Q) A couple of the people I work with like to tell me things I already know. How can I make them stop? Do they think I am stupid?
A) I don’t know what your co-workers think of you, but before you shut them down, I ask you to consider that this might just be their way of communicating.
Of course you are smart and you do know lots of things. When your co-worker starts to share information with you, perhaps you do already know what that co-worker wants to tell you.
But that isn’t always the point.
Try to refrain from saying “I already know that”.
Try not to even think it. And if it pops into your head, push it to the side.
Your role in this situation might be to allow the other person to share and explore this information. Your role might be to help that person learn and grow simply by listening and discussing this information with them.
And isn’t it possible that you don’t know everything? Isn’t it possible that listening to that person share the information and hearing that person's perspective could broaden your perspective?
The conversation may start with something that you are sure you know but who knows where it will go from that point?
“I already know that.” Now there is a phrase that does not encourage conversation. In fact if someone approaches you to speak with you and you hit them with an “I already know that”; you might as well say “Go away” or “I don’t care what you think”.
You just killed the conversation.
When you shut someone down, you are closing the door to communication.
When you turn someone away with an “I already know that,” you are discouraging that person from sharing with you and growing with you.
The next time that someone has information to share, that person may see you and just keep walking. And when that happens, you will really miss out. You will miss the opportunity to learn something new, you will miss the opportunity to strengthen your bond with this person and you will no longer play a part in that person's growth.
That person will no longer participate in your growth.
But then you already knew that, didn’t you?
Until next time; wishing you peace at work. Remember to send
your questions to Ask@MargaretMeloni.com.
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