You know when you’re telling someone a story and you can tell they aren’t listening? Or when you explain something thoroughly, but the person can’t seem to get it? It’s so frustrating! But it might not be their fault. You need to meet people where they are.
Read on to learn more. Or, if you’re pressed for time, you can check out my thoughts in the video below.
Harmonious relationships are created when you meet people where they are
I’ve written before about how our expectations poison our relationships. I’ve also shared how to treat others how THEY want to be treated. But there’s another skill you need to develop if you want more harmony in your life.
What does it mean to ‘meet people where they are’?
It means you stop assuming everyone has the same cultural touchpoints and perspectives that you do. It means that you stop assuming that everyone has the same abilities and desires you have. And it means you stop seeing everyone around you as an extension of your world.
Once you stop doing all of that, then you can start seeing the people in front of you in all their fullness and complexity. Understanding where those differences begin is key to learning how to meet people where they are.
Creative challenge: See the people in front of you and meet them where they are, not where you want them to be.
Start with a relationship you’ve found challenging.
- Where does the communication typically break down?
- What are other sources of tension?
- What do they need and want from you?
- How do you need to adapt your strategy to meet them where they are?
You know the fastest way to find out what a person needs and wants from you?
- If you’re planning a dinner party, ask if there dietary needs. If you’re not sure how to handle them, ask what they can eat.
- If a friend is experiencing a physically or emotionally difficult time, ask how you can best support them.
- If you’re not sure how to educate someone effectively, ask them how they like to learn.
- If you’re not getting the results you want to see at work, engage your supervisor or co-workers in conversation about what might need to change.
Another reason why you should meet people where they are
Meeting people where they are saves time, builds understanding and trust, and avoids aggravation.
But perhaps the most beneficial thing is it helps you understand how to ask for the help and accommodations you need from the people in your life.
That’s your challenge. Let me know how it goes! Share your thoughts and experiences with me below or @trulykristi on other social channels. 🙂
Don’t miss a challenge! Become a creative alchemist and start getting unstuck.