Back again after last week’s break, with many ideas bubbling within, searching the way to give them shape or making them real.
I wrote here once about the power of kindness and today, I want to take it a little bit further, after having a few conversations recently about how to give feedback or how to generate creative & more productive interactions between us. To me this is always a very valuable and necessary ability, but even more at challenging times like the ones we are going through at the moment.
As a friend, neighbour, partner, trainer, coach, lover, mother, daughter, client, boss, student… I want to get the best out of others, whether this is attention, love, knowledge, results, respect, enthusiasm, commitment… The way I interact with these people and how do I ask for what I want from them is the key to what I will end up getting.
I can be demanding; I can insist on my expectations according to our commitment; I can put pressure on them (because, apparently, many people function better under pressure); I can be on top of the person reminding her that she must comply with the requirements as that’s her duty, and if she doesn’t, I can tell her that there is no room for her anymore and that she will be removed or/and excluded from the system.
But I can also choose to nurture that person; value & encourage her; support her in every occasion & especially at difficult situations; I can listen to her & put myself on her shoes, giving credibility to what she says is happening to her, even if I don't find it relevant (it is to her); I can offer my help & walk by her side; I can teach her what I feel can be good for her; I can connect her with other knowledge and other people that can supply her with keys, wisdom & welfare; I can acknowledge her worth, the things she does right while guiding her on how to improve or polish her weaknesses; I can devote quality time to her and trust…
The first option (which we all have suffered at some point) is the one that Seth Godin calls ‘interchangeable parts and interchangeable people’, hold by someone in power who demands because thinks that is entitled to get what he wants from others, any time. Are we going to make a difference like that? I don’t think so. At least not according to my experience. That’s why I gave up playing violin, or that friendship or the last job I had working for others, just to give a few personal examples.
Emotional connections are not created by following this strategy; neither can we generate valuable links or produce pieces or products that have not been seen ever before. Human beings' potential is not encouraged like that and there is no room to imagination, creativity or to the best version of us. That’s why the second strategy is the one that serves me & the people I relate to better. From there, we can make a difference.
"Remember: all am offering is the truth. Nothing more." Morpheus dixit.
"Kindness glides about my house.
Dame Kindness, she is so nice!
The blue and red jewels of her rings smoke
in the windows, the mirrors
are filling with smiles."
From the poem ‘Kindness’, by Sylvia Plath.