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9 Ways to Get Along With Anyone in Any Situation
CJ Goulding's formal name is Christopher John Goulding.
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CJ Goulding is the Lead Organizer at Natural Leaders Network, which focuses on developing leaders and connecting people. Read the entire profile
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No matter where you fall on the extrovert/introvert spectrum, wouldn't it be great to learn better ways to interact with the people you meet on a daily basis? Getting along with others is not difficult, but you must make a conscious decision to practice and incorporate these tips into your daily interactions.
1. Listen with the goal of understanding
Most people do not listen with the intention of understanding; rather, they listen with the intention of responding.
-Sean R. Covey
It is extremely easy to get along with people if you make understanding another person a priority in any social circle. The decision to invest time and emotional energy is what breaks down the barriers to harmonious living. A significant first step is to plan or prepare yourself to understand others. Listen to what the person says (do not plan your response while they are still speaking! ), make appropriate comments as they speak, and include references to their statements in your response.
2. Put yourself in their shoes
Every social interaction, like a coin, has two sides. Sometimes the lines between people become blurred, resulting in misunderstandings. Taking the time to consider the situation from someone else's perspective will help you get along better with them, even if you still disagree with their points of view. You can't understand (or get along with) someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes, as the saying goes. Get your feet moving!
3. Be courteous
It's really that simple. Rude people are difficult to get along with. They might get along with other rude people, but that has never been proven. Take care not to hurt the feelings of others. Wit and humor at the expense of another person may cause more harm than you realize. A polite demeanor will also have a greater positive impact than you may realize.
4. Never pass up an opportunity to say something kind and encouraging to or about someone
Recognize and reward good work, regardless of who did it. If criticism is required, it should be delivered gently rather than harshly. If you notice someone who needs to be encouraged, you are the ideal person to do so! There are numerous stories of people who were inspired or motivated by a single word of encouragement at a critical time in their lives. When you encourage and compliment others, you create a culture of kindness that is reciprocated.
5. Take an interest in others
Show an interest in their interests, their work, their homes, and their families. Celebrate their accomplishments while gritting your teeth with them through the difficult times. Dance with those who are happy, and weep with those who are sad. Allow everyone you meet, no matter how humble, to know that you value him or her. You will get along just fine with people if they sense that you are looking out for their best interests and are interested in the details of their lives.
6. Maintain an open mind
Disagree, but don't argue. To be able to disagree without being disagreeable is a sign of a superior mind. Accept that others may hold a different point of view than you do, or that they may believe something that you do not. Someone with an open mind will listen to someone else speak without interrupting, even if they disagree with the viewpoint expressed. Differences make us human, and quirks make us one-of-a-kind!
7. Pay close attention
This may not be anatomically correct (I was not a biology major), but the tongue and ears cannot be used simultaneously! Holding your tongue and allowing your ears to be free to actively listen for a short period of time facilitates the path to an open mind and allows you to learn more about the people around you. Other ways to listen intently include not one-upping the speaker or pointing out flaws in his or her story.
8. Maintain a positive attitude
Nobody wants to spend time with a pessimist. According to Sir Winston Churchill,
‘A pessimist sees a problem in every opportunity; an optimist sees a chance in every problem.'
Positive people are welcomed in any social situation because they constantly brighten the room or space they occupy by seeing the silver linings in every cloud, and their positive attitude spreads! This is one of those cases where two negatives do not equal a positive. Positive people create positive circumstances.
9. Be genuine
While each of these suggestions is useful, none is sufficient on its own. They all work in some way with one another, none more so than sincerity. People can tell when you're faking a positive attitude, when you're not genuinely interested in their lives, and when your kind words are just a ruse. Without sincerity, all of these suggestions will obliterate any positive effect you were hoping to achieve. When you combine the aforementioned tips with a healthy dose of sincerity, you will find yourself getting along with people wherever you go!
Now, this is by no means an exhaustive list, so I'd love to hear what other tips you've heard or used yourself! Please feel free to share them in the comments section.
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