We all have moments in the sun, but let's face it, we have plenty of belly flops too. The intricacy of interpersonal communication takes much more effort than most of us make time for. Being able to apologize, for example, when you say or do something that hurts someone takes much more than courage. It takes skill. (Some might say it takes psychoanalysis too, but we'll save that for a different commentator.) Saying I'm sorry is vulnerable. And speaking when feeling vulnerable requires having enough time and the right environment for effective communication to take place. I spent half a day recently thinking about how I would apologize for the way I spoke to a friend. During the time that I was waiting for the opportunity to have the conversation, I found myself being more aggressive and more uncomfortable with my own behavior. It was like I was digging a hole for myself. How would I ever get out? It bothered me. I got to a point where I couldn't hold back any longer and I pushed myself to create a place to speak up. No time pressure. A private place to talk. A walk, even, to establish movement. I did it. And it wasn't so painful. And it was well received. By owning up to our communication faux pas, we force ourselves to be more aware. We avoid second-guessing, "Should I have said...? Why did she say/didn't say?" I think we are all under the impression that there is a later date when we can reconcile, say I'm sorry. But, when we wait, our hurt builds. And isn't hurt another expression of care? If we drop our guard and see what it is we care so deeply about, we may find that a heartfelt apology is worth much more than our bold egos. To be added to Lanartco's Communication Performance Tip of the Week (a separate weekly message), please connect to this link or send your email address to email@example.com.
Labels: Communication Skills Tips