Thursday, November 02, 2006

Communication: Separate vs. Connected

On our teleclass, I asked everyone if they recognized in the moment whether they were communicating with someone in a connected way vs. a separate way. In other words, when they are actually hearing the other person and know the other person is hearing them vs. not.

When I asked the question, there was an audible “oh yeah” from everyone. We all seemed to agree that telling the difference was incredibly obvious and easy. The connected conversation was calm, peaceful, and effortless. The separate conversation was frustrating and led us to become easily irritated.

I found it interesting that we all agreed that connected conversations were effortless. Then, why do we not have them all the time? It is so easy to say, “because the other person isn’t in a compassionate state” but recall the last two blog entries – it is only about us, not them. No, the effort involved in being compassionate is not in the conversation itself, it is in all the preparation we do to first find our compassion and then remain compassionate when we are in conversation. If our compassion elicits peace from the other person, all the more wonderful. At least our anger doesn’t begin the ripple effect of negativity.

All this preparation and initial effort is worthwhile when you think of the outcome – effortless communication with those we love. The effort it takes to handle the residual of a separate conversation is much more challenging.