How often have you heard or been in a situation wherein:
- Leaders are offering a town-hall conversation and the responses to most of your concerns, opportunities, issues are either long-winded, highlight initiatives that didn’t bring about the intended change and sounds like a bunch of banter.
- You are engaged in a conversation wherein you are offering an opportunity/potential next step on a certain event but the other individual is seeing it from their vantage point.
- Someone approached you about a certain situation and your immediate reaction (not response) was to either justify or clarify or offer your side of the story.
- When your spouse/significant other/child or family member offered a suggestion and you immediately defended your stance
Think about the last time you’ve been in that position and think about what you could have done differently or just expected the response was something different/better. I reflected on a few of these instances and have come to acknowledge the power & importance of acknowledging a perspective.
How about if:
- The leaders in the town-hall conversation started by saying — we acknowledge your concerns and very objectively looked at their efforts, and offered a very humble/direct perspective…
- The other individual responded to you by saying — I hear you, I am a bit surprised and I will certainly investigate. I have heard contrary things so it is an opportunity that requires some pondering..
- You responded the same way to someone by saying — I hear you and I’d like to understand your perspective a bit more and turned a reflective conversation to forward looking action item…
- When your family offered a perspective and you responded by saying, what is your perspective on what could I do differently…
Acknowledging a missed (real or perceived) opportunity is pivotal to turn a reflective/unfounded conversations to either a lesson learned or a forward-looking next step. It has the power to help you improve, help others improve, help a situation/event improve, and even better it provides you with an opening to emerge out from a defensive mode in a situation and come back in a fierce conversation. The lack of it spirals a conversation out of control and either stagnates the betterment of an individual or a situation or even worse takes things a step backward.
Next time you are in one of these situations, think about how you can pivot a reflective conversation to a forward looking next step by using the power of an acknowledgment. Try it & let us know what do you think?
Credits: Image sourced under creative commons license. Click here for the actual source.
Originally published at smartdotworks.com on April 25, 2015.