Dealing With People
Abraham Lincoln, the founding father of this country began his carrier by forging political relationships. He was a great communicator and recognized early in his career that words have a powerful impact on people – that by demonstrating authority and power over a language he could use it to weaken and destroy his adversaries. Lincoln made an effort to consciously master the English language and use that expression by criticizing his opponents time and time again. He was notoriously famous for writing anonymous letters, mimic and ridicule his opponents in public – his Shakespearean rhetoric proved an invaluable tool used to disarm and humiliate his enemies.
Naturally that made his adversaries angry, so angry that in one case when his anonymous identity was uncovered he was challenged to a duel to the death. His mockery and negative verbal attacks almost led him to death, however both men aligned with their better sense of judgement before anything serious happened. After seeing the consequences and a near death experience he vowed to use his power for the greater good, he attuned himself to the feelings of others and when later criticized by the community he gracefully defended himself as you would expect from a gentlemen of his stature.
At any corporate level, whether you’re a business analyst or a mid level manager you will meet difficult people to deal with, you see them in meetings and in everyday life – as a matter of fact you will meet them in pretty much every nook and cranny of the world. You might be thinking well I’ll just avoid them like the plague and that will be that, case closed – end of the article, period. Unfortunately we don’t live in a cave but in the real world where dealing with people and the art of communication with people is the secret to success. The biggest CEO’s of companies will often tell you that their success has directly been associated with their art of dealing with people, especially difficult ones – they will bully you, prod and poke at you, perhaps even try to get an adverse reaction each time they meet you.
Make a habit of learning how to deal with people in your everyday routine, it will only enhance your chances of success. Try some of the following, these simple formulaes will work wonders for you:
- Don’t belittle, criticize or antagonize people
- Try not to find faults in other people
- Consider the other person’s self esteem, let them save face
- Communicate with other’s, they can’t read your mind nor can you read theirs. Do not assume.
- If you get into a confrontation, try not to react or lecture.
Socrates, one of the greatest philosophers of Western culture certainly knew how to communicate and effectively deal with people. He drew a stark line between wisdom and ignorance and believed that one’s deeds were the direct result of one’s intelligence or ignorance. I think a simple change in mindset and attitude when dealing with people on an everyday basis can make a huge difference in life and take you closer to the successes of your dreams. For the most part, we are all average human beings – the only thing that separates us from each other is how we think and communicate.