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Frances Ferguson

Glasstap Ltd

Training Design Manager

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What we have here is failure to communicate


We've all been there haven't we, we find ourselves in a situation that makes us so mad, so cross that we cannot think straight. It leaves your stomach is in knots and keeps you awake at night.

So what do you do? Do you bottle it all up? Maybe you are someone who goes for a long run? Or do you immerse yourself in a good book to forget? Maybe you find comfort in having a moan to family & friends? Or is social networking your way of getting things off you chest?

All too often it seems, we feel unable to have a conversation with the source of that unhappiness. We do not have the confidence that we can sit down with the other party, talk it through and come up with a mutual understanding that does ot leave us grinding our teeth at 2am.

I was reflecting on this today as the storm broke about the 'ban' on the blog of the 9 year old taking about her school dinners ( ).

The story is probably more complicated than the media is portraying (although the ban does appear to be a spectacular own goal on the part of the council). But the repeated tweets referring to 'free speech' made me think. How often do we take the opportunity to speak directly to the source of our frustration or unhappiness?

How many of us feel confident that we could have a conversation that is both supportive & honest? Where feelings & observations are shared without offence being given or taken?

If you ever find yourself in a working relationship where you can be honest, the relief is immense. The pleasure of not needing to second-guess what the other person is thinking, because they do you the honour of being open with you, is wonderful.

Surely this is something we should all aspire to? Yet sadly, all too often, the privilege of free speech is either under-rated or ignored.

I recently achieved a long held ambition to train to become a HBDI Facilitator. It is a fantastic tool that enables us to examine our thinking preferences and consider how they impact on the way we do our job or how we interact with others.

The thing I really love about HBDI, is that it enables people or teams to have the conversations they have avoided for far too long. To share their frustrations in a way that isn't perceived as a personal attack; it is about building understanding.

It enables people to have those 'a-ha' moments when someone else's behaviour suddenly makes perfect sense. It gives people a language to talk about fears & frustrations as well as admiration & respect.

The relief these conversations bring is palpable.

So next time someone you work with is driving you mad, ask yourself "what do I need to say, to make it right for both of us?" The chances are the world will feel a little bit better every time we do.

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Author Profile Picture
Frances Ferguson

Training Design Manager

Read more from Frances Ferguson

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