Dec 07, 2020

Do you find communication one of the hardest things to master? I understand your pain!

Do you have mind conversations in the shower with people, and wish you were actually having that conversation in real-time? And then, when you go to really have that conversation you chicken out? Maybe because you are thinking about how the other person might react to what you have to say?

And then, you hold onto that conversation and it lives within your mind and body. Yes, it takes up space in your mind, and this uses your valuable energy that could be used for more creative projects and instead, you are ruminating about what you should say, until you finally explode, or implode! Yes, you get sick from not getting it out!

I know because this is what I used to do over every conflict in my life! I grew up with a conflict-avoidant Mother! Don’t get me wrong she is loving and kind and would do anything for you, except confront issues! So, I was raised not to rock the boat! I can remember my Dad saying to me “Don’t get your Mother upset” and now I believe he was saying “because I have to deal with that!”

This translated into me not being able to confront serious issues as a leader. I left many things unsaid and they turned into a mess. Instead of tackling issues with employees that were not holding their weight on the team and not living up to the standard and expectations we all put in place, I would allow things to slide. I would hold onto important issues and then I would get a stomach ache. I would rather die than have the conversation! And worse of all I thought that this was who I was!

And then I learned from Susan Scott the author of “Fierce Conversations” and my Coach Jamie Sussel Turner the author of “Less Stress Business” that there are systems for this! I learned to create communication systems in my company and these systems have helped me be a better Mother, Leader, friend, and partner. (I am still working on my Mother!)

Susan says “The Conversations Is The Relationship” and when you think about this, right away it changes things! One of the questions I ask myself if I feel uneasy about having a conversation is...Do I value my relationship with this person? If the answer is yes, I am willing to have the conversation.

These are just a few things that I have done to get real in conversations…

  1. Always be truthful about the way I feel about the situation and do not blame the other person.
  2. Show up to the conversations curious and ask questions to help others find their truth.
  3. Be transparent and allow myself to be vulnerable and not stand strong on being right, and stand stronger on truth no matter how much the outcome hurts.
  4. Own my shit.
  5. If I don’t know - ask, “what would it look like if I did know?"

Stay curious and keep in mind that if you want better relationships you will need better communication! 

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