Monday, March 06, 2006

Action... Interaction...

We interact with so many people every day. And there are many who keep meeting us. They may be your friends, acquaintances, colleagues or neighbors. But our "interaction" with everyone is not same. It varies from "Hi-Hello" and animated smile to a hug or some hearty talk. Whatever it may be, but one things is sure, that we interact with each one differently. And most of the times, this level of interaction or communication is set in first couple of meetings; and it stays like that for long time.

Have you ever wondered why do we hit it off instantly with some people and never seem to click with others? Why is it that there are some people we feel as if we have known them forever, and we are able to understand them; and others we can’t seem to relate to even after years of contact? We somehow feel that there could be no conversation beyond hi-hello and may be weather.

Lets consider the second case, and think about it:

I guess this degree of interaction comes from a pre-defined expectations from a person. Meaning, every person we meet, we expect that person to behave in a particular manner. Why only meetings, whenever we write emails to people, we do expect a certain type of reply / response from them. If you know a person well, you know that you will receive a certain type of response. I have often observed this thing, and that's where it becomes even more interesting when we get a response from a relatively unknown person (say a colleague, or someone we just know "indirectly").

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re so excited about presenting an idea to someone else and the response to your idea is the least of your expectations?. Say you do a nite-out working on report, you do your best and write an excellent report defying your mediocre writing skills; and send it out to your project partner at 5 AM to meet the meeting time of 8 AM. Your project partner looks at it, his face shows that he is least impressed by it; and on top of it he says that this work is totally crap and needs to be redone from scratch?

What do you think at that point? Is it something like: “Poor kid doesn't really know what he is missing out on... he doesn't really know the meaning of hard-work and efficiency”. Or is it like: “Maybe I didn’t make myself very clear.”

When we impose our own expectations onto others, we expect a particular reaction that we think should be an appropriate one from that particular person. People respond in ways that are acceptable to us or they don’t. If they do, we feel we’ve connected. If they don’t, we think the other person either has a problem on his head, or he is mentally slow, or he has had brain damage, or something is wrong with that person. Very seldom we try to simplify our point, and restate it in simpler manner.

When we’re attentive to others, we don’t impose anything on them. We allow people whom we like to be who they are and don’t take offense at their responses. In fact, we often find ways to meet their needs and expectations. We want them to feel good; and we do that much more to make them feel good. We develop that sort of "understanding" with those "favorite" people. Most of you would agree that this understanding is at the heart of all good relationships.

One way to promote it is to provide attentiveness in ways that are noticeable and welcoming. If you want to be remembered in a positive light, give others your attention. What others crave from us is the attention, perception, and responsiveness that few others provide. IF you are the person to provide that; you would be their friend. This, I believe, is the key to strike a successful, healthy and comfortable communication. Rapport building can be a very herculean task, yet it is so interesting, much like arithmetic additions (more on this later)

So, if you see that you don't really "communicate" with someone; do make an attempt, and watch your reaction!

(PS: I got a related article from a friend couple of days back. I found it interesting, so thought of developing it. So this is not my original thought. I have just developed it.)

1 comment:

Linda Zhang said...

yep its funny how you can just 'click' with one person and have the most dreadful conversation with another person.

one quick comment:
ewkljfldkfj; its baaddddddd to expect anything from ANYONE, even from your friends!!!

oh, i just read it again. i guess you talked about being welcoming and attentive.

but seriously, when you write someone an email, you really expect a certain kind of reply from them? wow, you really are an expecter. :)