This is Part 3 in a series to inspire honest and productive communication between humans at work. Read Part 1 (on Collaboration) here. Read Part 2 (on Aiming) here.
This series was going to come in four parts. I was inspired by Gemini season and all its chattiness and humour.
I was like: “I’m going to take a RISK and incorporate astrology into this series. Who makes the rules around here anyways?!?!”
Answer: I do ✋
When energy and plans change
Then Gemini season became Cancer season, like it always does. Emotional, deep, broody cancer came along and took the wind out of my sails. No offense to Cancer – I love Cancer season, it’s just a very different vibe from Gemini.
So here I am – finishing what I started , but not in the way I had planned.
I was going to call this “Communication Part 3: Lift”. I was going to talk about active listening, mirroring, empowering our communication partners, and being brave enough to speak directly and trade feedback.
But actually I have a new idea (watery cancer is flowing over everything now, soaking all my neatly stacked papers, etc.)
It might be the most radical thing you’ve ever heard about communication.
Try communicating honestly
Hang on there, Pinocchio! I’m not saying you’re a liar. I’m just saying you probably haven’t been trained to be an honest communicator.
When asked “how are you?” were you taught to answer with some variation of “fine, thank you. How are you?”?
Most of us are working from a communication rule book designed to keep things safe and surface level, all the while experiencing a pandemic of loneliness.
I have often wondered about the long list of topics that many of us have been taught to avoid for the sake of being polite – politics, physical and mental health, polarizing issues, money, death and dying, childbirth, miscarriage, the list goes on.
I have often wondered, what if instead of avoiding these topics, we were taught how to speak about them in ways that respected individuals’ needs for privacy and also connection? Humans, after all, are special snowflakes.
One person’s gross overstep is another person’s appreciated concern.
One person’s respect for privacy is another person’s invisible sadness.
How do we move forward?
We start communicating more honestly. We do it respectfully. We do it as a collaboration. We do it with an aim. We do it in a way that shows more of ourselves and invites our communication partner to show more of themselves.
This can happen at work. This should happen at work. Not only in terms of answering the question “how are you?” Honestly, but also, in terms of more creativity, depth and solution quality.
Someone might be offended. Someone might be shocked. Someone might be comforted.
Each of these reactions invites exponentially more honest communication.
The more we practice, the better we’ll get.
What could happen?
I’ll go first
This is me doing it. I am fascinated by nature and symbolism and humans, which is why I love astrology. There, I told you. Now you know me better, and we can both step forward more authentically and with less fear.
Your turn! Tell me something about you that’s totally honest and, just maybe, feels a bit risky.
Comment below or DM me over here and let’s see what happens.
I’m cheering you on.
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