Recently attending a business lunch it was fun to hear about others and share as we began getting to know each other . At the end it came time to say good-bye and connect one last time. Our earlier sharing included expressing who we are and how we contribute in the community. Based upon this sharing I received a compliment based upon the complimentors personal experience of someone else they knew. This other person may or may not do similar work as I do. It began, “Do you know ……..”, I love them, I know their work and I am surprised that I already know it! It comes natural to me.” This was a compliment to me of admiration for the work she heard me share based upon working in a classroom with students.
First of all, let me ask, “Has this ever happened to you?” Second let me ask, “How does it make you feel?” “Thirdly, do you feel recognized for the work you do, appreciated for what you are sharing of yourself and heard when you hear a comparison to someone else and how much they admire the work of someone else?” Fourthly, “Can you hear the compliment beneath all that?”
This is a typical, ordinary example of our social communication. We are not aware of what is triggering us into reactions at the best of times, especially in these types of situations – meeting new people, perhaps nervous and wanting to connect.
This exact experience could be a reason to consider learning more about our communication and how it affects us without our conscious knowing. When we share we do become vulnerable even at business functions. Not hearing the value in how we contribute in the feedback we receive, especially in compliments, could create a reaction in us, However wonderful the event was, we could take it personally and leave feeling unsettled and discouraged or we leave feeling annoyed and resentful. For us to experience a disconnection with-in ourselves and with others may just take one interaction like this.
Training is for your learning benefit to begin to notice what a comment like this creates inside of you when you hear it so that you can begin holding back from your typical and habitual reactions. Taking a moment instead to become curious and to wonder what the meaning is underneath the words you are hearing may make a huge difference to how you would normally take in this information.
Training to stop, check in and becoming curious can change your whole perspective and ultimately your whole way of being! It doesn’t need to be difficult, it can be fun, it can be creative and you can have choices you may not even be aware of!