Today I was talking to a business colleague on the phone when I had to disconnect because I was switching from car to phone. They didn’t realize that I could still hear the conversation that they were having in the background, and even though nothing was said that was inappropriate (just honest and authentic) they felt badly that I had heard it….unfiltered.

How many times do we say “I’m going to say this wrong … and sorry” before we start a sentence about fill in the blank (diversity, disability, race, culture, language…..) OR we decide not to have a conversation at all.

What if we had more conversations that were “unfiltered” and authentic about fill in the blank here.

What if we all started to say what we actually feel, hear, see, experience about complex and ever-changing subjects like fill in the blank? Is it possible that we may start to break down some of the physical, cognitive, social and emotional rigidity that people face if they don’t know what to say, or do or how to react?

Is it possible that when we open the door for authenticity that the person or people across from us might say…” I have been waiting to ask that same question, or I thought I was the only one who didn’t know… or I thought no one would understand… or I thought people might judge what I said or how I said it instead of what I intended to say”.

Human beings are so driven to belong that we turn away from conversations that make us feel uncomfortable, disconnected and socially isolated. What if we made space for people to share what they feel, stumble a little while they try to find the words, what if before we jump in with judgement or support or comment we took time to watch, listen and really hear the intention.

 

It is part of the wonder of childhood … before we put all those filters on, we ask (sometimes 100 times), we are curious, we navigate poorly, we fall down, we get messy, we change direction and we adapt.

And over time we learn not to … fall down, get messy, change direction, navigate in new space, ask…

Right now there are millions of people who say nothing…afraid to fall down, change direction or navigate new space, get messy, afraid to do or say something wrong…they say nothing.

Even as I am writing this I am “considering my words”, what will you think? Should I start with “I am going to say this wrong” to justify saying it at all?

And then I come back to intention …  I know mine.

What is your _____________?

Time for #curiouskindess and understanding.