I keep thinking about one particular question, and that question has changed my life.
*Why do I want to communicate?
I ask myself this question many times each day.
*I want to tell my daughter that she has to cream the butter and sugar together first, before adding the dry ingredients, so the cookies will be light and fluffy.
*I want to tell my husband that I’m thinking of him even though he is at work, and I am somewhere else, so I call him.
*I want to ask someone if they can share the carpool driving.
*I want to help my son understand the reasons we don’t want him to say certain words.
*I want to make sure that a child remembered to take the dog outside.
*I want to find out what my daughter’s day at class was like, because I want to feel the joy of connecting with my daughter.
Sometimes it takes work to communicate. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes there’s not really a “need” -- but there’s more of a “want.” I want to talk to a friend, and I want to build relationships.
Sometimes we don’t communicate the same way. My daughter may not appreciate me telling her to cream the butter and sugar together first, because she just wants to dump everything in the bowl and get the job done quickly.
Thinking about WHY we are wanting to communicate with someone matters. Communication builds relationships. Telling my daughter to stop, and to follow directions is pretty simple, but if I do it in a way that just curtly gives her an imperative direction, I won’t build the relationship. So I communicate carefully, and take an interest in how she is doing.
This is a very powerful video. It’s actually an advertisement for “Google Translate,” but it has a powerful message for us, as we think about communicating. It’s only two minutes long. After you watch it, think about your answers to the questions following.
Why did the coach try to think of ways to communicate with Alberto?
Did Alberto appreciate the effort the coach took to communicate with him?
Was it “worth it” to take the time to communicate?
What made this a great experience?
How can I find ways to communicate with someone whose “language I don’t really understand’ at the moment?
Will that be worth it?
Am I willing to try?