As Carl Rogers said, “The major barrier to mutual interpersonal communication is our very natural tendency to judge, to evaluate, to approve or to disapprove.” Approval usually comes when my perceptions of your behavior match myassumptions of how I think you should behave. Disapproval usually comes when myperceptions of your behavior do not match my assumptions of how I think youshould behave. It’s time to stop shoulding on each other! Stop saying, “You should do this.” “You should do that.” When we should on someone we enter into the parent-child relationship which never turns out well in the workplace.
Since effective communication is about reaching mutual understanding, acceptance and tolerance can go a long way. Remember to keep an open mind because a closed mind cannot receive messages of any kind. This doesn’t mean you always have to agree with each other; just see if you can find a way to accept what is being said. Acceptance is just seeing something through the eyes of the other person as it is to him/her and saying, “That’s just the way it is.” The next time you sense a communication breakdown due to a difference of perception or opinion, challenge yourself to be more open-minded, tolerant and accepting. If that’s too hard, you can always agree to disagree and move on.