Changing Relationships – Moving from a One-Way to Two-Way Street

twowayGood Negotiators are good listeners. They have conversations. They don’t preach, they talk.

The voice of the One Way Speaker differs: My opinion matters the most. What everyone else says is suspect in my eyes. You have to listen to me. If those phrases don’t come out in the conversation it comes out in the insinuations and innuendoes.

In Judaism, Our relationship with others is based upon a mutual respect for the other person – for each human is created in the image of G-d. But above that the Torah tells us :

L’Olam Tehe Da’aato Shel Adam MeOrav im HaBeriot – Forever, should the attitude of a person be pleasant/empathetic with others. (Ketuvot 17a)
לעולם תהא דעתו של אדם מעורבת עם הבריות (כתובות יז ע”א)

Apparently it means more than applying common etiquette and niceties. One is to learn to understand where the other is coming and to speak with them from where they are coming from. To have a conversation. To have an exchange. To have a relationship – not a dictatorship. To feel the feelings of the other. To rejoice when others rejoice. To cry when others cry.

This is talking about people that are your peers. People who are righteous. From the wicked, one should distance themselves as to not take from them their negative character traits.

Listen to yourself. Are you only concerned in telling your point? Are you interested in what the other has to say? Are you willing to change if something is the truth?

Are you able to take suggestions to improvement or are you stuck in stationary mode. A person who improves is a person who gets better with age.

Trying to see what’s best for others is the start of conversation.

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