I’m so happy that you’re here! I am passionate about bridging the chasms that sometimes open up in our daily conversations. When interactions become challenging, I turn to my existing tools that I may not be using fully, or look for new resources to support me and others. I find the ways in which we engage with each other endlessly fascinating, and quite often, amenable to immediate change.
Just over two weeks ago, I hosted a session, “Why is this conversation so difficult?” at the International Forum of Visual Practitioner’s annual conference. We did a deep dive into our personal styles of communication (via the Platinum Rule, you can learn more about it here ) AND we discovered how to flex our styles to increase our compatibility with all kinds of folks/styles.
Our final activity applied the new learning to participants’ real lives. I gave postcards with scenes from New York City to everyone. Their task was to envision using their new skills and then to write a postcard to check-in with themselves about how their conversation unfolded. These were the questions that I asked them to ponder and write about on the cards.
- Who is someone you have difficulty connecting with easily?
- Take a moment to reflect on your style. Now think of the person you have identified—what might his/her dominant style be (re: the Platinum Rule)?
- When you see that person next… How will you approach her/him? How will you flex your style to reduce tension and develop rapport? What will you say and do? (What strategies might you bring to your interaction?)
- Write an email to yourself that asks you to reflect on the results of your completed interaction.
This exercise was an opportunity to use their new knowledge, skills, and attitudes—to be flexible (willing to change) and versatile (able to change)—to manage a tense situation, increase rapport, and develop a more positive relationship.
When folks were done, I collected the postcards and will mail them around the world this week.
Here’s the one I wrote to myself…
If understanding yourself and others better, communicating in spoken, written and visual languages appeals to you—let’s talk!