By Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn contributed to Self.com
Did you know that being more sensitive to people and your environment can make you more successful? Try these tips for channeling your intuitive powers at the office and watch your career soar.If your boss is in a bad mood Adopt a new mantra: It’s not about me. “The truth is, you usually don’t know why a boss is upset, and assuming you’re at fault will only make the situation worse—at the least, it will put you in a bad mood, too,” says Dev Patnaik, author of Wired to Care. Instead of catastrophizing (She hates me!), stop and think about might be going on for your boss that week. Is there a major department evaluation afoot? A deadline looming? “There’s no excuse for bad behavior,” Patnaik says. “But putting yourself in her shoes—how would you like to be in meetings for six hours straight?—might help you see the situation more clearly” and maintain your own equilibrium.
If you’re negotiating Before any meeting, think about the person you’ll be with and what outcome is likely to make her feel successful—including those that may seem irrelevant to you but that might gratify her ego and self esteem. Intuiting these things in advance will give you a major edge.
If you want to come up with better, creative ideas It’s easy to forget to think like the people you’re trying to serve, Patnaik says. “Get up from your desk, get outside, and spend time with your target market in the real world,” he says. “Observe what they do, ask them questions, take lots of notes.” You’ll get much more information than you would in the average marketing report.
The next time you and your honey are locked in battle, whip out these surprising strategies to turn things around.
If he’s in a bad mood Ask what’s up, listen well, and do not start tossing around solutions, however tempting, says Julie Schwartz Gottman, Ph.D., cofounder and clinical director of The Gottman Relationship Institute. People want to be listened to and, above all, heard. “Immediately giving advice can short-circuit your mate’s effort to express emotion,” Gottman says. “Not only that, but it can make him feel as if you think he’s not smart enough to generate ideas himself and that you have to come up with a solution for him. That can feel very insulting,” she says.
If you’re discussing a hot button issue—yet again Each partner should take a turn being the listener and the speaker. When you’re the listener, ask your mate the following questions: Do you have some basic belief underlying your position? How do you feel about it? Why is it so important to you? Is your position on this issue related to some life experience you’ve had in the past? What would be your ideal dream regarding this issue? “By listening to each other and answering these questions, you’re taking an issue that may make someone feel very vulnerable, and before responding by countering it, you’re deepening your understanding of your partner’s point of view. And that can deepen your compassion for each other,” Gottman says. “You’d be amazed at how much more easily you’ll break through your stalemate.”
If you just can’t agree Take turns being speaker and listener again. (It works!) The speaker’s job is to express what’s bothering him in neutral terms (e.g., “I don’t enjoy having dinner with the in-laws every Sunday”). Then he should state what he needs to feel better. (“Maybe we could do dinner once a month instead?”) The listener’s job is to restate the speaker’s feelings (“You feel upset about my parents and our weekly dinners”). Offer some words of validation to make it clear the speaker has a right to his feelings. Then switch roles. You still may not agree, but the exercise will help calm bad feelings and possibly lead to a compromise. Try it.