I have learned a great deal in my working career as both an environmental engineer and a children’s and teen’s librarian. Of those things — the most important — is how to positively interact with people.
Not only is it way more pleasant than getting in a shouting match or ugly argument, it generally solves problems quicker and in the right way. It’s all about respecting others’ points of view, listening to what they have to say and giving them feedback, whether positive or negative, in the best light possible. Let’s face it, you cannot always make everybody happy and it can at times be very easy to make people mad if you make a mistake. In general, though, any issue can be successfully navigated if a positive and focused mind is put to good use.
When I was a younger man, I believed that if someone slighted me or yelled at me, the proper response was to react in kind. What were the ultimate results from this type of thinking? Usually the results were a deadlock. It seems the harder people push one another, the harder each party digs in their heels. If one is able to take a step back and look at the situation as it really exists, it is amazing the results that can be achieved.
I have heard the following expression many times in my life: “There are usually three sides to a story. One person’s version, the other person’s version and somewhere in between, the true version.” Once I adopted this saying as truth, it really changed how I conducted myself with other people. It made me examine the truths of the person whose views were different than mine. It made me examine my views to see if there were flaws in them. It made me look at the situation as if I was an outsider and assess the situation more fairly. In getting results, if one person has to be the victor, then the results achieved are generally not real results.
One other thing I have found about making positive interactions between people is how we conduct ourselves. Some would truly be amazed at the power of a “thank you,” or a “you’re welcome.” Small words carry great power. Also if you are ever the manager of employees, never forget the hard work your people do. If they do a good job, let them know. Let them know how important they are in the work that they do, for without them not only would the manager not look so great but the library or workplace would ultimately fail.
It’s not rocket science to get results and be nice to people. If more people in this world gave it a try, I think the world would be a much happier and better place to live in. Well that’s just my 2 cents worth.