Our communication matters. Do you ever find yourself ranting to someone about someone or something in your life? Are you really clear about the issues or are you projecting some unspoken unfulfilled expectations on the situation? It is in my nature to resolve these things in my immediate environment?
I don’t like the tension, especially communication tension. You know that kind when things are said and you know neither one understood the other. Too often angst converts to anger. Perhaps I’m a bit selfish about my personal space, even when it’s shared. I like harmony and am a tenacious sob when there is an issue that needs to be resolved.
We want our relationships to be harmonious, right? Are we clear with that in our communication? Conflict resolution is the challenge in all relationships. How we accomplish it varies. There are a litany of reasons conflict may exist. In many situations the crux of the matter is about behavior.
I have a wonderful mentor that says there really is no conflict, just the inability to understand each other. We listen and speak from our own dictionary, which may be quite different than the other person’s. How do we move beyond that uncomfortable silence?
I’d like to start from the sensation that starts it all. It’s one of cacophony in the solar plexus, a quiver resulting from disturbance in the force. Maybe it isn’t that strong for you. We can all feel the disturbance, though.
Seriously, though, we feel it first. The feeling triggers all kinds of intellectual responses, perhaps even auto-response behavior.
How do we resolve it?
Do we want to risk whatever it takes, become vulnerable?
The feeling isn’t personal; it’s an energy that is internally incongruous. We often lack the vulnerability to listen without taking things personally, hence the tension. Patterns are invisible until someone points them out, usually.
Listening in order to understand is a core competency of a master communicator, and yet few of us are. Communication starts with the intention to understand, asking clarifying questions without prejudicial intonation. How something is asked is more important that what is asked.
Every question has an answer; the depth of which the responder allows to flow depends on asking the right questions. Go deep, cut through.
Candor is often refreshing, especially when spoken with compassion and understanding. Every situation is different, yet certain behaviors and emotional patterns are common. We often go past how it feels without much self-reflection.
Coping skills for avoiding conflict present as a consistent behavior, though the content changes. We react in fear of attack, the ego unable to separate self and behavior. It is a moment of opportunity. The shift also has an accompanying sensation, a moment of bliss.
Sensational Releases in Communication
There’s usually not enough time to bask in the sensation. I acknowledge the sensation as proof of a deeper level of connection and have yet to have any deny noticing the shift in their own way. If you are like me you want to feel free of tension, right?
The only way to resolve it is to have a conversation. Like life coaching, the details are untangled and a clearer view happens. It’s the thought of that conversation that takes us to the next wave of anxiety. Still, with some patience and a willingness to communicate, framing the conversation in a compassionate way brings the unexpected.
I’ve sensed the tension, mine and others, since my youth and didn’t know what to do with it for years. I feel the anxiety and know a conversation is imminent or at least the thoughtmosphere is poised for its birth. It’s taken me a long time to be able to turn the sense of tension into conversations that matter.
Robert Fritz uses what he calls ‘structural tension.’ It begins with the honest idea or image of our condition, across material and spiritual dimensions. We need a clear picture of the present, first. Then, the ideal imagery or future vision is held next to the original, creating a kind of structural tension between the two that creates a prudent path from one to the other.
I use this technique for some coaching clients when I can see they understand how the thinking works and even to stretch some that cannot. The proof is in the test and undeniably in the results.
The process for me starts with just asking the question (to myself), “How can I serve this?” Then I just take a breath and get quiet. The words come eventually. The rest is different every time and always beneficial… toot, toot.. you’re good for more.
Thanks for your attention and time.