Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Meaningful Conversation? by Gary Cake

conversationHave you ever noticed how often the things that “don’t need to be said” really need to be said? This needs to be said – Building deep relationships and learning to communicate are essentially one and the same. A meaningful relationship may involve many things besides effective communication, but one cannot exist without it.

In Hollywood people may walk down the street and on seeing someone on the opposite sidewalk be filled with the excitement of an instant connection. However, that does not happen in any other town in the world. Relationships are built through extended communication. Attraction or infatuation may not require much investment, but relationships do. If you are committed to the pursuit of a deepening relationship you must make the choice to have deepening communication.

It may surprise you that choice is such a significant part of the kind of communication that builds relationship, but consider how many conversations you have that do not lead to deep relationships. You talk with the clerk at the grocery store, the mailman, the service department employee on the other end of the phone… but none of those conversations are apt to end in a deep relationship.

So the choice to connect deeply and relationally must be consciously made. The other side is that you can at any moment choose to NOT to actually communicate even while talking. Click the link below and take a look at this video clip. It is both humorous and demonstrative of the fact that we can choose not to communicate even while our lips are stillmoving.
I am ashamed to admit it but my wife and I have had those kinds of conversations, ones where we chose not to communicate. Yuck! The only reason I can admit that is because I know most of you have had them as well. If you want to build meaningful relationships you must make the choice to have meaningful communication. It is a choice to appropriately increase vulnerability. It is a choice to expand risk. It is a choice, but it is not an optional one if you are trying to establish a meaningful relationship.

Principle Based Evaluation: One requirement for having meaningful communication is that both parties must be clear that they share a common understanding of the meaning of key words. It is possible to say the same words and mean entirely different things, but it is impossible to do that and have a meaningful conversation. 

For more information on the author, Gary Cake, go to: http://www.mtwm.org/

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