We’re Social Animals! - [website] Email Print
Published: 30th of Aug 2017 by: Carolyn Kessler

We really are social animals. Some of us more than others, that is true. But we all need to connect with our fellow human beings at some level.

Consider the fact that prisons use isolation as a form of punishment. In times of war or conflict, it is common practise for individuals to be kept isolated for years on end. Those that are lucky enough to be released have usually developed myriad psychological problems as a result of this lack of human interaction. It’s an appallingly effective method of torture.

This being said, it’s more often our colleagues or clients who are the most challenging part of our work life. You can master tasks with adequate time and training, but developing the skills to effectively negotiate relationships is a life-long exercise.

Mastering good relationship skills is not, however, impossible to do. On the contrary, there are excellent tools which deepen our understanding of ourselves and others.

These tools form the bedrock of many of our communication related courses. Miscommunication happens when we lack the ability or will to accurately assess the needs of others as well as those of our own.

Conflict resolution is only possible when we have taken time to put ourselves in the shoes of the other party. Often times, we are effectively blinded by our overwhelming interest in meeting only our own needs, wants or desires, generally at the expense the other party.

We adopt an aggressive or passive aggressive stance at the outset – both of which lead to opposing sides becoming further entrenched in their opinions. The outcome of these interactions can only mean loss for both parties.

So, does this confirm that people are difficult and isolation is preferable to subjecting oneself to the possibility of conflict, latent or otherwise?

The answer is no. Sometimes it is good to withdraw and re-assess. Only however, if you’re doing so in order to gain insight and move into a calmly assertive mode which precludes power struggles. The focus of assertiveness is calm, clear, honest communication with zero manipulation.

Assertiveness is not a natural state. It’s actually a skill which needs to be taught and practised. Without it, our interactions are going to prove difficult.

The answer is to enjoy being a social animal. Just accept that good communication is a skill integral to healthy relationships which absolutely can and must be learned.

Connect, share, help, lean on, learn from and gain insight into your fellow humans. Permanent isolation is not a good option!

Staff Training is a soft skills training provider. Contact us at 0861 996 660.

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