Today, I was very excited when my husband suggested that we go to coffee and write together! This is a good thing. I felt so elated to be spending time together (without children) working together on our dreams and pushing our vision forward. On the way to Starbucks I filled my head with expectations of our time together and getting a ton of work done and a seamless communication and flow of ideas. We sat down, and the nice gentleman next to us started a conversation. I swallowed my internal disappointment that felt like frustration and smiled and had a 10 minute conversation that did end up in sharing information and wishing him well on his upcoming marriage in 7 days! Ok, back to getting work done and the next expectation was dashed by a client phone call. Then, we were distracted by an email response that was needed from the both of us. We had already collaborated, but had not finalized. OMG! Then we get to talking and poof! All expectations destroyed, communication got hard and now instead of working, I feel defeated and angry and then going real deep, this whole interaction tapped into my shame story of "not good enough."
There are so many factors that go into great communication. Identifying and communicating your expectations with one another is a great start. It just puts you on the same page and you can make better informed choices during the time you spend together. Voicing expectations allows you to set each other up for relational success. Speaking and Listening like a pro when you are the person in the conversation is difficult. We are triggered and we often judge the other as we listen and formulate our response before the other finishes. Speaking like a pro means that you express your feeling, perspective and what you need in a positive way. Speaking does not mean that you are arguing for your partner to join you on your side and give up their perspective, you are speaking in order to gain understanding so that you have a shot of getting your need met. Listening like a pro means that you lean in, get curious about the differences because obviously they exist! Listening means you suspend judgement of what your partner is say and key in on the feeling, understand the perspective and identify the need. Speaking and Listening goes back and forth until understanding is reached, then you form a plan and get to work.
I am embarrassed to tell you that I shut down in the coffee shop. I put my earbuds in and turned on Spotify and began writing this post. So, in effect, I put myself on a time out! It was mutual, because Sam did too. We both began writing and as 1 minute turned into 20, my perspective shifts once again and I no longer believe that I am not good enough and I know that he loves me and we are good. That only thing that would confirm my beliefs is if you somehow let me know that you like my blog post better than his…./Kerri