Today, we are delighted to share with you an article by Glenna Wilson that discusses handling difficult situations and people. Glenna is a renowned studio owner, dance instructor, and guest artist. Use this valuable insight as you head into your upcoming seasons!

How To Handle Difficult Situations And People

By Glenna Wilson

Look For Areas of Agreement

Instinctive Impression

Show Respect For Their Opinion

Temper Control

Everyone Makes Mistakes (Even You)

Never think you can win an argument

LISTEN….simply take the time to stop and listen. Let the person or situation have time to “air out” first and let the person have a chance to think and vent. At this point, follow the suggestions given to help YOU get YOUR way.

Look for areas of agreement.

When you have heard your opponents out, dwell first on the points and areas on which you agree. If a parent says that “Whose-It” best and you say sure it is, they have to stop. They can’t keep on also saying, ”It’s the best” when you’re agreeing with them. You then get of the subject of “Whose-It” and then begin to talk about the good points of the subject. As wise old Ben Franklin used to say: “If you argue and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.

If your temper is aroused and you tell ‘em a thing or two, you will have a great time unloading your feelings. But what about the other person? Will your belligerent tones, your hostile attitude, make it easy for him to agree with you? Instead talk together, and, if you differ from each other, understand why it is that you differ and just what the points at issue are. A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall, or as my Maw Maw says,” Kill ‘em with kindness!” So with people, if you want to win someone to your way of thinking or your cause, first convince them that you are their sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches their heart; which is the great high road to their reason.

In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things you differ. Begin by emphasizing-and keep on emphasizing- the things on which you agree. Keep emphasizing, if possible, that you are both striving for the same end and that your only difference is one of method and not purpose. Get the other person saying, “Yes… Yes” at the beginning and keep your discussion away from “No” responses. This sets the mental process of the listener in a positive direction. The more “Yeses” we can get from the start, the more likely we are to succeed in capturing their attention for our ultimate purpose.

Instinctive Impression

Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep a calm watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best.

Cooperativeness in conversation is achieved when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own. Starting your conversation by giving the other person the purpose or direction of your conversation, taking control of what you say by what you would want to hear if you were the listener, and accepting his or her viewpoint will encourage the listener to have an open mind to your ideas.

If you stopped a minute to contrast your main interest in your own life with your mild concern about anything or anyone else, you’d realize then, that everybody else in the world feels exactly the same way! Success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s point of view.

If you get only one thing out of these suggestions, it would be to always think in terms of the other person’s point of view, and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own. It may easily prove to be one of the stepping-stones of your career.

 Show Respect For Their Opinion.

Never scold. You have enough trouble overcoming your own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be. Criticism is useless because it puts the other person on the defensive and usually makes them strive to justify themselves. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts their sense of importance, and arouses resentment. By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.

Here we are: human nature in action, wrongdoers, but blaming everyone but ourselves. So when you and I are tempted to criticize someone tomorrow, let’s remember that the person we are going to criticize, correct or condemn will probably justify themselves and condemn us in return.

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with people, but creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion that are bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain-and most fools do. But it takes great character and self-control to be  understanding, forgiving and respectful.

Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them and their motives. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.” God himself does not propose to judge man until the end of his days. Why should you and I?

 Temper Can Measure the Size Of A Person By What Makes Them Angry.

Control your temper. If someone else is showing their temper, refrain from speaking. Bite your tongue or whatever it takes. Don’t be tempted to interrupt. Let them talk themselves out. Then they will simmer down and be in a more receptive mood. The hot tempered person will frequently soften and be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener- a listener who will be silent while the irate fault-finder dilates like a king cobra and spews the poison out of his system.

When someone complains and shows their temper, what they want is to be heard, to unburden themselves and have a feeling of importance. They may get this feeling of importance at first by kicking and complaining. But if you give them a feeling of importance, his imagined ,or not, grievances will vanish into thin air. Poof! Three-fourths of the people you deal with are hungering and thirsty for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.

Wouldn’t you like a magic phrase that would stop all arguments, eliminate ill feelings, create good will, and make the other person want to listen to YOU attentively? O.K. here it is: “I don’t blame you one bit for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do. And you can say that and be 100 percent sincere, because if you were the other person you, of course, would feel just as he does.

Don’t forget; to be genuinely interested in other people and their concerns is a most important quality for a business person to  possess – or for any person, for that matter.

 Everyone makes mistakes (even you)

You can tell people they are wrong by a look or an intonation or a gesture just as eloquently as you can in words-and if you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgment, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds. You may throw at them all the logic and knowledge, but you will not alter their opinions, for you have hurt their feelings.

Never begin by announcing, “You are wrong. I am going to prove so-and-so to you.” That’s bad. That’s basically saying:” I’m smarter than you are. I’m going to tell you a thing or two and make you change your mind. That is a challenge. It arouses opposition and makes the listener want to battle with you before you even start. If you are going to prove anything, don’t let anyone know it. Do it subtly that no one will feel you are doing it.

If a person makes a statement that you think is wrong-yes, even that you know is wrong-isn’t it better to begin saying: “Well, now, look. I thought otherwise, but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.” Nobody on earth will ever object to your saying: “I may be wrong.” You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong. That will stop all argument and inspire your opponent to be just as fair and open and broad-minded as you are. It will make them want to admit that they , too, may be wrong.

Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes-and most fools do-but it raises one above the others and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes.

 Never think you can win an argument.

There is only one way to get the best of an argument-and that is to avoid it. Nine times out of ten an argument ends with each person more firmly convinced than ever that they are absolutely right.

You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it! Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other person and shoot their argument full of holes and prove he is incompetent. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about them? You have made them feel inferior. You have hurt their pride. They will resent your triumph and “ A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

Let the other person save face. How important, how vitally important that is! Few of us ever stop to think of it. Even if we are right and the other person is definitely wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose face. We ride all over the feelings of others, getting our own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticizing our students, employees or family in front of others, without even considering the hurt to the other person’s pride. Whereas with a few minutes thought, a considerate word or two, a genuine understanding of the other person’s attitude, would go so far toward alleviating the sting!

If there is one secret in the success of an argument, it lies in the ability to understand the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.

About Glenna Wilson: 

This will be Glenna’s 37th year as a studio owner and she’s still going strong. She travels with Showstopper and the SHOCK Intensive Workshops. along with teaching her favorites, the “Minis”, Glenna also gives inspirational ideas to teachers across the United States for their preschool programs as well as studio ideas. Glenna has taught as well for the Wisconsin NADDA Chapter for their summer workshops and for Carolina Dance Masters.

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