This was first published on ksl.com
I’ve been traveling internationally recently and have had to communicate with many people who don't speak English. Some have given up trying to communicate the moment they realize we don’t speak the same language, while others refused to let the language barrier stop us from trying to understand each other. They act out certain words or look them up on their phones as we try to connect.
This experience has had me thinking about how often we struggle to communicate with others, even when we do speak the same language. We might struggle to understand someone who we are different from, grow frustrated, and give up.
To help with those communication barriers, I'm offering five unconventional suggestions that could help you better handle conversations and conflict with your spouse, friends, coworkers or relatives — especially when your differences make it hard to understand each other.
1. Make sure you treat the other person as an equal
While traveling, I watched many of my fellow travelers treat bellmen, waiters, and other local people as less than them. We might see this happen all around us, but we often miss the ways we do it to our own spouse, children, family members or co-workers.
When you approach a conversation from an elevated position, the other person can feel it and it may affect the quality of the interaction. The first step to improving your conversations is to check your importance and value scale. Make sure you speak to every person as an equal in value and importance. For instance, if you're mad at someone, keep in mind that you, too, make mistakes. When talking to them, treat them as an equal with the same value, no matter their mistakes or differences.
2. Honor and respect their right to be different
We must honor the fact the other people have had different upbringings, different teachers, different experiences, and a completely different classroom journey in life. It's no wonder they think differently and have different views. You must honor their right to have those views and to have their views respected. You don’t have to agree with them, but you should be willing to hear them — without judgment — if you want to improve your conversations.
When your family members or coworkers, think differently, try asking questions and listening without agreeing or disagreeing because both make the conversation about you and not them. Instead, do try to respect their right to their feelings and opinions and don’t be so quick to share your views. Be a patient listener. This shows people you value them as they are and, in this case, they will be much more open to communicating with you.
3. Stay interested and curious
When traveling abroad, you can’t help but notice all of the differences. And when you notice those difference, comparison might start to occur. When you start comparing, you are quick to subconsciously see foreign ways as either better or worse than your way. This is human nature, but it leads to judgment and not appreciation, tolerance, or true exploring of the different way.
Instead, approach every difference from a place of curiosity about what you could learn from the other person. Ask more questions and truly listen. Become someone who spends more time listening than talking, and your conversations will become rich and connected. You can still hold to your beliefs and opinions while you also connect in a respectful way with others.
4. Be respectful and courteous
Courtesy is a universal language and you feel it every time someone holds the door open for you, says sorry when they bump into you, or covers their mouth when they sneeze. It is respectful, considerate, polite behavior and should be the hallmark of our interactions with others.
Unfortunately, we are often more courteous to strangers than we are to family and friends. Are you as courteous to the people you live with? Do you make sure you are courteous to strangers? Being courteous creates friendship and connection before a word is even said. When we do this at all times, our conversations are more authentic and caring.
5. Remember: Positivity and humor break down walls
Humor can be the fastest way to connect to someone who speaks another language. Doing something silly might break that ice and connect you faster than anything else. I once signed up for a river rafting excursion in India, not knowing that in their culture, this activity is traditionally only for men. The men on our raft did not seem happy to have two ladies aboard. It was awkward and uncomfortable, at first, because everyone’s walls were up. But that changed the moment we started splashing the men with our paddles and they realized the water fight was on. Fun, humor and positivity make quick friends and start wonderful connections.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles and Nicole Cunningham are the authors of the 12 Shapes Relationship System - get the app today, take the quiz, invite friends and learn about your shape at - app.12shapes.com
This was first published on KSL.com
I get along with everyone, but there is this one person at work, who doesn’t like me at all, and I literally can’t stand being around her now. Everything I say or do brings a look or comment from her. She is rude, arrogant and tacky. She insults me and makes it very clear she doesn’t like me, and this situation is making work miserable. What do you do when there is one person who doesn’t like you at all, but you have to deal with them every day?
The short answer to this question is don’t let it bug you. Whatever their problem is, it is probably not really about you and it doesn’t mean much that this one human doesn’t like you. You are still the same you with the same infinite value, no matter what one person thinks, but I would like to give you eight suggestions that might help you be less bothered.
1. We are all different and won’t click with everyone
Throughout your life, there will be people who immediately like you and your personalities just click, and also people with whom you don’t click. This is true for all of us all the time, so it’s OK if someone doesn't like you. It’s just a fact of life.
