Stop Demanding and People Will Start Listening

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Sometimes less is more and overdoing something is the same as undoing what you’ve tried to do in the first place. This lesson is so important to understand and so very hard to learn. In a time where we think it’s okay to demand people hear the point we are trying to make, over pushing and over talking are actually closing people off to the ideas we are so desperately trying to get across. Our approach along with our tone are key when it comes to capturing our audience. Words like I demand will only turn the person off to what you are about to say. When you use fighting words and you approach others looking to bring a fight, you will get a fight back. Toddlers demand. Adults talk.

So what makes me so sure I know this is right? It wasn’t too long ago that I spent years of my life in school meetings demanding the school do what was right. My son had accommodations that certain teachers refused to follow and I was going to demand they do it or else. Or else what? They took it out on my kid, they still wouldn’t adhere to the plan and I had a fight with the school for 4 long years. All my time and energy went into sabotaging those years for myself. I certainly didn’t get the results I intended but I sure made enemies along the way. So what did I learn? I learned that an approach that works better sounds something like this…”I don’t have all the answers but I am willing to work with you to find some solutions.” Can you see the difference?

If anyone learns anything from my own misfortune then I will be grateful. Be mindful about the words you use. Sometimes too strong is not the best choice. Everyday is a chance to grow and be smarter. There’s always something new to learn.

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