How should Acceptance be defined? A definition should be as the ability to accept positively different behaviors and ideas. Ok, and what does it mean in the real life?
In the Leadership Development course, that I am attending as an MBA student, in a lecture was analyzed and practiced the one-to-one communication and that day I saw this meaningful picture:
In the communication there are the following actors: you with your values, the other with his\her values and the message.
In the picture the values are represented by the ground, a field in which each one of us feels himself comfortable. Someone likes to run in a field of green grass, someone else likes to run in the sand and other likes mountain landscapes just because we are different!
The world is the message of the communication that is made by the content (what is said) and the context (how is said) like the non-verbal communication: gestures, postures, volume of the voice, tone, rhythm,…
So, how should Acceptance be achieved by the actors that are playing the communication comedy (or drama, it depends)?
Well, Acceptance will lead an effective communication that means floating in the air in a perfect harmony and balance without touching each actor: you and your believes, the other and their believes and the message (content + context).
Nice words, but how such a harmony should be achieved?
Thus, there are two requirements, as showed in the figure, needed in order to establish an effective communication:
- Respect yourself: how? By leaving for a while you comfortable ground made by your values, believes and habits, but not too much in order to still remember who you are. So, leave also a pair of shoes in you ground! Moreover, respect yourself by also feeling involved without been touched as a person by the message (the world) if this is not a direct and explicit attack to your ground (your values). This means avoid judgments and asking for clarification\feedback.
- Respect the other by help him\her to respect himself\herself as you respect yourself. Thus help the other to leave his\her values by focusing your attention on the message (the world) and help him\her to be focused on the message as well by avoiding to attack his\her values as an individual. When a value is under attack? According to my own experience a value is under attack when a difference is pointed out: “I like pizza and you like Sushi” (verbal) or, someone is speaking loudly while the other is very quiet (non-verbal).
So, whenever during a tough debate I feel myself under “attack” and uncomfortable or I perceive such feeling in the other, for example in some signs in the non-verbal communication, I will think to that picture in order to recover a good harmony through Acceptance.
I will test if this metaphor works or not! Would you like to try so?
However, as Bill Cosby said: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is to please to everyone“.
Thus, it’s wise to be aware that also Acceptance has a limit!
Feelink – Feel & Think approach for doing life!