2. Don’t let this person see they are getting to you — by not letting them get to you
They may enjoy this game more if they know it’s bothering you. The most important thing is don’t make the game fun for them. Treat them the same way you treat everyone else and don’t avoid them or antagonize them in any way. Remember, all humans have the exact same value and nothing anyone thinks about you can change yours. If we all have the same value and it can’t change, there is nothing to fear from anyone.
3. Remember what people think of you doesn’t mean anything
Their opinions are just thoughts they created in their heads. They are not necessarily the truth and they have no power unless you give them the power to bother you.
4. Look for projection
Projection happens when someone projects how they feel about themselves onto you. Ask yourself, does this person really not like me, or do they not like themselves and are just projecting those feelings onto me? Is there any chance this person has some fear of failure in play and are afraid they aren’t good enough that they have to subconsciously look for (and focus on) negative feelings toward me to make themselves feel better? People who really like themselves and have healthy self-esteem generally get along with most people. If this person doesn’t get along with everyone, they may not like themselves.
5. Are you triggering their fear of failure?
Is this person afraid they aren’t good enough on some level and is there something about you that triggers this fear in them? Do they struggle with their weight, while you don’t? Do they struggle with writing, while you find it easy and are recognized for it? Is there something about you that makes them feel unsafe or less than? I am not suggesting you play this down or quit being who you are, but if you can see what’s happening accurately you might understand this problem is about their fears about themselves and not about you.
6. Show them you like them
People generally like people who like them and dislike people they think dislike them. So, make an extra effort to show this person you appreciate who they are and what they do. Pay compliments and show them you see their value. Often, this kind, reassuring behavior could turn their reaction to you around fast.
7. Read about the three types of relationships from this article (even though it’s about marriage it applies to all relationships).
See if you can identify the fear issue in play with you and this person. Are they fear of failure or loss dominant and which are you? This can help you to see the relationship in a whole new light.
8. Read this article about the four different value systems and see if you can tell which you have and which they have
Understanding what they value most might help you understand their behavior and why they may react negatively to yours. For example, if they value ideas and principles most while you value people most, then they might think you are too social or too talkative and that might bother them. Or maybe they value tasks most and you value things most. This could mean they don’t like how much you care about something like fashion because they don’t think it’s important at all. Again, you shouldn’t change who you are but you should be aware of what they think is important and honor their right to think that way.
Our values and our fears highly influence who we like and connect with. Understanding another person’s value system and dominant fear will really help you understand their behavior. In my opinion, fears and value are the main drivers of human behavior, and when we get another person at this level we will have more compassion and tolerance for their quirkiness.
Try to appreciate the good in this person and love them despite their quirks. Remember, their ideas and thoughts don’t mean anything or change your value, so there is nothing to fear here.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of www.app.12shapes.com and is a human behavior expert, author and speaker. She provides corporate training on her 12 shapes relationship system and solves your people problems.
This was first published on ksl.com
My company just instituted policy against talking about religion at work. I am bothered by this and don’t feel comfortable being told I can’t talk about such a big part of my life and who I am at work. I’m actually feeling a little discriminated against because of my religion and because my views aren’t shared by some of my co-workers, I have to be censored. Do you think this policy is necessary or right? Are there some topics that should be banned at work?
Gallup did a study in 2015 where they found that only 32 percent of workers were engaged in their jobs and committed to their work. The study showed 51 percent were killing time and doing the bare minimum to avoid getting fired and 17 percent were totally disengaged and deserved to be fired immediately.
This means employers today are already fighting a battle for the focus and attention they are paying for. They need employees who are focused on work and not distracting others.
I do agree with the policy to limit certain conversation topics at work. There are some topics that make other people feel uncomfortable, awkward, disrespected, offended or excluded. These topics are extremely distracting and can also negatively affect corporate culture.
The office, unlike private homes or social venues, is a place where everyone is being paid for their time and attention, and because of this, it’s important to have everyone’s focus on the tasks at hand. It’s also important that everyone feels safe, respected and honored where they work. Businesses today must avoid letting divisive political views, differing religious beliefs and other hot topics divide co-workers and create conflict. These issues are already creating a divide in our country and letting this atmosphere seep into the workplace can create problems.
