I've realized throughout my speaking and professional experience that relationships are truly one of the most valuable resources we have.
Relationships with our family, our significant other, our business, our customers. Building and maintaining our existing relationships will growing new ones is what the Art of Likability is all about.
But there's always a caveat. The yin to the relationship yang has to be conflict. And the question is not so much how you'll stop all conflict from happening ever again, but how you'll handle conflict with your loved ones, with your clients, and so on. Because relationships are hanging in the balance, and they are one of the most valuable resources we have.
Many people get into game mode and think in terms of outarguing or winning over the other person, because the alternative is losing. This is a win-lose scenario, and it's not ideal when it causes longstanding resentment.
Some people unfortunately gravitate towards lose-lose scenarios.
I look for the win-win in every situation.
This episode of the Art of Likability is all about finding that win-win to resolve conflict, move toward a solution, and preserve that most valuable resource we have in relationships!
Incidentally, you'll also learn how to avoid getting punked by a toddler, featuring a Mexican standoff with my two-year-old son! How? You gotta jump in, my friend...
How to Create A Win-Win:
I recently got into a disagreement with my wife over a recent response she received. I actually thought the response was reasonable, but she was beside herself with the response. Now on top of that, she thinks that I'm not on her side!
You can probably already tell that neither of us shouted at each other and aggressively pushed our "correct way of seeing the world" for too long. But the conflict was there. Was she right, or was I right?
It's totally natural to want to impose your worldview on the other person and insist that your way of seeing and doing things is the right way. The only problem is: they're thinking the exact same thing.
That's a win-lose deal, and that's just a low-value proposition for everyone here reading the Art of Likability, when we all know that relationships are the most valuable resource we have.
My goal is not to show my wife how right I am and what the "correct" way to handle this situation is! I want her to know that I'm on her side, but I'd also like to show her my point of view on this situation.
How about my wife? Her goal isn't to trade verbal blows with me. Rather, she wants to know that I'm on her side. There's no conflict of interest here. We can make a win-win out of this, because we can get something more important out of this than just being right.
The way you get to a win-win is to ask yourself: "What is the greater good?"
That includes reaffirming my support for my wife. After that, talking about approaching the situation from a different angle. But the big picture greater good is that we build, maintain, and grow our amazing relationship.
"Hey, I want you to know that above everything else, I got your back first, and the way I responded in that situation was to take someone else's side without understanding how you were affected. That's unacceptable; it's not who I am, because I want you to know that I got your back more than anyone else in the world."
Mission accomplished: Reaffirming my support was great to move from tension to problem-solving mode. Now I'm in a position to show her my point of view. More importantly, she and I don't feel that "we've lost."
This method is so useful for both personal and professional relationships. If you're interested in becoming a professional speaker and developing professional speaking relationships, there is that and so much more at an upcoming Speaker Startup Bootcamp I'm hosting from July 22-23 at the Hilton in Tampa, FL. Simply put: all the major logistics you need to launch a polished, modern speaking business completed on your part in two days!
How to Create a Lose-Lose (do not try this at home):
Picture a scenario where two friends A and B apply for the same job, and A gets the job. How should B respond? Well I know how he should not respond: by going for a lose-lose scenario!
B: "I hate A! How did he get that job and I didn't! Not fair! I'm not going to speak to him again!"
This is a lose-lose because now, not only has B lost a job opportunity, but he's also lost a friend.
We talked about how win-lose propositions are suboptimal for anyone here in the Art of Likability. God forbid we go down the path of a lose-lose!
Similar to a lose-lose: arguing with a child. If you win the argument, that's no big deal: you just outargued a child. And if you lose, a child just outargued you!
Here's how I escaped a scenario like that by creating a win-win:
How to avoid getting punked by a toddler:
I was in a public area with my two year old son, when all of a sudden he insisted: "Daddy, pick me up!"
Well, it's "Daddy, pick me up, please," and I suggested to my son that he come over to me so I could pick him up.
"No, Daddy! You come over here and pick me up!"
Man, here I am arguing with a two-year-old in public! I can't let my two-year-old son punk me! Now I could yell and insist that "I'm the parent and he should do what I command," but that's a win-lose. Instead, I found the opportunity for a win-win:'
"How about I crouch so that when you run to me, I will scoop you up?"
"Okay." He ran to me, and I scooped him up as I promised. Win-win.
Remember that none of this information will help you...it's the implementation of this information that will make waves down the road!