Embedded in each of us is a need to connect with each other; to belong, to contribute and to share something of significance. It is a need that is apparent by the increase of social media and technological advancement in this area of connection to each other.
Today we have hundreds of ways to connect with each other through technology and social media; Skype, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, What’s App, Messenger, Text - email, and old fashioned mail, to name a few. Pictures, emoji’s, video clips, acronyms are a few ways we express our feelings and needs. Despite all these ways to connect, the ‘face to face’ conversation with another individual remains a definitive and sacred commodity in our lives. The ‘face to face’ conversation often requires courage to express and hear each other’s feelings and needs.
Courageous communication, we might say, entails a heart motivation to converse face to face without fear. Conversing without fear of what we may express or hear is the art of connection in a face to face conversation. Communication without fear inspires a desire to meet each other’s needs and practice what I would like to call the 3 R’s of communication: Reflective, Real, and Responsive.
Reflective communication is the freedom to observe what is happening inside and outside of ourselves. When we choose to be reflective, we will take note of what another is doing, or expressing, and also what is happening inside of ourselves. We purposely grant ourselves permission to take a step back. We reflect what we feel and need and/or we reflect what we see, hear, or sense another person is doing. Reflective communication positions us to take the time to observe rather than conclude on what we hear or see.
Reflective communication is without evaluation or assessment. Like a mirror, we can reflect the facts without our opinions or assumptions. What we see, hear, and notice comes from an objective stance. For example, “I see you are looking away from me when I am speaking.” and NOT “You are ignoring me!” Jumping to conclusions about a person’s actions provokes a defensive response.
Challenge yourself to use reflective communication and then perhaps ask what they may be feeling or needing. Ie. “I see you are looking away from me when I am speaking, are you feeling anxious?” Then wait for their response. The courage to communicate reflectively with each other is a choice to connect or disconnect with each other every time. Our opinions and judgements about someone’s actions are speculative, and although we may think we are spot on with them, these opinions are unlikely to inspire dialogue or heart to heart connection. Recall your response the last time you heard an unsolicited opinion about your actions?
Try the practice of reflective communication. Indeed, a step to understanding in the art of connection with each other. So what about the next step of being Real? Glad you asked.
Stay tuned for Part 2 - Being Real.
Life Change Solutions – www.lifechangesolutions.ca