I’m amazed at how well I communicate my thoughts and ideas in professional settings. I’m equally amazed at how poorly I communicate in familial settings.
Self-awareness is not just something that’s important to me personally; it’s a major aspect of my professional life…therefore I continually reflect and evaluate me!
Recently, while conversing with some family members I noticed that I repeated what I’d said multiple times in response to the bewildered expression on one of the individuals’ face after I initially made the statement.
That’s nothing…no big deal, right? Wrong! In professional communications in response to a bewildered expression, I rephrase my statements in an attempt to provide clarity to my conversation partner. So, why did I not do this when I conversed with my relatives?
That’s something I’ve asked myself for years. I know some times I really have no idea how to clarify a statement. Yet, other times I’m unwilling to take the nanosecond it takes to rephrase my statements. That leads me to repeating myself and looking at my conversation partner like “why don’t you understand what I’m saying?”.
That’s insufficient communication skills on my part. Plus it creates barriers to relationship building.
Which brings me to another point – how can I say that my relatives don’t know me when I place barriers between us through my communication patterns?
Is building professional networks of greater importance than maintaining close familial ties? Based on my communication skills or perhaps I should say based on my efforts at communication, I’m led to believe I place more stock in professional networks.
But it’s not that simple! Of course, you know that things are rarely that simple.
Let’s review my communication efforts with professional networks. The fact that I’ll rephrase a statement to provide clarity…does not suggest that I place more value in these contexts than with my relatives.
Let’s also think about the patterns of communication I’ve developed through my family unit. The unconscious beliefs I garner about communication and my place in conversations.
We learn a lot about communication and how individuals operate amongst each other in our families. It’s also possible that the conversations with my family are more relaxed and less restrictive than the conversations with individuals I engage with in professional settings.
Do you notice any differences in your communication efforts with different groups?
If you do, is the simple reasoning for those communication efforts adequate? Or is there more to it than what’s on the surface?