When was the last time you enjoyed a dynamic conversation? The question is sincere — because my recent experiences make me wonder if we’ve lost the art of conversation.
In this Age of Devices, we’re so dang connected we’re disconnected. A text message, here — and an email tome, there — gives the impression we’ve done our duty to communicate.
Oh, I agree; there was a Transmission — but, was there Reception. You know what was Sent. Do you know what was Received? Odds are very good, there’s a chasm between the two. The third leg of communication is Feedback.
Any relationship is between two people. Not, three or more — TWO. For those two individuals to build a relationship, there must be communication. Communication can occur over a variety of channels. The most effective method of communication is a dynamic conversation.
Recently, I was reminded of the importance of Communication and Respect by a dance instructor. “As a leader, you must set the tone by your posture and frame. Your partner must feel safe in your presence.”
In other words, I must come to the dance floor sure of who I am — and willing to extend an invitation to someone sure of who she is. Otherwise, a wreck is guaranteed — toes will be stepped upon and feelings will be hurt.
The last step in the Journey to build sterling Character is to welcome and accept Constructive Feedback.
Constructive Feedback is the other side of the coin from Reinforcing Feedback. We all love the feedback that sings our praises of a job well done, that acknowledges a situation handled nicely, or that recognizes the dent we’re making in the world.
So, those are the two kinds of feedback — between two people with knowledge of facts, situations, and measurable observations.
What about the third kind of feedback — which comes out of the blue from a third wheel, loose cannon, if you will — from someone with a badge that reads, Sidewalk Superintendent?
What would you do if someone screamed, “You’re a Dumb F#cker!” And, then went on to yell, “I have no respect for you!”
Yes, I know, that paragraph is missing the “?” at the end. Yet, the experience for me was more about the “!” — or, in other words, the exclamation of ignorance and arrogance.
Thankfully for both of us the proclamation in the first paragraph, above, was made in a phone conversation. Otherwise, I might have been tempted to persuade him to respect his elders. Although, I do have to say, this guy is Number 1 in my book. In 35+ years of serving the public as a CPA, I had never heard those words. First time for everything, I guess.
If one is an incident, two is a coincidence, and three is a pattern, then I have a Story to share with YOU.