There was a time, long ago, when I thought that if someone loved me they should know exactly what to say or do to make things “perfect.” Funny thing is that no one knows me better than my son, and even he will just flat out ask me, “what do you want me to say or do?” Because he is a child, it is so easy to just clue him in rather than making him figure it out– and then one day it dawned on me– why should I just do this with a child? Why can’t this same tactic be applied to everyone?
Love may be the thing that binds us to those closest to us, but that doesn’t mean we develop mind-reading skills. Again, using my son as an example, no one doubts that I love him, but I don’t always know why he is upset or how to make it better. I can ask questions, but I also have to respect his wishes when he says, “I’ve had a bad day and don’t want to talk about it.” My only response to that is that if you’re having a bad day, it doesn’t give you the right to go rain on someone else’s parade. That is then our clue that we both need a cooling off period until calmer heads can prevail, which is something I tell my clients to do on a regular basis.
The fact is I find myself increasingly applying business concepts at home. For years in the business world, I’ve attended extensive trainings for those in leadership roles to learn to give clearer directions, provide regular feedback, and encourage a team atmosphere. We all know that a good leader doesn’t act like a dictator, but actually listens to those around him/her and rewards a good employee for asking follow up questions when things are unclear and completing his/her assignments in a timely manner. Outbursts are usually frowned upon at any level, and instead we insist on maintaing a code of civility that ensures a healthy work environment. If these techniques can help any good company operate well– why should it be any different at home?
In the dating world, I find a lot of people just give “hints” or “clues” as to what is bothering them or what they want, but they don’t come flat out and say it. Guys in particular hate this. No offense to guys, but they are so much easier than women– just take a look at our wardrobes, and that just says it all. Very much like a child, men generally just want to be fed, loved and put to bed. Women, however, are not this simple, and what may work with one will not work with another. This is why, I urge you all to just stop the guessing games and clue one another in– and not just in bed, although that is very key. 🙂
Clear, direct conversations are highly regarded in the business world, and I just wish more would apply the same philosophy in their private lives. I bet the world would be a far better place if we could all adopt this approach.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.