I’m a passionate guy and I communicate passionately. Translation: I can be loud and rather harsh when I am trying to get my point across. A few times in the past I have seen how people mistakenly interpret my best attempts at communicating, what I thought was something insightful and true, as harsh and accusative.
Just this week I explained a challenging situation to a colleague and he very eloquently replied that he does not truly know the other party involved in the situation and at the receiving end of my communication. He did however know me and suggested that instead of reaffirming my point, simply ask the other person how they understood what I said, i.e. what did they hear?
Now, I have been facilitating for years and have hundreds of hours of coaching under my belt but when I am emotionally involved the game changes in an instant. I have to remind myself of what I potentially sound like and I should perhaps come with a warning that reads “CAUTION! Don’t get me wrong.”
Perhaps we should come with some sort of warning sign – “CAUTION! – I bite” or “CAUTION! – I cry easily” or even “CAUTION! – I withdraw when confronted”.
Perhaps we will approach one another with a bit of a different perspective. Perhaps we will get a little better at this living thing.