Tools for Making a Positive Difference II

Okay, so welcome to lesson three. And welcome back to the closer framework. We’ve looked at the sea and the owl. And we’re now going to look at this lesson at the O and the s. The O is for openness, openness. This is about no game playing, no manipulation, no hidden agendas, just honest, human interaction. That is what openness is about. If we want to be trusted and respected, then we need to make sure that we’ve been open in our dealings with other people. And of course, without trust and respect, we won’t go very far when it comes to influencing people. Unfortunately, we have a strong culture of anything but openness in many ways, it is not uncommon to come across examples of people who are behaving in a way that could be described as game playing or manipulation, where there are hidden and hidden agendas that can get in the way of people connecting in a genuinely open way. So what we have to think about then is, how can we make sure that what we are doing when we’re communicating with people is doing so openly that we have this mutual respect, if you like, you won’t get respect from other people if you don’t respect them. And if you’re playing games or manipulating, you are trying to bypass this openness, then you’re going to struggle to get that respect from people. One way of looking at this is that it’s around trust. And one important lesson that I learned some years ago, is that trust is unstable, but mistrust is stable. What I mean by that is, trust is very easy to lose. If you engage in any sort of game playing or manipulation, then it’s very easy to lose trust, and then very difficult to win it back. So trust in that sense is unstable, it’s easy to lose. If you make a mistake, in terms of openness, you will lose that trust and struggle to get it back. Whereas mistrust is stable. And what I mean by that is, once somebody mistrusts you, they’re likely to continue mistrusting you, it will be something that will stick with you for quite some considerable time, if not permanently. So we have to be careful that we don’t lose trust, by bypassing openness and by bypassing openness, I mean, of course, doing things that will get us a bad reputation, trying to maneuver people into situations for our benefit, not not theirs. So it’s back to that issue around manipulation and exploitation, that we clearly need to avoid. So that’s the O of closer, it’s around openness, we need to take steps to make sure that we are relating to other people in an open way. And that will encourage them to be open back. Let’s now move on to the s and this s refers to sensitivity and empathy. It’s about being considerate. Basically, being considerate will get you far in terms of making a difference, as people generally appreciate it, and are more likely to reciprocate. That is if you are showing consideration to other people, they’re more likely to show consideration to you in return. Whereas by contrast, being inconsiderate or selfish, will make it extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to have a positive impact. If people perceive that you are out for yourself that you are just doing things without consideration of their feelings or their needs or their issues, then that will go against you in the likeability stakes. You will struggle to make an impact with people struggle to exercise influence in a positive direction. If what is happening is you are coming across as inconsiderate or selfish. What can be very helpful in terms of this is the idea of empathy. A lot of people use the terms empathy and sympathy interchangeably, but they are in fact quite different. Sympathy is Where we share somebody’s feelings, and the emphasis is on share, so that if they’re sad, we’re sad, if they’re angry, we’re angry, if they’re grieving, we’re grieving. If they’re happy, we’re happy, and so on. And that’s a very legitimate idea. That’s an important thing in many circumstances. Now, empathy is subtly different from that, because empathy is about recognizing and responding appropriately to somebody’s feelings, but without necessarily sharing them. So for example, if somebody is angry, we may not be angry, too. So we’re not sympathizing with them. But we’re empathizing, if we recognize how it has come about that they become angry. So in terms of defusing, potentially aggressive situation, helping to keep anger under control, for example, then empathy can be very useful to show in whatever reasonable ways we can, that we appreciate what is being experienced what those feelings are, without necessarily sharing them. Now, another related term that will no doubt be felt familiar with is the idea of apathy. And apathy means no feeling just couldn’t care less basically. Now, we don’t have strong feelings one way or the other. Now, if you think about it, empathy is a midpoint between sympathy and empathy. sympathy and apathy are the extremes. So sympathy is sharing someone else’s feelings. apathy At the other extreme, is not connecting with that person’s feelings whatsoever. They just don’t register with us, if we are apathetic, but in between those two extremes is this healthy balance of empathy, of being able to tune in to somebody’s feelings, even if we don’t share those feelings, we don’t have to share the feelings, we just have to recognize them appreciate that these feelings are real, because that particular person, and will therefore be very significant. So there we have it in terms of lesson three, we’ve got openness, and we’ve got sensitivity and empathy. So it’s about no game playing, no manipulation, no hidden agendas. That’s the openness bit. And our honesty and openness will encourage others to be honest and open. And that’s an important way of making progress in terms of influencing skills. And then link to now it is important to be insensitive and considerate, and drawing on this idea of empathy, which is about tuning in to other people’s feelings and being able to respond appropriately to that to them without necessarily sharing those feelings yourself. So that that’s it for lesson three. And I’ll look forward to seeing you in lesson four, where we’ll look at the remaining two letters, the remaining two aspects of the getting closer framework. Thank you