I watched this short video recently and started thinking about the way we
Is it about the nail or is it about communication? Communication – that
precious little word that is bandied about in all walks of life. We are told it’s a
two way street and believe this to be true in theory.
However, how many times
do we find ourselves communicating effectively? Perhaps you have been in the
position with a friend, colleague or loved one when you believe you know
what’s best, you have the solution. Is this truly the case? Most likely not.
many times do we chose to look beyond the tears, ignore the angry vent and
dive straight into giving advice on how to fix the problem as we see it, or revert
to talking about ourselves and similar situations we have experienced.
Sometimes we just need to step back, pause and listen, really listen. It’s not
only about what the person is saying but also about what they are not saying.
It wasn’t the part of the iceberg that was above the water that sank the titanic.
Rather than giving the response we think they need (which is often to ease
your own discomfort), accepting that right now there may be no solution
available or needed for the particular situation.
As humans we tend to live in memories and dreams. We remember the past
and project our experiences onto the future. It is true to say that we can learn
from our past which can positively affect our future. However, the past we
cannot change and the future we do not own. Its right here, right now that’s
ours. It’s about how the person is feeling now, not about how they have
messed up, or how much better they can do in the future.
Very often the last
thing we need is to have our shortcomings or errors pointed out to us by others
particularly when all we need is a friendly ear. It can be so difficult to see the
people we love and care for struggling or upset. Sitting in the uncomfortable
feeling of not being able to make it better for the other person is hard. Setting
aside our need to control or to fix things allows us to be useful or of service to
the other person. It allows us to take the path of meaningful communication
where answers, if needed can be found and real healing can take place.
The nail maybe all that we can see at first, the instinct is to focus on the
problem and find a solution.
Instead of escalating the emotions and
frustrations, we have an opportunity to slow down the pace, catch our breath
and reaffirm that we can be trusted and counted on.
Rather than focus on
fixing the problem, how about understanding, listening and accepting,
powerful tools to true communication. By trying to put ourselves in the other
person’s shoes gives us the best chance at being able to respond in a
supportive and helpful way.