Even the starving artist sometimes leaves his or her Parisian garret (which is really just a small attic, but COLIBRI thinks garret sounds more romantic) and tries to sell a painting to, yes, a buyer. If the starving artist doesn’t have a buyer, chances are he or she has a model. Or a wife. Or a child. Or a cat.
The truth is, no one ever really works alone. At least not all the time. Thank goodness! Despite the fact that human beings are nothing but trouble, they are also pretty much what makes life worth living. COLIBRI has come to discover, through trial and error, how to work well with other people.
7 Secrets for Working With People
- Understand. Be conscious of your own expectations. Understand what you expect out of a situation, yourself and other people. This step should happen before you start interacting with someone else. Figure out why are you in the game (whatever your game is) and what you want to get out of it. After all, no one can be expected to understand you if you don’t understand yourself.
- Communicate. Honestly, it isn’t fair to make people guess and, if you do, chances are they will guess incorrectly. Unnecessary and incorrect guessing wastes everyone’s time.
- Listen. Once you’ve come to terms with your own expectations, take the time to listen to the other person’s expectations. This may be harder than you think. It usually isn’t enough to merely ask. Think about it as a combination of investigative journalism and psychology.
- Be compassionate. As the Buddha said, this applies to yourself first and then everyone else. Consider your expectations and those of the other person’s and seek to emotionally understand both.
- Meditate. Meditation is a beneficial daily practice, but if interactions get difficult, take a pause and observe deeply. Observe your reactions and sensations, making an effort to let go of judging either what you observe in yourself or what you think you observe in others.
- Let go. Perspective, play and a sense of humor can come in handy here because they help you relax and let go of expectations. Letting go can lead to even better outcomes than you originally imagined.
- Be strong. Working with other people requires patience and persistence. The rewards are great so don’t give up!
Your turn: what do you think it takes to work well with others?