Excellent ‘Mom’ Advice

We teach the skills of networking and connecting—everything from face-to-face connecting to conversation and social intelligence—and we think this story offers some of the best ‘mom’ advice out there.

The Problem

Peter Bregman, in an excellent article Getting Past a Communication Impasse, shares an incident where a colleague snaps at him and later offers a half-hearted apology. Peter feels his colleague just ‘dialed in’ the apology. As a result Peter can’t get past this slight and it’s causing a communication and emotional roadblock in a required working relationship. He can’t just ‘unfriend’ the guy.

Mom’s Solution

In his article Peter shares what he learned from his mother when she had to deal with a similar situation and why learning to compartmentalize other people’s behavior is a worthwhile relationship strategy.

“Recently she told me she was going out with someone who had, quite literally, betrayed her; he went behind her back to buy a rare item that had been promised to her. The seller maintained his commitment to my mother and my mother maintained her relationship with both the seller and the betrayer. How was she able to get over it?

‘I know what to expect from him,’ she told me of her betrayer. ‘That's the kind of person he is.’

‘Did you ever talk to him about it?’ I asked her.

‘No,’ she said, ‘Why should I? It wouldn't make a difference. I'm not going to change him. And talking about it won't change the situation.’

‘But how can you still spend time with him? Don't you get angry when you see him?’

‘I'm too tired to be angry every time someone does something I don't like. And I don't want to be alienated from everyone. I enjoy him for his other attributes. But I know what to expect from him.’”

Your Mom’s Advice?

What other great ‘mom’ advice have you received when it comes to relationships—both for work and life? We would love your comments below


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