In 1983, Ashley Montagu and Floyd Matson stated in their book, The Human Connection, that love is the highest form of communication. They say:
“Human communication, ‘as the saying goes, is a clash of symbols’ it covers a multitude of signs. But it is more than media and messages, information and persuasion; it also meets a deeper need and serves a higher purpose. Whether clear or garbled, tumultuous or silent, deliberate or fatally inadvertent, communication is the ground of meeting and the foundation of community. It is, in short, the essential human connection.”
In many instances, we see distancing, destruction, intimidation, disappointment, degradation, and devaluing not only in our corporate cultures, but in our personal lives as well.
As a leader you may want to think about the following instead:
- Tell your colleagues on a regular basis that you care about them. Through your conversation, your actions and your body language. You can’t assume that they know it. Our society has become much too cynical to spend time discovering someone’s authentic self. A character in Philip Roth’s book, The Human Stain, said “By a certain age, one’s mistrust is so exquisitely refined that one is unwilling to believe anybody.” And, if they are embarrassed by it, do it anyway.
- Tell your colleagues when they have done good work, and reassure and encourage them when they fail. When you employee does something for you, affirm and appreciate them. Don’t slide into the habit of taking them for granted.
- Let your associates know when you need their help. It makes them stronger to know they have the power to assist you. Even though they care about you, admire and respect you, they still can’t read your mind.
- Celebrate. Often without any other reason than you care about your coworkers and you enjoy them. Verbalize your happiness.
- Respond to your colleagues as if they matter. Make them feel special and valued. It will make up for the times they feel invisible.
- Validate your collaborator’s feelings and listen to what they have to say. Their experience of something is important to them, and it is their truth. If you truly see them and hear them as they are in the moment, it is a continued affirmation of their being, as you collaborate on change.
- Respect the silence. Let it do the heavy lifting. Alternatives for growth are most often realized in moments of quiet.
- Let others know you value your colleagues. Public affirmation makes them feel special and proud, especially when you say it TO them, rather than about them.
This is the last of the series of Caring Communication. I welcome comments whether positive or negative. It is only when we enter into dialogue that we learn.
Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.
Related Posts: Life Lessons for Leaders – Caring Communication, Life Lessons for Leaders – How Do You Say I Care?, Life Lessons for Leaders – Communication: The Art of Dialogue , Life Lessons for Leaders – Communication: Use Your Words, Don’t Let Them Use You