Here are some topics that should never be discussed at work and why:
1. Any political topic at all
Right now, there is a huge political divide in our country and tempers can flare because everyone feels passionate about their position. Discussing civil rights, Black Lives Matter, same-sex marriage, legalizing drugs, abortion, the national debt, Supreme Court nominations, vaccinations, the president, or any other topic covered on the news, can create conflict, hostility and confrontation.
Your employer is trying to create a fear-free workplace where everyone feels safe and can focus on their jobs. These topics can be volatile and distracting as they light fires in the office that are hard to put out. It would be best if your co-workers had no idea which way your political views leaned. If someone starts a political conversation or makes a comment about their personal views, let them know you prefer to keep yours personal since these conversations can be divisive.
These days, many people have strong feelings either for or against organized religion. Many are choosing to leave and not participate and they may be passionate and vocal about their beliefs, or even disrespectful. On the other hand, religious people are also passionate about their faith and consider their religion a core part of who they are. Discussing anything to do with religion can create conflict, hurt feelings and discord at work. Avoid negative comments or trying to persuade others to believe what you believe. It’s best to leave all church-based conversations to after hours.
3. Personal relationships or your dating life
If you are having troubles at home or dating drama find a friend, coach or counselor to talk to. Your co-workers are not your therapist and should not be expected to support you through your relationships. Your life outside the office, your dating life, your family, and your personal choices are best not brought to work. If you want to meet a co-worker outside the office, that’s fine, but consider keeping those personal conversations for when you are off the clock. Your employer is paying for your time and attention; honor that by not distracting coworkers with personal issues.
4. Money troubles or health problems
Again, your co-workers are not there to counsel or console you. If you are struggling, scared or sick, you may need a doctor, therapist or counselor to talk to. Your co-workers don’t need to know the details of your health or money problems. It’s not that your boss and co-workers don’t care, they do. They just can’t spend work hours talking about or being distracted by these issues. If you believe a health concern may affect your ability to do your job, discuss it with a supervisor or human resources manager to assess your options.
5. Beliefs related to new age, alternative healing
It is fine that you believe in the healing powers of certain rocks and crystals and have them on your desk, and you organize the feng shui of your office, or spend your breaks in vipassana meditation, but it’s best to avoid talking about this stuff if it distracts your co-workers while on the clock. You might ask if they would be open to hearing about your healing approach outside the office, but do not spend work hours telling them all about it.
Employers know a positive corporate culture where people feel respected and safe affect their bottom line. To create that positive corporate culture they need unity and teamwork to happen. To have unity and teamwork they need less conflict, confrontation and discord.
So, banning conversation topics that create discord makes sense. Instead of being bothered by this policy, I recommend you get on board and even think of other ways to create more unity, respect and inclusivity at work. How can you reach out to make people who are different from you feel more accepted? The employee that solves more problems than he or she creates, is the one who will rise to the top every time.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president of 12shapes.com - get the app today, take the quiz, invite friends and learn about your shape at - app.12shapes.com and improve your relationships.
This was first published on KSL.COM
I have a constant fear of failure and never being good enough or having enough value. I am a 42 year old man with a good marriage, a good job and great kids and I think about suicide daily. I wouldn’t do it because of how it would affect my kids, but I don’t know what to do or how to make changes in how I feel? How do you get to a point where you can truly believe you don’t have to earn your value and you can’t lose value (as you said in last week’s article)? How do I move beyond the fear of failure and not being good enough?
Self-development experts, therapists, thought leaders and coaches have been trying to crack that code for decades. How do you really get rid of the fear of failure and improve feeling of self-worth? They have tried positive psychology, brain washing affirmations, encouraging accomplishments, make overs, and more, but still most of us struggle with this fear on a daily basis. Some are lucky to be fear of loss dominate, which means they fear mistreatment, worry about things going wrong more than they worry about being inadequate, but even they have some fear of failure in play too.
I offer a different kind of solution, which involves changing the core foundational belief system you use to determine the value of all human beings (including yourself) that is responsible for creating your fear of failure.
You are probably not consciously aware that you have a subconscious system that determines your value, nor are you aware what that system is. So, let’s start there. You most likely picked up a belief system from your parents and the other people around you growing up. I will explain the most common four and you see if one or all of them are happening inside you. Here are the four beliefs:
1) You may have been taught life is a test - This means you must earn your value and prove yourself worthy, maybe even to determine where you go after death. You may have fear around being found good enough for the higher power you believe in and fear his/it's judgment or rejection.
