With the heated controversy over the war, health-care reform, casinos in Massachusetts, etc. I decided to resurrect an article I wrote a while ago in relation to a confrontation between and professor and police officer. The article ran in the MetroWest Daily News. Below is an excerpt:
“The guidelines below, stemming from time-honored rules of courtesy, teach us how to show our hand with courtesy:
- Listen: do not prepare a response while trying to listen. Giving full attention allows us to offer a thoughtful response
- Avoid ‘you-logizin‘: most of us raise our emotional muskets when we hear, ‘you’.So, keep the focus on yourself.
- It takes two to tangle: if the other person’s temper rises, your does not have to spiral with it. Take a breath and observe his behavior; don’t become entangled in it. If I am the one spiraling, my spouse is apt to say, ‘Let;s start this conversation over again.’
- She’s not me! everyone is a product of her own unique life experience. Expect and respect a different frame of reference.
Our forefathers are still spot on! The Victorian Code of Etiquette decrees that successful conversation requires all parties to
- Know what NOT to say
- Speak one’s opinion clearly and concisely