Hey All! Hope everyone is having a good weekend! I am in Atlanta, GA and the sun has finally come out after what felt like weeks of rain. Rains great, I am definitely not going to hate on the rain but I like to see the sunshine as well. My dog Bella enjoyed the walk today and napped in the sun spot right next to our door.
For those of you working on the Daily Affirmation Challenge, congratulations on your progress so far! I hope you are making it through your list everyday, fully committing to yourself, and continuously adding to it as well. If you are reading this and wondering what I am talking about, click the button below to check out my blog post; Daily Affirmation Challenge;
Today, my goal is to write 2 blog post. The first one, which you are reading; Flipping the Script; Turning Potential Negative Conversations into Positive Moments and then the second one (still need to work on it) Dealing with Death; Lessons I learned from my Dad. So, without further ado, our first blog post for today.
Flipping the Script; Turning Potential Negative Conversations into Positive Moments
Let’s start with the why.
Why would I be interested in turning potential negative conversations into positive moments?
As a manager in Customer Service I deal with this a lot. There are many benefits on not just a business stand point but a personal one as well.
Recently I added to my list of affirmations; Criticism is an opportunity for positive growth.
I will be the first to say, I take things, comments, criticisms, questions, concerns, even when they may not deal with me; personally. The perfectionist side of me wants nothing more than to do things correctly to begin with. Failure is not an option.
Unfortunately, failure is unpreventable. Oh dear god, did I just say that? Yes, yes I did.
Failure is unpreventable because there are many things we have no control over, many factors that as much as we want to obsess over them, we truly don’t have control over them and the sooner we accept that the better and happier we will be.
I may strive to be the perfect fill in the blank; girlfriend/boyfriend/friend/daughter/son/boss. Who is really being serviced in this moment?
Let me fill you in, you aren’t servicing anyone, especially and most importantly; yourself.
So as someone who isn’t fond of criticism I strive to find ways to make sure that whenever I have to bring up a hard topic or have to make a critic, I strategize in order to make sure that conversation has a positive take back for both parties. When I hear criticism I am reevaluating and reprograming my brain to take it as a moment of growth and to not take it so personally.
Again, why would I be interested in turning potential negative conversations into positive moments?
As humans we are more inclined to change and grow when its based off a positive platform.
If my foundation is solid and I have positive moments, I am willing to take on more risks, to try new things and continue to seek my own self improvement.
If I am surrounded by negativity and I am discouraged time and again, I will do the bare minimum in order to get by, I have no comfort in trying new things and nor do I seek my own self improvement.
Look at how plants grow, look at when you train a dog or a child a new task. When you reward a task well done or nourish them with encouragement to grow, you have established a safe and happy environment that allows them to flourish and be successful.
You are also allowing the bond that you share with that person or pet, deepen. By the way this can also be extended to your own self talk 🙂
How do I turn potential negative conversations into positive moments?
- Recognize that you are about to have a potential negative conversation
- Identify what you want as the take away from the conversation
- Finish them! Just kidding; Give the other party something positive to take away
How do I recognize that I am about to have a negative conversation?
This is a combination between being able to read the environment, knowing your subject and slightly predicting how they will handle what is being said to them.
The other night, I watched this unfold first hand. It involved karaoke, the person who was singing and the surrounding parties. I watched at how the surrounding parties were reacting to the person who was singing and immediately noticed judgment and laughter. I knew enough of the person at hand to know they were having a good time, but any reaction from the outside forces could deflate that mood. So what could I do as an outsider? People are watching my reaction to see what I will say, so what do I do? (to be continued)
Identify what you want as the take away from the conversation
If I am giving feedback to an employee, what do I want them to take away?
I want to be able to provide them with the encouragement and tools to continue to improve and succeed at their job.
If I am giving feedback to a friend, what do I want them to take away?
I want them to take away any advice and be able to provide a safe environment in which they feel our friendship is valuable.
I may not be able to control how someone else may take the information, but I can control how I deliver the message to them.
To continue with the karaoke example, as one of the side parties looked at me seeking feedback, I thought, am I going to encourage negativity or positivity? Am I going to be someone that accepts someones character trait being judged negatively. My answer was no. So how could I make this a positive moment and the following came out;
“I am glad they are having a good time and enjoying the moment. It takes a lot of courage to do what they are doing”
I watched as the other persons face transformed, the slightly snide look on their face turned into compassion as they looked at the person singing. They then looked back at me and repeated with sincerity “I am glad they are having a good time and they are enjoying the moment”
When I am talking to myself negatively, I ask myself, what am I trying to get out of this? Is this negative self talk really helping me grow as an individual? I confess the answer may be complicated but really negative self talk does nothing for us. We should be kinder to ourself, we owe it to ourself.
Don’t just be good to others, Be good to yourself too
Give the other party something positive to take away
As a manager, I want my employees to walk away from any feedback moment with a sense of accomplishment, with more tools at their disposal, and to carry their head a little bit higher than they did entering my office. So continuing off of step 2, step 3 is following through on your part and giving the other party either a physical take away or at least mentally positive take away.
When I train my dog (as she also trains me) what do you think is going to work better if she does a behavior I am not thrilled about doing? Like um trying to dig under the fence.
A. Go over to her and scold her for digging under the fence
B. Call her and praise her for coming over to me when called
If you answered B, you would be correct!
Positive reinforcement works wonders and is scientifically backed up for healthier living.
By praising my dog, I have established that if she stops her behavior and comes when called she will be positively rewarded and will have less of an inclination to proceed with her previous behavior. (By the way, true story, she tried digging and squeezing out of the fence, and now she doesn’t even bother with the fence and when she even hears her name she knows its time and is happy to go back inside)
In the karaoke example, I encouraged positive human bonding and being supportive of others. I watched as the person singing received high fives and was smiling from ear to ear upon return to their seat.
The Golden Gelly Nuggets
2. Identify what you want as the take away from the conversation
3. Give the other party something positive to take away
4. Positive reinforcement leads to healthier living and peace of mind