As you know, I truly believe that a holistic approach to life and work is most important. If your personal life is going well, that supports your success at work. However, if you are having relationship challenges, that can spillover into your work life, and make it more difficult to perform at your peak.
With that in mind, I recently wrote an article on MindBodyGreen with a very practical tip that will help you to strengthen your relationship. And, while I wrote it with romantic relationships in mind, the truth is, it will bolster your work relationships as well. I hope you enjoy it!
When most of my clients want to improve their communication skills at home or at work, they focus on how to better handle conflict. They want to have more empathy, to avoid being critical, or to make sure they don’t shut down when hearing uncomfortable information from loved ones or coworkers. They want to “fight fair,” to get all the issues out on the table without getting defensive, and to listen attentively in the process.
And let’s face it: all of these behaviors are truly important for navigating our interactions with others. After all, when two people, with two distinct life histories, engage with one another, differences in opinion arise. Handling these difficulties well could be the difference between a successful resolution and a knock down, dragged-out fight.
However, while arguments and conflict tend to get a lot of airplay because of how dramatic and emotionally-laden they can be, research suggests that you are making a mistake if you don’t also pay attention to how you respond to your partner’s good news.
In fact, psychologist Dr. Shelly Gable argues that how we respond to each other in good times can serve as a barometer of the health of the relationship, and that it can better predict the quality of the relationship than our reactions to bad news.
So, how should you respond to your partner’s good news? Gable suggests there are four possible ways to react. See if you see yourself in any of the responses to the scenario below…
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