The guy was exceptionally nice. Sharp dressed. Successful by most standards. He was someone that I admired, and I was looking forward to learning from him. And, he had a coffee stain about the size of a dime on his white shirt. I wanted to look him in the eye as he spoke to me. What do you think had my attention? Yes, the one distraction that didn’t matter.
It happens to us all the time.
You meet someone that impresses you. They are a person who is kind, intelligent, good-natured, respectful, fun-loving, sincere, honest, and confident. They give you their full attention when you talk to them. You genuinely like to be in their company.
That person could be a co-worker, a new business acquaintance, or a leader in your organization. Whoever they may be, there is a favorable attraction that draws your attention.
It is easy to see the best in them until you notice a weakness, a negative quality, or a slight annoyance. That’s when things change in your admiration of them. Of course, all of those positive qualities still exist, but the one thing that bothers you becomes the sole focus of your thoughts. It begins to influence how you think about them, which shapes how you interact with them. Soon, a positive relationship can be strained or held at arm’s length because you can’t see the good anymore.
Let’s assume that the “coffee stain” is not unethical behavior. It is more likely to be a distraction based on personal style or even personality. The good news is that you can redirect your thinking and restore a positive relationship with them.
FIVE TIPS TO RESTORE POSITIVE WORK RELATIONSHIPS:
When it comes to having a quality relationship with others, your focus matters. Your wisdom also matters. Ask yourself if the negatives are really a deal-breaker or if they are merely a small “coffee stain” distraction. Don’t let the little things deprive you of all the good qualities you saw in the first place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Steven Iwersen, CSP, is the founder and President of Aurora Pointe, LLC, a leadership development company. He is a professional speaker and trainer that specializes in helping organizations manage change and difficult transitions. He is the author of The Porcupine Principles: How to Move Prickly People to Preferred Outcomes. He is also the host of VIP Exchange, a weekly video cast program. Visit www.StevenIwersen.com for more ideas and information.
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