Note: This blog was originally published in November 2011. This week I was fortunate to facilitate another corporate training seminar focused on interpersonal communication skills. This course offers information on the range of communication styles as well as tips and tools for achieving skillful discussion so that workplace interactions are less stressful and more productive.
I so enjoy having the opportunity to become part of a company’s organizational culture for a day. My favorite parts of training days are when participants feel comfortable enough to start sharing personal stories. This indicates to me that I have successfully created a safe space and training environment that is conducive for robust, experiential learning.
Communicating with ourselves
While this week’s seminar highlighted ‘interpersonal’ communications skills, I asked participants to consider that ‘intrapersonal’ skills were also at play because how we communicate with other people directly correlates to how we communicate with ourselves.
I encouraged the group to think about the quality of the relationships and communication they had with themselves. How kind, supportive, objective and honest were they being with themselves lately? How could they talk to themselves in ways that increased control, clarity and confidence around who they were and what they wanted in their professional and personal lives? The feedback around the room was substantive and insightful.
Every seminar I deliver provides me with chances to polish my own communication skills. Just as I asked my participants to do this week, I’ve been reflecting on my relationship with myself. In the past month, I made life-altering decisions to end a long-term relationship and move back to my hometown. In order to make these major changes in my best interest, I had to create a safe space for myself in my own mind – where I could have deeply honest conversations with myself about what I needed and wanted.
I effectively communicated with myself by asking difficult questions, trusting my intuition, and taking appropriate actions to achieve my objectives. As a result, I understand myself better, love myself more, and am confident that I made the best choices for me. My heart hurts, my head is still spinning, yet my relationship with myself is stronger and healthier than ever.
Creating safety and security
Safe spaces in relationships with other people are hard to come by. Creating safety and security in our own minds is a smart way to move through life experiences while learning valuable lessons and taking good care of ourselves.