A couple of nights ago I was having a very stimulating conversation with a man who was very passionate about changing the world. His intentions were wonderful, he wanted to make it so as a species we were more sustainable and happy as a collective. As great as his heart’s intention was, he wasn’t communicating it very well; if anything, I felt like I was being told what to do. How can we make sure we are getting our message across without offending anyone else in the process? Given ‘changing the world’ is seemingly a very complicated topic, I wanted to discuss what we can do to get our messages across to one another so we can put our ideas into action!
We’ve all met people who are passionate about what they have to say, but there is definitely a difference between those who are listening and those who are not. Personally, I can tell when someone is imitating the form of listening, but actually just waiting for their next turn to talk. There is a tremendous beauty in considering what someone else has to say, because there is always a new perspective we can learn and grow from. When someone else is talking, the Universe is saying something to you through another facet of yourself; if you’re in the conversation with someone you might as well hear their side as well.
Note: this may include putting aside what we believe to be true from our perspective to be able to fully take into consideration what the other is saying.
Step two: Come from a place of understanding
Everyone has different perspectives.. duh! We all have unique memories, opinions, and ways of viewing the world through our subjective experiences. When in a conversation with someone we must understand what their heart is really trying to say; they may just have a different way of saying it than you would. This can actually be the most satisfying and fun element to the art of conversation. Really delve into that person’s perspectives, really grasp the meaning of what they are saying and/or doing. The element of compassion and understanding allows us to speak equally.
A lot of times step one never is completed because each party seems to be forcing their opinion on the other. If there is desire to truly understand the other person’s message, your hearts can communicate peacefully instead of needed to yell in order hear each other.
Step three: Ask questions
In my opinion, asking questions is one of the most expansive tools out there. The differentiation between humans and other higher-cognitive functioning mammals is our ability to ask, “why”. When in a conversation with someone, the best way to combine the above steps is to ask, ask, ask.
Strive to dive deeper! Maybe a certain question had never come to that person before you asked and now you have given them the gift of a new perspective. In the example given earlier, I had to ask many questions to really get to the bottom of what he had to say. He was so passionate he would almost speak to me, and not with me. By asking questions I was able to bring him into my perspective, as well as the others in the room. By the end of the night, we both realized we were talking about the same things and we both had many of the same goals. Without delving into his remarks, I could have easily brushed him off as a condescending and close-minded person; which was definitely not the case. What a shame of a misunderstanding that would have been!
One last thing to consider is changing the world involves raising our conscious-awareness as a collective. How can we do that if we aren’t really hearing what each other are saying through a compassionate and understanding view? The best way to match up with someone’s heart and allow them to feel safe and heard is by asking questions. Ask away! By asking and following through with understanding and love, we are literally bringing more awareness to our present moment.. and sharing it! How wonderful.
My question for you is: what’s a new perspective you have learned from someone else recently?