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A Manner of Speaking Jul/Aug '08

by Bonnie Neugebauer
July/August 2008
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5018290/

It all began with a misunderstanding. She was angry with me. I knew she was really angry. Of course, I wanted to turn and walk the other way. And then I remembered myself, took a deep breath, and walked over, extending my hand in greeting.

It was a challenging conversation in many ways, but it was a conversation. Efforts were made by both of us to share perspectives. It was respectful, but it wasn’t easy. Moving forward was painful, but disengaging would have left both of us with a sense of loss.

There are so many barriers to communication â€" all our forms of diversity, the pace of our lives, our reluctance to give up multi-tasking â€" that we often abandon the effort; and miscommunications and misunderstandings and all the emotional baggage stick with us.

We need to be working on our communications all the time, constantly building and rebuilding our skills, refining strategies, and redirecting efforts. We need to know what we want from any particular communication and enter into it with our best intentions.

So much depends on our ability to trust:

• to trust people we don’t really know well enough to trust
• to trust people we care so deeply about ...

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