That question is trying to fathom the conversation behind the conversation.
Our normal course may be to walk away, head shaking in confusion, and never ask the person a clarifying question. It seems we would rather live with our assumptions then stop and look a little deeper with everyone from a loved one, to a co-worker, boss, client, or friend.
Has this ever happened to you?
I’m suggesting that if you’re walking away confused, see it as a state of pre-clarity. Then simply stop, turn around to face the person, and check your assumptions.
You check your assumptions so they can be authenticated.
This may seem bold, but you can follow your statement with a simple clarifying question, “Is this what you meant?”
With this approach you can:
- Determine the facts
- Discuss opinions
- Deepen relationships
- Head off conflicts
- Find areas of agreement
Now it does take you out of the relative safety of your mind, and puts you in a true conversation where the outcome is unknown. Then you can explore context (what you or they mean), as well as content (what is said).
This is where the invisible meets the audible. And it’s where true connection happens, and a meeting of the minds is possible.
Try this practice for a week:
Declare your assumptions when you’re speaking.
Check your assumptions when you’re listening.
Doing this process will take your background conversations and make them audible. Notice what happens to assumptions when you give them a voice. For me they disappear into dust, and are replaced with understanding. A “got it” moment occurs that leads to explicit commitments when action is required, and fewer opportunities for misinterpretation.
Let me know how this practice works for you!
My love goes with you as you work with this Uplifting Moment