Written by Donna Moulds ~ CEO
A life without authentic conversations is like a life without bearing your soul.
As an educator I am always thinking about language and how we can lift people with our language, or how we can contribute to other peoples lives in a genuine way. One of the ways in which we can do this is through authentic conversations. An authentic conversation is one that comes from the heart and not so much the head. These conversations have a place in all realms of our life, business, personal, networking, even with a stranger. Authentic conversations are easy to have we just need to allow ourselves to not think from a fear based perspective (what will they think? how will they react).
What is an authentic conversation?
An authentic conversation is never a negative conversation it is a true conversation even with a tough subject. If you have to provide feedback to a staff member, if you have to tell a loved one you are feeling hurt, or even when you have to say no to someone. I personally have a life where I say what I need to say for the greater good. I tell my partner i'm disappointed that he didn't talk to me about something that we should be talking about in our relationship. More importantly when you have an authentic conversation and say what you really need to say then you can let it go, you don't need to hold onto negativity or allow thoughts to distract you from enjoying life.
Authentic conversations in the workplace.
This can be more challenging because you have so many personalities to negotiate with. However an authentic conversation is using your personal power even when the team dynamics are challenging.
Authentic conversations need to be developed in a team where people do not need to feel threatened because they are being truthful (I don't think this is a good idea because........, can we look at this idea and see if it has any possibilities?)
How to have an authentic conversation.
Authentic conversations are easier to have than you may think. Its about knowing what you want to say without ego or anger. Its about knowing how you feel about the situation or the emotion you may be experiencing. Its not about being right and its not about making someone else feel bad.
It is about being real and discussing things that need to be discussed. Communication is one of the most powerful and useful tools we have. We also have the choice to communicate even if people don't want to listen we have the freedom to speak (we are not always heard).
Bill I really need to talk to you about something, is now a good time? Today when you raised your voice at Mary I felt it was inappropriate and I would like to know if you think their is a better way to approach a situation like this in the future. Can you tell me what was going on for you? How do you think Mary may have felt?
When you are having an authentic conversation with someone it is important to take the time to ask good questions but also wait for the person to think about what you have asked. An authentic conversation is generated by speaking the truth, asking good questions and really listening.
Take a few minutes and ask yourself, when was the last time I had an authentic conversation?
Authentic conversations start with yourself, being real with your internal dialog and then having genuine conversations with others. Asking questions of yourself. Could I have responded better, did i tell the truth in that situation or was I avoiding a reaction?