Tuesday 23 February 2010

Communication: the last great adventure?

As a civilisation, we do enjoy an adventure: from the so-called 'wild' West, to the top of Everest, to the face of the moon and the furthest reaches of the Hubble telescope, we love to explore the new!

The result can be that we get a bit jaded and cynical.  It takes epic proportions to impress us!  And, that being the case, we forget the simple adventures we can have in daily life.  And genuine communication - openness and honesty - strike me as one of the greatest, and possibly scariest, adventures we can have in our daily lives.

This came back to me quite forcefully yesterday.  My business partner, Stuart, and I, often communciate via email and skype because I work from home and he has a full time job outside our business.  This occasionally leads to misunderstanding and confusion.  Yesterday was such a day.  By the end of the day, I felt frustrated and alone. 

"I could tell him...  I should tell him... but he might get angry... he might not like me anymore... he might fall out with me for insulting his commitment..." the imagined nightmares rolled through my head. 

Honestly relating our feelings to the other person , especially when they challenge us,  is one of the greatest adventures we can have.  It really does force us to grow, to become courageous, to learn to speak our truth gracefully, to accept that there are other points of view in which we are not blame-less...

Taking this adventure has left me with no lasso and crushed compasses in the past!  I've learnt to be courageous and graceful the very hard way.  But it is worth it, because we never know what we will find when we walk into this new land called honesty.*  Today dawned: Stuart and I spoke, and our partnership is all the better for it now. 

It takes courage to expose ourselves, to trust another... but the rewards can be deep and rich.

*I'm in no way implying that we go out and be honest just to make ourselves feel good, regardless of the consequences for the other person.  I'm talking about the courage to be honest when we feel a relationship is suffering because there is something simmering below the surface, a misunderstanding, a mistaken assumption, a careless comment...  For me, this process is about carefully creating deeper relationships, not destroying relationships carelessly.

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