"Clear is Kind. Unclear is Unkind"
I am a huge fan of Brene' Brown and recently finished the book "DARE TO LEAD- Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts" and this phrase really stuck with me. "Clear is Kind. Unclear is Unkind."
It would follow me around throughout my day as I had conversations with others and I gained a very clear awareness of how muddy many of my interactions were. Whether I needed to be more clear in the way I spoke to others or I needed to ask more questions to clarify expectations, it was VERY CLEAR I needed to clean up my conversations.
It can be easy to think that accommodating others, giving a "quick run down" or vague overview is actually a form of being a "team player" or not wasting others time with the details. In truth it simply creates more uncertainty, resentment & frustration. When we are given or give the gift of clear intentions and expectations, we then are free to make honest choices & have truly productive conversations.
So though I see examples of muddy talk in more than just myself, we all know.... change needs to start with YOU.
So I've been challenging myself to "clear up" my conversations.
Logistics around childcare/appointments/work commitments
Clarity around emotions that I am feeling (I love how Brenee' disarms a difficult conversation by leading with "the story I am telling myself") followed by a clear ask (I need a hug, I just need you to listen, I would like your perspective, Is this how you feel?)
What details are expected in relations to a project, especially when needing to rely on others. (What does DONE mean? Give a detailed description of expectations so there are no surprises and also the other person doesn't waste time on unneeded work)
Honest time evaluations ( "I'll be done in 10 minutes.... meanwhile an hour later)
Choosing to give a clear "no" rather than a maybe and then struggling with needing to backtrack.
So much time is wasted on uncertainty and it's also anxiety producing. Reducing the noise, by being clear in our expectations, our needs and our "stories" enables more open, honest & productive conversations. We work as a team in so many facets, whether in the traditional sense in the "office" or in our community, mom groups, families (extended & nuclear), we can truly transform our environments when we step into a leadership role of taking control of the conversation.
It isn't always comfortable and can take time to change the culture within these groups but it has to start somewhere. When we clear up our conversations we enable each other to create a sense of autonomy, true joy, excitement and sense of ease around engaging with others. When we're able to admit our limitations, emotions, needs or skill set, it allows another conversation to open up and for other resources to be tapped.
Staying in the growth mindset of constantly challenging ourselves to rise above the noise, to be honest with where we are at, where we can truly excel and where we need help is a humble and courageous adventure.
So as Brene' would say "Let's Rumble"!
I love when I hear back from you all, to know what resonates & how you're applying these concepts in real time. Keep the conversations going, both here and in your own lives. It's a beautiful feeling to watch our relationships and communities change when we have the courage to stand up and change the conversation.