What is the value of knowing nothing about another?
This might be the one truth that is truly useful in forming and maintaining relationships, team building, and leadership. It forces us to call on our curiosity to learn about someone else and their circumstances.
Simple wonder, awe, sincere question asking creates a state that allows us to call forth that which is not yet known to either of us. Thus, providing a solid foundation for insight, exploration, and exchange.
Questions create clarity and understanding.
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. ” Plato
Several years ago I was working with a couple. The couple were both hard working professionals with successful practices. and dedicated parents to their 5 children. Managing life was truly an art in and of itself for them. As in many marriages, as life became busier work, and children often took precedence over the couple spending time with each other. Sound familiar?
During one coaching session one partner said to me, I know, I know we need to make more time to WORK on our marriage. The word WORK just hit me wrong. These were people that needed less work, not more. So gently I said, “You both work so hard at your practices, and at making life work for your children, maybe what you need to do is have more FUN in your marriage.” We all laughed. They thought that was a tremendous idea, and began to discuss how they could have more FUN together, instead of working on the marriage.
This small change of perspective made all the difference for them. They began to surprise each other, take unexpected trips, do fun and silly things together. They began to laugh together again. If your marriage or partnership isn’t what it once was think about how to make it more fun, not more work.
Needs some ideas? Contact me!
I own a beautiful bay Andalusian stallion who’s nicknamed Fin. Riding him today I was acutely aware of when he was listening to me, and we were communicating clearly versus when he was anticipating my request, and thus the lines of communication were marred. We could argue that he was in fact picking up cues based on his past experience with me, and thus my body language was communicating with him before I was actually aware that I was making the request. However, what in fact he was doing was remembering a previous session or pattern of exercises that we completed and was anticipating that we would do the same routine or dance today as well. So although he was correct about the previous pattern, he was incorrect about what I was asking today. So I checked the clarity of my cues, slowed down the rhythm of the process, and allowed him to return to listening by ignoring his anticipation, and staying clear on communicating my current goal.
“Wow,” I thought, “that’s it, we get use to a pattern of communicating with others, we respond to the previous communication patterns with them. We anticipate their words, agendas, or needs. Sometimes we get it right. but sometimes we really screw it up, because we have failed to truly listen, because we were too busy trying to anticipate the other person’s world.” Instead of just waiting, being curious, and wondering, we were being self-protective, defensive, people-pleasing, or afraid instead. Fin anticipated because he has a strong desire to please.
Why do you anticipate when communicating with others? Where do you fail to truly listen? Where could you slow down, listen, and truly have a conversation with someone today?
The quality of our lives my be the quality of our relationships, however the quality of a relationship is based on the character of the individuals involved in that relationship. Successful relationships are formed by individuals with characteristics that enable the relationship to thrive.