Failure to communicate happens in leadership communication.
Ever had one of those days filled with miscommunications and misunderstandings? How about over several weeks, even years, with one particular individual? Maybe even one who matters most to you – a business colleague, your boss, someone with whom you had hoped to grow old?
Even with the best of intentions, sometimes we have to admit our inability to make headway. Current circumstances may simply prevent us from moving our relationships forward. Rather than fight to be heard when the other person actively resists listening, or engaging with you in any meaningful way, your best action may be to withdraw. Wait until a more fortunate opportunity for an open-hearted conversation presents itself. While you risk the chance of that ever happening in your lifetime, to persist when the timing isn’t right runs a greater risk of damaging the relationship beyond repair.
Not everyone will give you a chance to make amends in your relationship. One strike and you’re out. Even if in your heart you believe the problem is due to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of an email, let’s say. Perception is reality in the mind of the other person. All you can do in such circumstances is remain positive, hopeful, and steadfast in your conviction. Accept that you could have communicated more effectively, that you can understand how your words or behavior could have been misinterpreted. But also accept that you did the best you could at the time – and that you are open to exploring what went wrong to regain trust in the future.
It takes two to tango, as they say. The truth may be hard to hear. What if the story you have created around your broken relationship proves to be false, all smoke and mirrors? What if that perceived obstacle never happened the way you remember in the first place? Can you own that possibility? Who would you be without your story? Byron Katie asks in her book of the same title. Each person in a relationship must be open and willing to meet the other halfway. If the relationship is important enough to both of you, you will find a way to do just that.
What’s your leadership communication challenge?
Looking for a coach to guide your leadership communications? I’m opening up a few spots for one-on-one coaching for Spring and Summer 2017 now. Options range from one 50-minute session to 3-month packages.
Contact me at Nancy@NancyMueller.com to schedule your complimentary 20-minute call to see how I can help you achieve the results you want.