Why Can’t We Just Get Along? How Communication Can Bridge the Gap

This week, I’ve covered many basics around effective communication, i.e. the how’s and why’s of being a good communicator and providing tips to do so. To finish out, it’s important to discuss how communication can help people to get along better, which applies to any relationship we have. We don’t have to always like someone but we need to learn how to get along with them.


What leads to a conflicted relationship, which is not always having an argument with someone. Conflict can have many levels – high, medium, and low:

  • High conflict involves yelling, screaming, cursing, saying mean or hurtful words, and can even escalate into throwing things or physical harm
  • Medium conflict includes ignoring someone or using words to hurt them; this type of conflict can have things unsaid and can go on for days at a time
  • Low conflict are spats or small disagreements but the parties are able to resolve their indifferences

Conflict results when I see things my way and you see things your way and we don’t want to bend so, essentially, it becomes about winning and losing. Ego does not like to lose so we hold our own; think of it like putting a line in the sand and refusing to cross it. Words then become the weapon in the volley back and forth trying to get the other to come to our side; “yeah, remember the time when you…..; well, there was that time when you……..” which these can go on and on and on.

Perceptions and expectations are the culprits. Perceptions are your interpretation of a situation and your experience around it; conflict arises when your perceptions clashes with another, or getting mad that they don’t see things your way.

Expectations are how you would behave or believe someone else should behave, or how a situation should play out. When it doesn’t, disappointment results and can be projected onto the other person, resulting in hurt feelings that leads to anger, especially if disappointment occurs again and again.

Being clear on our perceptions and expectations, and being willing to see and tolerate others in theirs, is what will bridge the gap so that we can get along with others. We then can recognize their differences and, perhaps choose wiser in who we interact with; for the workforce, this includes assessing the type of culture you decide to work in  – I need movement and being able to walk around so I know I can’t work in a very hierarchical environment where this is not encouraged.

This is crucial when working on a team or work group, where all parties want their ideas heard and to get noticed. More toleration of the differences and how each works,  and more communication about wants and needs, would lead each member to see how they can get their needs met as well as meeting the needs of others. Communication would open up and get more done. Personal relationships most definitely need to understand each partner’s expectations as these lead to conflict that, when not expressing and receiving well, leads to conflict of some type.

The last lesson this week, which builds off of the previous information, is to take time to understand your perceptions and, especially, your expectations of yourself and others. Slowing down your reactions to make this assessment will get you in the habit of doing so, then you can find the ‘right’ words to convey in the ‘right’ time. Empathy is the other part of this issue as when we feel understood we are more open to you and seeing your side. In regards to communication, practice makes perfect, as they say. TGIF!

If you’d like to learn more and how to get the most out of yourself, and your people, we’re here to serve. We have our Fableader program where we will:

  • Look at your goals, challenges you are facing, and opportunities you might be missing. 
  • Uncover any hidden problems that may be sabotaging your desired results
  • Create an action plan and implement it together so that you finally get the results you have been looking for but were unable to find.
  • Address challenges that come up along the way, leaving you feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to take action and get faster results

We also can train on this topic. If you’re ready to get started, contact us today to schedule your Fableader Breakthrough Strategy Session. barbara@cyscoaching.com Visit our website at http://cyscoaching.com and our blog at https://allaboutcareerssite.com.




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