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What National Honey Month Means to Our Relationships with Others

27 Sep. 2017 Posted by aadams

Raquelle Solon, FEI Business Solutions Engineer

Did you know there are many different types of honey?

Most of us are familiar with the bear-shaped honey container from the grocery store, but if you broaden your view you can find local honeys from beekeepers on display in your local grocery store, farmers market or roadside stand.

Honey ranges not just in flavors such as clover, wildflower, orange blossom and even buckwheat (my favorite is dogwood, found in the north Georgia mountains), but also in color tones, from almost clear and brilliant yellows to deep ambers and dark browns. There are many delivery forms of honey as well: liquid, combs, whipped. Each honey is unique, just like people.

We’ve all heard the cliché, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That wise saying from bygone ages means, in simple terms, that if you’re kind you’re more likely to get the results you want versus being mean.

With The Mandt System®, we utilize similar concepts. The foundation of the Mandt program is to build healthy relationships. How do you build healthy relationships? By treating people the way you want to be treated? Actually, no. By treating people the way they want to be treated.

We start by getting to know the person. What are their de-escalation preferences, i.e. what do they like to do when they are relaxed, or what helps them feel relaxed? Like honey, each person is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to spend time (even five minutes) getting to know a person and finding what they like. When you do this, you are treating that person with dignity for the individual they are.

Our goal in Mandt is to communicate with one another in a healthy way. We can deliver information in a way that builds people up or tears them down; we can hurt people or heal them with our words. Per Harry Potter’s Albus Dumbledore, “Words are … our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.”

While words are only seven percent of the communication process, they are still important. The rest of communication consists of vocal qualities and nonverbal communication—that’s where the honey really comes in. We might say the right words, but if those words are salty or sharp, they are not going to be well-received by the other person and can impact the relationship. If we try to get to know someone but constantly look at our phone, or cross our arms and look away, we miss the opportunity to get to know de-escalation preferences because we’ve communicated to that person we’re not interested in what they have to say. This doesn’t just apply to the people you're serving, but to each other.

Building people up is another way that we can “catch more flies.” When you recognize someone for doing something well, on time or with a positive attitude, they often want to hear that positive recognition again. The additional benefit is other people also will want to receive those kudos, and a chain reaction starts of people being their best. There are many forms of delivery: a statement to that person, recognition during a meeting, a written note or email. Just ensure that when you are building people up, you go beyond “good job” or “thanks.” People need to know specifically what they did well—especially if you want to see continued
positive results.

In conclusion, I have two challenges for you:

  1. Check out your community’s local honey options and pick up the subtle nuances of each one, finding your favorite.
  2. Take time to get to know people beyond the surface. Communicate in a way that provides dignity and respect for the individual and their own uniqueness. Use a little honey (kindness in your interactions). Build people up, look for things people—both co-workers and people served—are doing well, and say something specific and appreciative about it.

You can catch more flies with honey. In the words of Dumbledore, “Kindness is a trait people never fail to undervalue.”

Contact me to learn how to implement Mandt into your organization.

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