Consider how dogs greet each other compared to how humans do. A dog will be sure to run up as close as possible, arguably too close at times, but they always make sure they are close before the actual greeting takes place.
Humans on the other hand have a habit of trying to communicate from a distance. Many times the exchange then moves into a challenging place since the separation is not addressed appropriately. Case in point, I have been accused, and rightfully so, of trying to “communicate” from one level of the house to another.
Let’s address the frustration that can occur and how it applies to resolving conflicts and adversity.
We often expect others to simply understand our point of view or “buy in” to our way of thinking without considering where they stand on the particular issue. This is the distance and of course the resulting difficulty in communicating with someone else.
A dog has a much better sense, because when they are so close to another dog or human when greeting them they know everything they need to know about them. A dog is also showing us that we need to “meet people where they are” if we expect to have success in influencing those we are in contact with.
How many times have you not considered this distance when trying to communicate something and then end up having adversity be a huge issue?
The image we should create is a football field. Often times we are in one end zone with our point of view and the other person is in the other end zone. Frustration mounts when we cannot seem to make progress with the other person. Instead of moving to midfield or at least the 30-yard line we stay where we are and adversity rises. The communication is also not effective since we are clearly too far away, literally and figuratively.
Our thoughts should go to our canine friends as quickly as possible. No, I do not expect you to smell another person like a dog does, I just want you to consider coming closer so that we have a better chance of being open to the other perspective and cutting down on adversity and conflicts.