Every person I know and every company I have ever worked for has talked about communication. When you look at relationships, people say that many of the breakdowns have to do with misinterpretations or lack of clarity around communication. So, since we all know this, why aren’t we better at communicating? I believe it is because we love the concept of communication but not the challenge of it.
The importance of conscious communication
I recently entered into a new venture in which I am working with several different parties. It has been really interesting. We all operate differently and move at varying speeds. The good news is that we are really committed to the project and value integrity. But because we all process information differently and are incredibly busy people, I have experienced overlapped or lost communications.
As I watched myself become reactive the last time this happened, I stopped and asked myself the following questions. “What do I need in this moment?” “What concerns me most about what is happening? “What will serve the project in the best way?” “How do I communicate my needs so that I can be heard?” “Does this reaction serve me?”
Once I answered those questions, I was ready to talk to the parties involved and share my concerns and needs. I opened the space for them to share their expectations and desires and we discovered we actually were on the same page.
What’s your communication style?
What is important about this is that I can actually see my growth. I have learned to get clear and ask for what I need. This is HUGE. I used to be too afraid to “stir the pot.” I wanted people to like me. Guess what? People like me more when I am clear and honest.
Have you explored your style of communicating lately? Are you “biting your tongue” (interesting image) when there might be a conflict? Are you withdrawing into a place of judgment and criticism of yourself and others? Are you angrily sharing and pushing people away? If the answer to any of these is “Yes,” I would like to suggest that you pause and reflect on what you really want and how you can best serve the whole (family, friendship, relationship or project).
Once you get clear about your needs it is a great time to listen to those around you. Having all parties put their feelings and needs on the table can open amazing dialogues that can transform experiences.
I am not saying that everyone will agree all of time, but trust is built when we recognize that there is a deep desire to communicate and move to resolution. Communication takes time and attention. If we re-frame communicating as a way to “connect,” it could shift our perceptions and interactions. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Take a moment to remember this:
Today, I commit to honest and clear communication. I open my heart, share my needs and listen with the clear intention to connect.