A gift to our fellow humans in celebration of Earth Day
The Benefit of the Doubt.
It's the greatest gift to relationship you can give. To megiving a person the benefit of the doubt means that when you feel yourselfgetting riled or offended; when you feel disrespected or put-upon; when youhave an uncontrollable urge to call someone a bad name, STOP. Instead of firingback a nasty retort or acting defensively, or stuffing feelings of anger, askyourself three questions:
1. What might be going on in this person's life to make themforget their manners? (This question reminds us that each side of acommunication is the responsibility of the person sending it, and not so much areflection on the recipient.)
2. Can I remember a time when I was stressed and acted in asimilar way? (This reminds us that we all operate at various levels ofconsciousness depending on what else is going on in our lives, and that we needto constantly be prepared to forgive ourselves and others for lapses. This alsoforces us to look at our prior communications with this person and see how ourown behavior may have triggered the situation in the first place.)
3. When I reread the email or re-listen to the voicemail, orreview the conversation, can I put a more positive spin on the communication(or lack of communication) I received? (This reminds us to take an extra fewseconds to re-think our reactions and look the interchange in a more positivelight. Chances are, no offense was meant, and our reaction will dissipate.)
If we take these three steps instead of firing off aknee-jerk response in kind, chances are, we'll not only feel better aboutourselves for taking the high road, but quite possibly show the other person amore professional (and emotionally mature) way to communicate.