Communication is important in all relationships, whether it is an intimate relationship, a friendship or between colleagues at work. We might never know that we’re doing something to offend another person unless someone points it out to us because according to our way of thinking, we’re not doing anything wrong.
Let me give you an example. Three of us at Vista Clinic were invited to a school for an appreciation lunch. I offered that we should all go in my car. Firstly, I have to say that I am still a loner. I hardly ever have passengers, even though I have a family car. But on this day, two of my colleagues were in the car with me and on our way back, one of them said: ‘Deon drives like the busses in Mauritius. He pulls away with great speed and my head is against the seat, but when he stops my face is on the dashboard!’ The two of them laughed, but I looked at them and asked: Really?
I didn’t know this until she pointed it out to me. I started to concentrate on what I do while driving, and discovered that it’s true! Now that I am aware of it, I can work on my driving habits in order to become a safer driver.
People around us notice our lifestyle more often than we realise. It may not be a bad idea to point behaviours or actions out to another person, but we need to do it in such a way that the other person does not take offence or is embarrassed.
One way is to go to the person in private and ask, for example: ‘Are you aware that your behaviour is not suitable for the office?’ By asking someone first, we make them aware of what they are doing, and not condemning the way they act or speak. (Speak the truth in love).
Thank you for all those true friends, family, or co-workers who help us right where we fell short.