Communicating With Authenticity
I’ll be honest. I started writing a totally different article before coming to this one. But here’s what happened. I began writing and about 200 words in, I discovered I was pressing. What does that mean? It means I was struggling. I was having trouble making sense of the article, the plot, the structure, the POINT of the post. I was trying to concoct each sentence one by one just hoping that it would make sense when strung together. But, the more I wrote, the more disconnected I became. I began to ask, “why am I writing this again?”
I began to feel as if the article wasn’t mine anymore. There was no assignment. No one tasked me to write on a topic with which I was unfamiliar. I was just writing for me as a part of my personal muscle building activity…my writing muscle. But it began to feel like I was watching someone else tap the keys in front of me. The fingers were moving but they were not connected to my body. So, I did what any writer should do…I stopped.
Authentic communication…comes from a place of connection.
I started again and simply began to write from my gut. I didn’t stop to think. In fact, it simply began to feel like free-writing and my fingers were flying over the keys now as if I was having a conversation with someone in front of me. In fact, that’s what it is…a conversation. Authentic communication is a conversation in which you don’t feel as if you have to use the “right” words or say it in the “right” way. It’s a conversation in which there is some head nodding and understanding takes place because you are coming from a place of connection.
What about normal conversations? How often have you been in a conversation where you are just looking for the right word to say, hoping that you won’t offend or set off the other person? Too often. I’m learning that the words you say are important, but the place they come from is even more important. Words always have a piece of your heart on them. If your heart is free and unfettered, then that comes through. But, if your heart is blocked by hesitation, doubt or a facade, then that shines through. You know it. You feel it. You know the difference when you physiologically respond to authentic words versus words that were contrived to manipulate you. You feel it every political season. Honestly, we have no idea what most of the candidates are babbling about but we respond to how they make us feel. Far too often, that feeling is a trapped, icky feeling. You feel it inside of yourself when you are struggling for words to continue the conversation. You feel it because when the words have left your lips, you wonder if you should have let them go.
To be clear, authentic conversation is different than careless conversation. Careless conversation is emotionless. It simply speaks without concern and is selfish. You may have come across someone who just says whatever comes to mind, then when questioned, says “I’m just keeping it real.” That is not the authentic communication I’m referring to.
Authentic communication speaks out of connection. It speaks out of wanting to know what the other party is concerned about. It speaks out of listening and caring. And yet, it speaks freely because it has released itself from being judged by everyone else. That’s how I’m feeling right now. I’m feeling that way because I see how being free and authentic has allowed me to finish this article in the time it took me to struggle through one paragraph of the other.
How’s that for full circle?