By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness
(June 17, 2020)
Recently, I talked with a woman – I’ll call her Nancy — who told me she and her husband, “Jim,” had an interaction about their differing views on pandemic do’s and don’ts. He doesn’t believe in wearing masks. She wants to maintain peace with neighbors by making sure they wear them when walking in the neighborhood.
Then there’s my husband and me. When the pandemic lock-down first started, we had differing opinions about the degree to which we should close the borders of our house.
Conversations about these issues can be charged with emotion, weighty with issues related to life and death. Interactions become especially loaded when we feel we have to agree on a solution. When we make our case that my way is the right way, we invite resistance and arguments.
The most useful goal in communication is to listen, not necessarily to resolve an issue.
What if we abandon the desire to come to an agreement? What if, instead, we focus on hearing each other? Rather than insisting our partner agree with us, we choose to listen and understand. What miracles might unfold when we do?
I recommend the following guidelines for conversations about charged subjects:
- Listen with no interruption as your partner expresses his/her thoughts and feelings. If you respond at all, do so with questions for clarification. Or give feedback about what you heard to make sure you understood.
- Delete the need to be right.
- Release the pressure to reach a resolution. After each of you has spoken, allow the matter to incubate, and go about your daily business.
Jim and Nancy decided to follow these guidelines, giving each other time and space to do nothing more than to express their views. Later, they went for a walk in their neighborhood. Happily and with no complaints, Jim wore his mask.
My husband, Steve, and I allowed the question – about letting people into our home – to reveal the answer in its own time. The result? As with Jim and Nancy, our resolution flowed organically and peacefully out of giving the question an incubation period.
As a result of listening, we experience spill-over benefits. One benefit – we develop trust in the power of the incubation period. Even if it seems like nothing goes on during that time, transformational magic works silently beneath the surface.
Another benefit– deep and genuine listening allows us to receive the other’s heart and soul, and we solidify our connection. However, because opinions and feelings change, we must continue the process. Steve and I keep listening and speaking our truth. Even when we do it imperfectly, the gift of listening we offer each other is priceless!
Dr. Marta Adelsman is a Life Coach in Communication and Spiritual Consciousness. She works with people who want to know themselves and their purpose on the planet. If you are such a person, Dr. Marta will walk alongside you to support you to make spiritual principles practical and alive in your communication with others, with yourself, and in your life situations.
The tools Dr. Marta teaches help you to translate head knowledge of spirituality into compassionate, non-judgmental, life-affirming habits.
Visit her website, DrMartasMusings.com for more information.