When you look at relationships, people say that many of the breakdowns have to do with misinterpretations or lack of clarity around communication. Every person I know and every company I have ever worked for has talked about communication. 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 challenges it can bring.
Have you explored your style of communication lately? Are you “biting your tongue” where 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.
A few years ago, I had a big lesson in communications and the outcome has been influential in moving forward with my life work. I was working on a new venture with several different parties. It was really interesting. We all operated differently and moved at varying speeds. The good news is that we were really committed to the project and integrity was a premier value. The interesting news is that we all processed differently and were incredibly busy people. What I experienced was overlap or lost communications.
These are the questions that came to me that might help you if you are in a high level project or feel lost in any type of relationship. I invite you to journal on them.
- What do I need in this moment?
- What concerns me most about what is happening?
- What will serve the project/relationship in the best way?
- How do I communicate my needs so that I can be heard?
- Does this reaction serve me?
You will find that this exercise will help you to talk to the parties involved and courageously share your concerns and needs. And, you will open the space for them to share their expectations and desires to make new and exciting discoveries.
I have learned to get clear and ask for what I need. 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.
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 reframe communicating as “work” and call it a way to “connect” it could shift our perceptions and interactions.
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.