to be credible and trustworthy, sure, and you’ll also need to be willing to engage.

Connection – Walking on the solid ground clarity gives you, you’ll be able to venture out and share.

Smarter – Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know.  Listening to someone just might teach you something new.

Relishing – A by-product of the clarity process is the ability to relish your truth.  More than honesty, it’s the whole notion of truth about a situation, a person, or an event, that when discovered can transform your life. 

--- Caution  --- Caution --- Caution --- Caution ---

Acceptable vs. Not Acceptable

A willingness to allow differing ideas or behaviors is great unless it isn’t.  This is the boundary at which you slam the gate and pull down the shades.  If someone hurts you physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, or injures you in any way, shape or form, announce it and take action.  There may be consequences in taking a stand:  know them and prepare for them as you hang the No Soliciting sign.

 

Related Articles: Communication Style, Can't Lose Weight, Responsible vs. Accountable,

Related Tip of the Week:  Expectation Guilt , Dissent, Accept vs. Agree,  

 

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