Our need to be understood and appreciated goes to our very core. Yet, when in conflict with another, our need to project strength, not weakness, may obscure the importance of this human condition. Consider this:
You and a colleague have ben working at cross-purposes and tensions are building. So, you decide to attack the problem head-on and talk it out. A time and place for the discussion is set, and you are anticipating a difficult conversation.
Now you have arrived for the meeting and she is late, just by five minutes, but this is adding to your annoyance and is interpreted as a lack of respect.
Your phone rings and she apologizes, telling you she is tied up in traffic due to an accident on the expressway.
Your resentment eases, and ten minutes later, she arrives, breathless and grim.
You take the time to let her gather her thoughts and catch her breath.
Then, you go a step further and say: I really appreciate your having called to let me know you would be late. That was thoughtful. She smiles and relaxes.
It is important to each of us to feel appreciated. She showed respect by letting you know of her delayed arrival. You reciprocated with recognition for her taking your feelings into consideration.
This conversation is off to a good start.