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  • Writer's pictureBob Prentice


This week's blog post is the sixth in a series, spelling out the word ATTITUDE. Starting with the letter 'A' is for AMBITION, we added a 'T' for TEAMWORK and another 'T' for TENACITY, followed by the letter 'I' which stands for IMPROVEMENT, and the third 'T' for TRUST. Today, we'll touch on the topic of 'U' is for UNDERSTANDING. Remember to check back next week to see what the 'D' in ATTITUDE stands for.

un·der·stand: v. un·der·stood, (-std) un·der·stand·ing, un·der·stands v. tr.

1. To perceive and comprehend the nature and significance of; grasp.

2. To know thoroughly by close contact or long experience with: That teacher understands children.

I know I want to have the right attitude towards others, even when they do not think or behave the way I think they should. It is my desire to have a better understanding of others, and yet it can be quite a challenge at times.

Are you ever frustrated by someone who won't do the things you want them to or refuse to see things the way you think they should? Sometimes people can be quite exasperating–wouldn't you agree? Yes, we human beings are quite unique. There is no doubt about that. We all have our quirks and absurdities and can make strange decisions, or at times, make no decision at all. When and what others do or don't do, as well as what we expect them to do, can cause us great frustration. Maybe you can relate.

One strategy I have used when frustrated with someone, is to first stop to analyze what I have done, and then ask myself "What could I have done more effectively to create better clarification and harmony with this person and better results in this situation?" Sometimes this necessitates going to the other person and getting their input, too. The goal is to accomplish this without causing an argument or disagreement or negativity with the one who has frustrated me.

I find taking time to understand myself and why I do the things I do really helps me to be more understanding of others. True, it's much easier to make snap judgments and be critical of another's life, choices, and decisions than it is to understand where they are coming from, so I remind myself that I can't possibly have all the facts, and therefore am not qualified to judge anyone. I also try to determine if some of my frustration is my fault. Have I been clear about my expectations? Have I looked at things in terms of their needs? Have I really "sold" the other person on the benefits they will receive?

What a peaceful world we would have if more people stopped and did a checkup from the neck up first, before they gave in to the temptation to criticize, judge, and complain. Everyone of us can benefit from a little understanding.

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