Recent articles have suggested that the keys to success are rooted in our habits. What do we routinely is what shapes the essence of our lives. We all know an exercise ‘habit’ (or lack of one) affects our health status. Our communication ‘habits’ affect our relationship health.

Here are a few habits to resolve to create in 2016:

  • Don’t avoid confrontational conversations. Acknowledge that it’s possible to have a difficult conversation, without being difficult. Also, delaying having important conversations almost never improves the situation – it just extends the pain.
  • Assume good intent on the part of others. What we bring to the conversation, in the form of assumptions, can significantly impact the outcome. Here’s why – we act ‘as if’ our assumptions are true, and modify our own behaviors accordingly. So, if I think you are dishonest, I will treat you as if you are dishonest… and that may lead to worse outcomes.
  • Emotions impact outcomes. A recent Harvard Business review article showed that displays of anger in a negotiation setting leads to worse outcomes. When negotiating, our anger can negatively impact our partners’ willingness to work with us. We must regulate our negative emotions and spend a few minutes, mindfully considering the challenges of our day, can help.

We wish you all a wonderful and successful 2016!