From an attendee at our recent mini-conference featuring guest speaker Vik Maraj:
I didn’t know what to expect from Tuesday night’s presentation. But I went in with an open mind, bringing my partner along to see if we could learn a fresh perspective on communication issues in our own relationship.
Vik’s presentation was both down-to-earth and earth-shaking. He hit a few nails on the head: we all judge. We all think we ‘know’ another person and thus expect certain behaviours from them based on that knowledge. We don’t listen to understand but rather just wait until it’s our turn to talk so we can throw our opinion into the fold.
So how do we change that? We actually approach communication from an authentic place that involves not only listening to the other person, but truly trying to understand where they’re coming from, even if we don’t agree. In essence, we “get it” -“it” being the nature of their point, the essence of their world view.
He talked about authenticity and being honest. Other people can read your B.S. meter from a mile away. So don’t fake it. He explained why children are so free-they are constantly discovering things about the world without any preconceived notions, no judgements, no barriers. There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ question for a child to ask, yet we are constantly shushing them, embarrassed that they would have the gall to say ‘that woman is round.’
What is merely the observation of a curious mind becomes altogether something negative because of us. Instead of saying ‘that’s bad’ we need to change the conversation to ‘yes, you made an observation, but saying so out loud doesn’t work. Why? Because it can hurt a person’s feelings.’ You’ve not only made your point, but escaped the social constructs of shame and guilt.
I am now much more aware of how I need to model my behaviour for my children’s’ sake, and how I need to approach disagreements with my husband from a perspective other than “I knew he was going to do that because that’s just how he is.”
Perhaps if we all stopped for a moment to really practice some of Vik’s suggestions, we would be happier and more honest people.
I encourage everyone to go online and watch his videos or see him in person. You will be surprised at how much you can learn about yourself. I, for one, am going to try my best to put what I’ve learned into motion.