Caring Creates Communication: 3 principles for happiness

How does caring affect communication?  I invite you to notice similarities in the next 4 paragraphs?

When coaching with couples, typically a huge amount of time is invested supporting them to create strategies to communicate effectively, so both people feel heard, understood, and cared for.

When coaching executives and entrepreneurs, typically a huge amount of time is invested supporting them to establish strategies to communicate effectively, so each of their team-mates feel heard, understood, and cared for.

When facilitating Communication Excellence training for corporate teams, a huge amount of time is invested helping them understand each other’s communication style. Then they develop strategies to communicate effectively, so everyone feels heard, understood, and cared for.

When consulting with business owners to help them design and implement Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOP), a huge amount of time is invested coaching them to establish communication plans, so everyone feels heard, understood, and cared for.

What is common?

You might think it has something to do with communication being the ‘cause’ and caring the ‘effect’.

With this cause and effect approach, the communication process can be extremely difficult, time consuming, and egos continually get in the way.

I invite you to imagine what communication would be like if approached in reverse, with a deep, sincere care for the other person, where care is the ‘cause’ and communication and happiness the ‘effect’.

Caring creates communication.

Examples:

Recently, we were coaching with a couple.  Because of ineffective communication habits which have developed over many years, my perception is their level of deep care for each other is a bit low.  Ego-attachments, right-and-wrong, and hurtful-past-memories trigger reactions.

It took 90 minutes to help them establish clear accountability agreements with each other to accomplish one small, yet important task. Assuming they follow through on their agreements, both will likely feel an increased level of care.  If they continue to develop accountability agreements with each other for other tasks, the level of care will grow over time.

Guess how long that process would have taken if they both chose to set their egos (and personal agendas) aside and came to the dialogue with deep, sincere care for themselves and each other?  The question they could ask is, “What is the best way for us to get this done so we all feel great about the outcome?”

My guess is (given the circumstances) the communication would take less than three minutes.

Caring creates communication.

A while ago, I was working with a large construction company to design and implement an ESOP, whereby the employees had the opportunity to buy shares in the company. During the initial stage, I interviewed each owner and 10 employees. These were private and confidential interviews with each person. Over and over I heard that the company had a small family feel, the owners had a personal connection with everyone, people were treated kindly and respectfully, and all felt cared for.

The communication process about the plan was simple and brief, and they achieved a very high level of buy-in for their first offering.

With a deep level of care, communication is easy, brief, and effective – a win/win for all.

Caring creates communication.

What does it take to create this deep level of care?  Three things: Awareness, Honesty, and Accountability.

Awareness of:

  • My own feelings.
  • The other person’s feelings.
  • The fact that each one of us gets to choose our feelings in each moment.
  • My only true functions on this plane of existence are happiness and love.

Honesty:

  • Observing my thoughts as a non-attached bystander.
  • Kindly and respectfully saying the words in my mind that usually aren’t said.
  • Asking for feedback.
  • Listening to understand.

Accountability:

  • Collaborating to determine what works best (with all necessary things considered).
  • Stating genuinely what I will do.
  • Doing what I said I’d do (with happiness).
  • Owning the results, knowing that we can re-evaluate and choose a different best way next time.

Caring creates communication.

What about you?

When, specifically, are you going to apply these principles and approach every situation from a deep level of sincere care? 

When you choose to do this, imagine how easy, happy, and love-full the communication will be in your profession, community, and in the most important relationship of all – with your partner at home.

If you are finding this challenging, you are not alone.  We invite you to call us at 780-785-3700.  We understand this can be tough.  We continue to work on this in our lives, and we like the effects we’re achieving. 

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