Do you ever wonder if we’re doomed to repeat our mistakes over and over? I’ve been commenting on articles from discrimination in the work place to the Royal Wedding taking place. During my last stress management seminar with business owners, the topic naturally arose about how relevant Mars Venus Coaching material is in the workplace. Mars Venus Coaching tackles how to work with men and women’s differences in communication styles so that everyone is respected, and everyone wins.
Research shows productivity goes up when everyone’s strengths are called upon to grow an organization. Many heads were nodding in agreement to the weighty relationship issues we were addressing as we tackled a particularly humorous group exercise. Several business owners came up to me afterwards to continue asking both personal and work-related relationship questions.
So, I think the answer to my question, are we doomed to repeat mistakes is: it depends. I tend to think that if we experience a setback, gaff, mistake, or failure—and we’re able to internalize the learning point from whatever we screwed up on, then we won’t make that mistake again. We bounce back more resilient than before, but the question I’m getting at is bigger than learning from personal experience.
As I get my own business up and running and I network with other business owners, coaches, HR and OD consultants, I see a bigger issue going on. The mistake that we keep repeating is the absolute need to treat everyone we interact with respect. Honor the differences, embrace the similarities, but let people be who they are meant to be so they can live out their life living the best version of themselves. And then I’m reminded again why I chose the profession I’m currently pursuing.
The big question is what is holding us back as a global society from learning vicariously through other’s mistakes? Why do we focus on the downfall of others, rather than communally helping everyone to grow our strengths?
Many of us live our lives through different colored glasses—due to life circumstances and experiences. And, our garbled sense of reality if we’re not aware of our filters is what inhibits us from learning from the experiences of others. True, most of us are experiential learners; however, I think we’ve evolved enough that we could learn from the mistakes of others rather than perpetuating, gossiping about, or repeating them.
This brings me to discrimination; I do Mars Venus Coaching seminars and workshops, because I cannot think of a simpler way to help others alleviate most of their problems than to get to the heart of things: communication. When I look at other coaching, consulting, HR, or OD websites—what strikes me is that all of the trainings are meaningless if we’re unable to communicate in an open, efficient manner where we can talk to people, and despite their listening blocks, they can hear us.
Good, open, honest, assertive, respectful communication begets healthy relationships. Relationships and connections are what drive business, as well as what drives whether or not we’re in a 50+ year marriage, are divorced (and remarried sometimes multiple times), or can even find a compatible partner. We’re bringing children into families that are not paying enough attention to what they can do right and how they can incorporate new skills into making healthier family dynamics. We also have people in jobs where they are being discriminated against, because not enough is being done to make sure everyone in the work place is respected.
And teaching respect in its simplest form is:
• teaching people about how other people have different styles of communicating,
• how to speak in the same dialect, and
• how to honor and respect their own preference at the same time
This is what I call gender intelligent communication, and it is what Dr. John Gray’s Mars Venus Coaching material strives to do. When you understand that men and women communicate differently, and then how you can use this knowledge to make genuine connections with those of the opposite sex—the opportunity for growth and productivity at work opens up. The same happens in your personal relationships. Instead of stressing out yourself and other people, because you’re unable to communicate in the language that makes sense and is comfortable for the other person—you now know when, how, and why you should approach them and talk to them in a style that pays respect to both of your preferences, and needs.
So to have more productive workplaces it comes down to putting respect into action by changing how you communicate with people based on their preferences, not yours. Same goes for at home or at play—with friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. Speak in the language the other person can hear, otherwise it’s like talking to a brick wall. And, that’s not a healthy relationship or recipe for success in life.