Some of us live with a foot in two worlds. One in which we walk away from unhealthy relationships and conversations. And one in which we have the strength to have courageous conversations about what matters. Deep human connection happens when we communicate openly with each other. It shifts our energy as we step into our power.
Unhealthy conversations often have emotions, on all sides, and tend to be awkward, stressful, or challenging. When there are sides needing to be argued, it is challenging to get to understanding. For many, as physical fires rage across the globe this summer, emotional temperatures may also be getting hotter with words and reactions to anyone who disagrees.
But maybe this is an opportunity to step into a less heated and more compassionate world? Maybe it’s time to embrace a healthy way of life and take responsibility for our actions and reactions? Maybe it’s time to drop the social conditioning and step into our power?
A courageous conversation is an art form. It is a healthy exchange between people ready to create something meaningful together. Especially when our egos are in check.
Collaboration is not a debate club where everyone receives time to speak and then we vote who wins and who loses; based on making arguments. Winning ignites the ego and shuts us down especially when it comes to listening. Debating does not allow for thoughtful questions or an opportunity to explore possibilities.
And isn’t interesting that when we are at school we have debate clubs and not conversation clubs? The energy of conflict and division is embedded in us from a young age.
In learning to debate, one person is so caught up making points that we have to wait for them “to finish their thoughts.” This most likely signals that there is not much interest in what the other person has to contribute. It is a need to be right and gain agreement. This usually leads to consensus, which leads to the death of collaboration. Too often in these situations, people agree but walk away frustrated and unheard.
Flow is Key in Value Exchanges
Open discussions and conversations are an opportunity to explore different ways of bringing an idea, project or program to life.
A true conversation is like an artist’s blank canvass. It ignites our curiosity and often allows us to think differently. We know when we’re truly connecting in dialogue when we can paint with any colors we choose and body language plays a role in gaining understanding and harmony.
We are more focused on what we are creating than who is winning or losing an argument. No one needs to be the smartest person in the room when we connect heart-to-heart.
Philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero reminds us that “Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” And poet David Whyte also contributes to our dialogue, “A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.”
Where Are You Investing Your Energy?
Imagine in business, for example, that we invested as much energy in having courageous conversations as sharing expertise and being all knowing. It’s time to practice conscious communication and not split employee communication and media relations into internal and external functions. What happens when our stories are holistic and we actually live our values?
This is a time of integration of what we are creating in the world as a business with solid two-way communication flows. No stage or podium required.
At the end of the day, isn’t communication our ability to share information? At the heart of our energy source are courageous conversations about what matters. The rest is simply noise.
To make bold sweeps in our life, we choose to be courageous. Deep conversations open up new paths and allow us to explore ideas.They allow us to be who we truly are and not keep score.
Our future is human when we take responsibility for everything.