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Thursday
Aug302012

Communication – from horse race to certainty - riding on relationship.

Despite the wondrous gift of language with which we humans are endowed, most of the time communication is a horse race – only if we’re lucky are we really understood.

Only when a communication engenders trust and respect as well as understanding do people willingly, enthusiastically act accurately and positively on what we say. in other words, if we don't make the relationship the priority we've lost the bigger game.

In all spheres of life, from boardroom to bedroom, the cost of being misunderstood is resentment. Like woodworm, resentment silently eats away at our relationships until suddenly it’s too late and it falls apart. It has been said ‘all the world’s problems are due to misunderstanding’.

It gets worse. If the communication from the start is a ‘tricky’ one (e.g. with an authority figure, a high-stakes negotiation, a team of diverse characters, a difficult subordinate, with a very different culture or language  – or involving unpleasant feedback) the dangers multiply exponentially. Typically, we can get locked into a dilemma – if I’m nice to them, they take advantage, don’t respect me. If I get tough, they resist, push back harder, threaten, etc.  –  we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t - because we've lost the relationship.

It gets even worse. Email. Email gets our message effortlessly around the globe to thousands of folk in seconds. Wonderful. Marvellous. We avoid that troublesome thing called 'relationship' and delude ourselves we're being 'efficient'. But the slightest human error in tone or nuance means ‘start adding those zeros to the loss column in the P&L ...to the left of the decimal point’. And wonder why!

It gets worse still. Rarely does all this subtext come out in the open. It’s all rather emotional. At best, difficult to articulate, at worst, inappropriate or foolhardy to open those squirming, worm-filled cans. So what do we do...? We pretend it’s not happening. We stuff it back down inside us for those woodworms to feed on. Mistakes are not corrected – just repeated. If we're not understood, we shout. Possibilities, visions and goals are pared down to the lowest common denominator so as not to rattle the cage inside which is trapped all our potential like a wild stallion.  

Did someone mention horses? While you can never be certain which horse will win the race, you can always be certain it will win the leadership contest. Horses have not only evolved over 65 million years, they have thrived as ‘prey animals’ in a world dominated by predators. And Predators R us. We humans are by far the biggest, hungriest, most destructive, war-like predators on the planet. We demonstrate the very finest in leadership – and the very worst. Horses do not. They do not suffer from a human ego and its concomitant supply of slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. They are always authentic. They don’t pretend. They don’ t lie. They don’t need approval. They don’t play political games. They don’t care how important/not important we think we are. They just respond authentically to our intention. If our intention is clear, they give us what we ask for. If it’s not, they won’t.

With the assistance of a free-spirited horse and a highly-skilled facilitator you can receive surgically precise feedback that can literally transform the clarity of intention in your relationships and communications – you can discover inner qualities that have lain dormant for years - and hence multiply the positive results you will gain with your colleagues, friends and family. Multiply this by the number of people in your organisation or circle of influence and bingo – start adding those zeros back where you want them.

If you’d like a ‘risk-free’ intro to our life-changing work, click here or call me for a chat: 07595 824 390 or 01608 663 916.

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