2) You may have been taught your value had to be earned through your appearance, performance, property and the opinions of other people. This means that if your appearance is less attractive than other people, you therefore have less value than them. If you earn less money, lose more games, accomplish less, make less money, get lower grades, live in a smaller house or a worse neighborhood, drive a worse car, have an older phone, wear cheaper clothing, or are less popular, you again have less value. People with lots of friends have more value than those with less. Most of us were taught this belief in some way.
3) You may have been taught your value is determined by how you compare with others. So, you constantly look at where they are, how they look, and what they do, and your self-esteem goes up and down all day, every day, because it’s based on how you compare to whoever is around you at that time.
4) You may have been taught that winning and being better than others is what matters most. You might be super competitive and your subconscious ego might look for opportunities to put down or gossip about others, because it’s all about being better than them. You might be critical and judgmental of those who are different from you, because if they are different they have to be either better or worse. Your ego feels safer, obviously, if they are worse, so you constantly look for the worse in others and focus on it, because this makes you feel safer.
All of these are just ideas, theories, beliefs and perspectives. They are not truths. They are not facts. There is no provable truth about human value and how to calculate it. It’s all just perspective you choose. Many people with strong religious beliefs will disagree and say they know their perspective is truth, but they can’t prove it. So, in the end you are always choosing a belief system and making it your truth.
The good news is, this means you can choose any belief system you want, because they are all perspective. So, I would recommend choosing a system that makes you feel good about yourself and makes you feel safer in the world. Why would you consciously choose anything else
The belief system I recommend is a simple one, though making it your truth takes time and practice. It is simply the belief that all human life has the same value and that value cannot change. Here is how this new belief changes the 4 old ones:
1) Life is not a test to determine your value, it is classroom. In a classroom every experience is a lesson to educate you, but when you make mistakes you can erase and try again, without it effecting your value, like a test would. You can choose to believe repentance, apologies, starting fresh at any time is possible and you can leave the past behind you and move forward with the same value as everyone else. You can believe in a higher power that sent you here to be educated and allows you to repent and not lose your value for a mistake.
2) Your value is based on your uniqueness and your nature as a human soul, two things that never change.This means your value is not based on your appearance, performance, property, or what others think of you. This means on bad hair days you remind yourself appearance doesn’t lessen your value. When you perform badly it’s a lesson, but it doesn’t change your value. When others have nicer things than you have, that doesn’t give them more value than you. No matter what they have or how they look, they still have the same value as everyone else. It also makes you bulletproof from disapproval or criticism, because other people’s opinions can’t change your value – as long as you choose to believe this is true (which you can do if you want to!)
3) How you compare with others, is irrelevant. How they look and what they do doesn’t mean anything about you. If you start to compare yourself, you can stop and choose the truth that all humans have the same value. You have the power to do this in every moment if you want to. But the only moment you have the power of choice in, is this one right now. Fortunately, it is always this moment, so you can always choose it.
4) Giving up judgment and criticism is the path to peace. Your subconscious ego thinks criticizing and judging others and focusing on the bad in them, makes you feel better, but every time you do this you are giving power to the old belief that some humans have more value than others. If you want to feel more confident, you must absolutely give up judgment, gossip and criticism of others. This is the only way to cement the new belief, internalize it and change your self-esteem.
You asked me “How do you truly believe you don’t have to earn your value and you can’t lose value?” The answer is you change the foundational belief about the value of all humans that created the fear in the first place. You give up judgment and allow all the humans around you to have infinite, absolute value and the more you do it, you realize it counts for you too.
Then, you must practice choosing the new system every minute you are consciously aware enough to do it. You also want to teach this belief system and language to your family so everyone is on board to make the change. This should become the language in your home every time someone loses a game, drops a glass and breaks it, or comes home defeated “Well, at least it doesn’t change your value!” If anyone start judging or gossiping, remind them they are giving power to the old system and if they do that, they will always feel not good enough themselves. It takes commitment and repetition to change your foundational beliefs, but if you keep at it – it will work.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the author of the 12 Shapes Relationship System - get the app today, take the quiz, invite friends and learn about your shape at - app.12shapes.com
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.