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#WFH: Do you Avoid, Deny or Rationalize?

When we feel threatened, let down or otherwise negatively impacted by an event, a relationship or a circumstance, we use common forms of defense. Sometimes we avoid, deny or rationalize. Other times, we may intellectualize or project. Depending on our defensive approach, we will commonly respond in one of three voices: the child, the parent or the adult. The child is the natural, joyful creative, funny or angry voice that obeys. The parental voice is the one that scolds, orders, and tries to control or command. The adult voice, which is the one we want to use in business communication, is data-oriented and focused on problem solving. The adult voice is clear and wants to know the facts, not just be right. The adult wants to know all the information so that it can make an impartial and informed decision.

Most of us believe that what we think is true. Turns out that it is really just what we think. It is very difficult for humans to separate the thought and the thing. Our thoughts are really just that, our thoughts. Communication research supports the fact that the thought and the thing are often not the same. We have a natural tendency to have a bias to-ward ourselves! Often termed the self-serving bias or the vain brain, we defend our thoughts because they serve our positions. We communicate mostly to influence and persuade. When things don’t go our way, we find a way to justify that by judging, devaluing and trying to control. We are always trying to understand what is going on and how that impacts us.

Every environment has a certain amount of “noise” in it. The virtual environment has more “noise” because the communication is being filtered through technology. There is the physical noise in the environment and the psychological noise in each party involved in the communication. It turns out that the psychological noise can be louder than most physical noise because this noise is created by emotions. It is not easy for us to get our meaning across. There can be big many differences between what we mean to say and how that communication is interpreted by the other person.

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