The real reason for this blog being revamped, re posted and updated is a personal lesson for me. Recently I have not been having the authentic conversations, with people I need to and in particular I have not been having the authentic conversations with myself. This has caused a great deal of pain for me and also significantly impacted my health both physically and mentally. So this was timely to reminder to myself to realign with my soul and nurture myself back to the place I am strong, centered and at peace.
Taking my power back and getting my authenticity on.....so to speak. Its important to realise we are all human and all have times of struggle, this is often surprising to me that the perception is some have it all together all of the time and this is just not true. Doing the work can be arduous at times but the payoffs are worth it. You are worth it!
In 2015 I first wrote about Authentic Conversations through my Blog, this reached a few people who I then spoke to in a more personal way as they were intrigued about what this really meant and wondered if it was as easy as it sounds. The other questions were around how to start to have these conversations and how will people react. More importantly I reinforced the fact that this would have an overall positive effect on their life and their health. When we are being authentic (our true self) we feel more balanced, we feel free of resentment and free from feeling anxious when we can not speak freely.
A life without authentic conversations is like a life without bearing your soul.When I speak from the heart in an authentic way I am free in my mind and body, its a weightlessness that sets me free from all fear. False Evidence Appearing Real
As an adult 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 overthink or come from a fear based perspective (what will they think? how will they react, what if I upset someone).
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. Nor do you feel the need to stay mad at your loved one because you have said how you feel they have heard it and accepted this is your feeling and you can find a way to move on from this very quickly.
Try it....it really does work.
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 you 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?)
An authentic conversation happens when someone compliments another person or provides feedback in a constructive manner. What amazes me regularly is when I get clients to do a SWOT analysis and they find it hard to come up with the weaknesses but struggle to find their own strengths. We have to overcome this stigma about openly saying we are skilled in an particular area of our role or multiple roles.
How to have an authentic conversation.
At workshop we recently held with Justin Herald he spoke in depth abut keeping it real and doing business in an authentic way. This was a great reminder "If something doesn't feel right don't do it".
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?
Thank you for talking openly about this I really appreciate your honesty.
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 to what the person has to say.
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 a genuine conversation with others. Asking questions of yourself and seeking the answers. Could I have responded better, did i tell the truth in that situation or was I avoiding a reaction?
If you struggle to get answers maybe its time to seek some assistance. Some of the ways I am able to become more authentic are;
- Time in reflection, sitting quietly and looking within. "why did I react in this way" "what must be going on for ??"whats really going on for me right now?
- Meditation - for me this is key and on the beach is my bliss
- Talking to a mentor to gain a different perspective
- Perceptual positioning (putting myself in the other person's shoes and also seeking wise council)
- Identify and Remove FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real
Till next time stay strong and focused and most of all authentic.
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