Setting boundaries is a real challenge if you want to build strong relationships with colleagues, especially if you are a manager.
How many monkeys are on your back?
A listener can be tempted to take on the problems of those they listen to. They can end up carrying everyone’s problems without realising what they have done.
I was doing a big ‘download’ recently with a friend. I seemed to have a jumble of problems that I needed to name out loud. At first he offered a suggestion to each thing I said: “Have you tried this…” or “It could help if you …”
Listening can be the hardest part of a being a great manager or colleague.
There is always a lot going on in the other person’s life that they are trying to understand, make sense of and cope with.
Marilyn the manager was exasperated.
“If we can’t blame people for screwing things up how are we ever going to hold people accountable? The place will descend into chaos” she moaned.
Why blame is such a silly thing to do!
A couple are commuting to work in their car. There is an easiness between them as they drive along the highway. She, quite innocently, raises the unresolved issue about the high cost of their upcoming holiday.
He experiences this question as an attack. He tenses up and goes silent. That's his usual way of coping when emotions like this arise in him. In that moment he thinks of her and this question as 100% the cause of his uncomfortable feelings.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) a concept first coined by Daniel Goleman, can be learnt and improved.