Love-Driven Communication – How to Get Things Done and Resolve Problems with Love

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This post is an extract from my book Love-Driven Communication – How to Create Deep Connections that Last which is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Successful Solution Oriented Cooperation

There are many times in life when a joint or group effort will prove to be your most prudent choice in effectively getting things done. Therefore it’s crucial to develop excellent communication skills that work well when you find yourself in a time of need. For example, a natural disaster might take part of the roof off of your house, or your car might die in the middle of nowhere. Of course there are contractors and emergency road side services to help with such matters, but sometimes, people within your circle of influence have expertise and advice they can offer on these and other matters. It’s a good idea to at least be willing to seek them out when you know you could use a helping hand, and to be able to do so graciously. So this part of the book is geared toward helping you find ways to get things done, even in difficult situations.

It’s important to approach any potential helpers with the intention of building a good, solid rapport. Know that by seeking others’ help you are putting into motion a reciprocal relationship so that they know they can rely upon you when they need to call on you for advice in the future. Allow yourself to see others as being very capable and solution oriented. There are times in everyone’s life when you need to be willing to accept assistance; it’s much easier if you don’t create false feelings of guilt about not being able to do it all yourself or feeling that you’re the only one who can do things correctly. Keep an open, positive communication with the others involved; starting out by having a brainstorming session to find possible solutions would be a great place to begin.

Organize Your Team of Experts

It’s good to know what each team member’s strengths are, before tackling the problem. Align yourselves as being skilled, intelligent and focused upon coming up with the best possible solution. When you know someone in your circle of influence has mastery with any part of the challenge, definitely call them on board ASAP. It’s a good idea to tell them, “I’m asking for your help here because I know this is right up your alley. I want to put the best people available to work on this, and you’re right at the top of my list for the ____________ aspect of this situation.” (Fill in the blank with whatever assignment for which you feel they’ll be a perfect fit)

If you don’t know specifically what each team member’s strong suit is, then start out by telling them as much about the problem as you know, right up front. After you’ve done that, you might say, “I’m not sure if you personally handle this particular type of issue, but I trust and value your judgment, and would love to hear any suggestions or referrals you might be willing to share.”

Aim to achieve global agreement from all team members, so that you all stay focused on the ultimate goal of a positive solution to the problem. If you find that various team members disagree as to the best pathway to reach the resolution, then hear everyone out, but defer to your own best judgment as well as to the most qualified person’s input for each aspect of the challenge. Think of yourself as the CEO or commanding officer of the project. Put your best people to work on the various facets of the issue, and just check in periodically to make sure all components are flowing smoothly in the same direction – a successful solution!

You can appeal to the values and integrity of everyone involved. For example, “I know you all want the best case scenario to be our final outcome here. I really appreciate everyone’s efforts and talents, and just know that I’m counting on you to contribute your top skills and insights. Also know that I will gladly return the favor whenever you might need me to reciprocate with any problems you meet down the road.”

Keep the Love Flowing

Instead of approaching the problem with animosity and unhappiness, consider trying to “love it into dissolution.” What I mean is, create a united front among your team members so that the focus is on the positive outcome and the opportunity to work together and cohesively unite everyone’s unique talents to make sure the best solution is the one you all co-create.

Example #1: This is an example of something in your personal life that many, if not most people, have to deal with at some point. Let’s say you just bought a great used car that you really love, but the same week you buy it, it has some major mechanical problems that were not disclosed to you by the seller. Obviously, your first course of action might be to contact the seller and see if they’re willing to make things right. If you bought it from an individual as opposed to a dealer, however, you may find little or no cooperation from that recourse. So your next step would be to call any excellent auto mechanics you know in your circle of influence. If there are none, then don’t hesitate to call up a few local friends and ask, “Hey, could you please recommend an honest, reliable local mechanic that you really trust? Here’s what I need…” and then briefly describe the problem you’re having. Someone in your circle is bound to have had mechanical problems with a vehicle at some point and time in recent history. Once you get the proper mechanic lined up, another team member could be asked to follow you to the repair shop and give you a ride home after dropping off your car. See? Team work! You loved the car when you bought it, remember? Used cars often have issues, which you most likely were aware of when you bought it. However if this is a car you’ve always wanted, keep loving it, rather than getting mad at the vehicle itself. That’s self-defeating, and will always make you resent the car, which doesn’t do you any good. Perhaps resolve to love the car and take much better care of it than any of its previous owners – an example of love in action!

