Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.
1. When arguing, try restating the main point’s of the other person’s argument back to them and have them do the same with you.
Believe it or not, the vast majority of arguments are based on miscommunication.
With arguments, there are often several things occurring simultaneously that result in conflict.
Not understand the other person’s argument
Feeling that the other person does not understand your argument
Convoluting and intertwining non-related issues into the argument
Arguing about two different things all the while thinking you are both arguing about the same thing…
An unwavering belief that you are right and the other person is wrong and thus you don’t need to listen to their argument
Next time you are arguing with someone pause the argument and restate their argument back to them.
Something like, “Hold on, I want to make sure I understand what you are arguing. You are saying that XYZ is broken and the only way to fix XYZ is to get QRS to modify Y so that it will fit better into Z?”
Now, this has several benefits.
- First and foremost it helps to identify exactly what the argument is even about. This is huge because most arguments get so convoluted the people arguing don’t even know what they are arguing about (and this goes double for emotional and relationship type arguments when the people have a history together).
- Secondly, this technique demonstrates you are making an attempt to understand them and this will have a calming effect.
- Thirdly, it forces you out of the frame of mind that you are automatically right and enables you to actually “listen” and “hear” what they are saying.
- Fourth, it helps you step outside the argument, sees both sides, be more objective and able to see more solutions.
You can also do the reverse. Pause the argument and ask “Can you tell me what my argument is? Can you explain the problem as I see it?
This forces them to pause and process what you are saying and it helps to break the momentum and out-of-control death spiral arguments tend to descend into. And again, it helps to actually help define the exact problem…
2. At Disney but don’t want to wait three hours for a ride? Save the ride with the longest wait for 20 minutes before closing. Disney won’t kick you out of the line until you finish the ride.
3. If you need to wake up early drink a glass of water before bed if you need to wake up very early, drink 2.
4. If you have to reheat noodles, use butter. The butter will keep the noodles from clumping together.
5. If you don’t know it already, ask your employer or prospective employer for your compensation ratio (aka “compa-ratio”).
Some (most?) larger companies will provide this information to their employees annually, but if yours doesn’t, you should absolutely find it out. Ask your boss or company HR person what your compensation ratio or “compa-ratio” is. This ratio is essentially your salary divided by the mid-point salary range for that position. A compa-ratio of 1.00 means that you’re getting paid exactly the mid-point salary for that job. This is particularly important information to have when talking about performance reviews and raises. If you’ve been getting consistently good performance reviews but find out your compa-ratio is in the 0.7-0.8 range, you should absolutely be talking to your boss about a raise.
Also, when negotiating a salary for a new job, don’t be afraid to ask what compa-ratio their offer would result in. That’s a much more helpful metric than just a dollar amount. A compa-ratio of 0.8-0.85 is a fair range for someone being newly hired into a higher position, but don’t be afraid to negotiate up. If they offer you a salary that seems impressive but it turns out that it would just be a compa-ratio of 0.7, this gives you a power-advantage in the negotiations because now they know you know you would be underpaid.