“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.”
One of the lessons I would like to impart to our grandchildren is what I learned in business regarding the importance of communication in problem solving. At times this may be difficult when a clear solution is not evident.
Some of my most loyal customers were those that caused me the biggest grief about service issues. Often it was the fault of a third-party carrier. However most often my customer refused to hear what I was telling them. It would have been easy to throw up my hands and walk away and put my efforts into finding new replacement business. But I learned it offered a better resolution to honestly address the conflict, listen and show genuine concern, and stay in constant communication until the issue was settled satisfactorily. Several such customers remained loyal friends as well as customers until my retirement.
Open communication is key in any relationship that is going to grow and strengthen. One of the tools we were taught in the early years of our marriage was to journal daily on a specific topic pertinent to our relationship that we both decided would be helpful to us at the time. We then spent a few minutes each day to discuss what we wrote. This may seem impossible in such fast-paced lives today but is more important than ever for that precise reason. Perhaps such a daily exercise is unapproachable but once a week would be a great start!
Possibly we can use some of the many tools now available for instant communication to strengthen our relationships. Texting a brief, quick “thinking of you” just to check in sometimes. Our primary relationships must be maintained and nurtured each and every day or they deteriorate very quickly.
Great things are possible when honest, thoughtful communication is practiced daily in all relationships. The following comes from Fr. Rohr’s daily meditation on relationship:
“[In] Teilhard’s approach, when two people come together in a caring and productive way, not only are the two-relating people enhanced and their capacities developed by their interaction, but their union, or relationship, becomes itself a Third Self [which] Teilhard calls . . . “a psychic unity” or “higher soul” or “higher center.” . . . The Third-Self relationship is capable of accomplishing more than either [of the members] alone.