Example # 2: As for staying in a loving frame of mind and heart with those on your team, that’s a key factor as well. Should you discover that Joe is unwilling to work cooperatively with Abby on an engineering issue for your project to design a prototype for your fantastic new invention, invite them to discuss their differences openly, with you as an objective moderator. Stay in that viewpoint of love as you listen. Mirror back what you hear them saying, because if they are having a personality conflict rather than disagreeing with one another’s approach, for example, hearing you say, “Okay, what I’m hearing Abby saying is that she believes the design needs to be streamlined because ______________” (whatever it is that she’s made her point about). “That sounds great to me, but I’m not the engineering expert. Joe – what merits do you think Abby’s suggestion has, and what additional input could you share so that the prototype winds up meeting our ultimate goals?”

Playing a diplomatic “referee” is one way of keeping everyone laser-focused on the solution, and hopefully, appreciative of everyone else’s contribution without allowing ego or personality conflicts to cause the whole thing to self-destruct.

And Speaking of Personalities…

Once you’ve made up your mind to dislike something about one of your team members, it’s going to be that much harder to continue to work with them successfully. Your abject disapproval of them will taint the entire project, and very likely spread through the ranks of your team members like wildfire. Therefore, if you resolve to dislike the conflicting situation rather than the person, things can get back on track and stay there much more easily. In other words, do your best to stay in a loving framework as you consciously choose to like the person, and simply dislike the situation that has created conflict or rancor in some way. Again, having a brainstorming meeting is always a good solution, and you may need to put on your “referee’s hat” or assume the “objective counselor” role in order to keep the peace but it’s better to have everyone concerned air any issues that they have right up front, rather than to allow them to fester and become toxic to both the team members and the project itself.

Example: You’re in charge of orchestrating a 50th wedding anniversary for your grandparents; the big event will take place in two weeks. You enlist the assistance of two of your siblings, and three of your cousins. Betty and Terri have a history of disagreeing just for the sake of each one wanting to be right and have the final say-so. You wisely put Betty on the decorating committee, since that’s something she loves and at which she excels, and you put Terri in charge of the catering, since she is the resident family “foodie” and has arranged great catering for past events.

At your brainstorm meeting the first week in, everyone presents their current stage of planning and progress that’s been made. When Terri brings up the fact that the catering company she’s hired is now demanding an additional $200, Betty laughs and makes a derogatory comment: “Oh, who didn’t see something like this coming? Way to go, Terri!”

Instead of letting the potential verbal free-for-all escalate, you lovingly step in and calmly ask Terri if she has a written estimate from the caterers, and if so, what their reasoning is for now demanding a much higher fee. If it’s because she has created some last minute add-ons that your committee votes upon and deems unnecessary, just say, “Well, that would have been great, but we simply don’t have the budget, Terri. Would you like me to call the caterers, or go see them with you and make sure we stay with the original plan and fee?” or, if the add-ons are something everyone feels will make the party that much more of a success, you can see if all six of you on the committee are willing to approach a few family members and raise the additional $200, knowing that if at least ten people contribute $20, you’ll be fine. Do whatever is most diplomatic, but choose to be the loving leader from whom everyone else can take their cue.

Avoid the Blame Game

Do your best to remember that whatever happens, it’s not about blaming anyone else. The final ideal outcome is the solution, so be a good cheerleader as well as a good leader; help everyone stay focused upon the prize, or the future best case scenario, rather than getting bushwhacked by petty differences which can escalate into a major derailing of your true goal. Just as negativity and toxicity are contagious and destructive, setting the example of always staying loving, upbeat and positive is also an easy attitude to foster and catch; and it’s one that will help you all create the best solution in the most expedient manner. Refuse to let negative feelings even get a toehold, because when they do, they essentially snowball until the whole endeavor has been thrown off-track. Encourage everyone to respect one another, and listen objectively during the brainstorming sessions, and you’ll get to that perfect result much more harmoniously and effectively!

This post is an extract from my book Love-Driven Communication – How to Create Deep Connections that Last which is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

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