You are a powerful interpersonal center of influence.
It only takes ONE in a relationship to bring the best out of others. It doesn’t matter if this is a personal or a more casual relationship. You have the power.
In other words, you have the ability to affect others in both negative and positive ways. You are not a neutral force; it is impossible to be neutral. Think of a time when you were at a social event and there was someone next to you “neutral,” just unto him or herself.” Did you feel neutral about that? Probably not- you probably were negatively affected by the standoffishness of that person. So, if you cannot “not” affect others…you might as well be a positive force.
There are three main ways to be a positive force with your intimate partner or whomever:
1) Perceive the best in the other person even if history says otherwise.
2) Speak to that person as if you genuinely believed those positive perceptions about that person.
3) Follow up with some action that exhibits the faith you have in the other person.
Try any one of these three ways (or all of them) and see how they can help you bring the best out of others…whether or not it is with your partner or someone else.
I have a pretty dated YouTube video where I discuss this idea of how to Bring the Best Out of Others
The information here is still relevant to today’s topic!
This video demonstrates the power of perception; a perception that is based on what you really want to see in the other person; perception based on what may be possible from that other person. It is an exercise in cognitive flexibility.
Here is an intimate couple example: You have a partner who has a history of getting defensive and not listening. You expect it.
When you talk with him (or her), you expect him to be defensive and not tune in to you. So, you talk in a tone that is indicative of someone who expects a negative response. Your words are more abrupt and you are harsher. And then- voila! He is defensive!
Do you see the self-fulfilling prophecy here?
Now I am not downplaying his defensive history but if you as a couple have any chance of breaking this pattern, you need to use your imagination to see your partner as a great listener. I know that sounds a little strange but step into that scenario for a minute.
You have something difficult to share; something that in the past your partner would almost certainly get defensive about. You decide to be creative in your perception and imagine him (or her) as a sensitive listener.
How would you look at him?
How would you speak to him?
What might be your tone?
There is a far greater chance for your partner to listen to you sensitively when you come from that second perception; the perception not based on history but instead on what may be possible. And then what if you followed that action up with some act of gratefulness for his listening…even if his listening was not great but still better than before?
I know people can develop better habits. I know people are malleable and can become better employees, spouses, etc. How we think of them and then, in turn, speak to them and behave towards them definitely makes a difference.
Experiment with this concept.
That really is all you could do..experiment. See if life gets better or worse for you when you practice these ideas of bringing the best out of others.
I am not perfect of course but the more I practice these ideas, the better my relationships and life become. I am convinced of your power and mine to make a positive difference in our relationships when we bring the best out of others.
I go deeper into this in my Relationship Mastery Program that starts April 3rd. If you cannot attend live you can have access to the recordings of each training and coaching session. Find out more about this at www.toddcreager.com/relationshipmastery.