Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Being Heard

So this is interesting, because as I write this blog for the first time I don't even know if I can publish it. Given the topic about being heard its interesting to think that these words may not get heard and I will continue anyway.

Have you ever been in a situation where you think you really articulated things really well to someone else, and then days, weeks or even months later they had a completely different understanding than you of the situation and on what was said?

That's where I find myself over the last couple of months, the content is not important, what is important is that I am learning there is a time when I loose my voice, when I am unable to speak my truth and when I withdrawn from communication.

Right now, I know I don't understand what is going on, so I am not trying to. I am staying with the feeling (which is one of confusion) and seeing what unfolds for me.

Its hard not to notice when clients bring their topics to me which reflect what is going on in my life and I do believe that Coaches and Clients are attracted for the sake of both their learning. More on this in a later blog.

So, when more than one of my clients talk to me about feeling judged and criticised and feeling like they must do anything to stop this happening. I can relate to that. Of course, this was how I lived my life for many years, not feeling good enough and wanting to do everything in my power not to get found out..... my God that seems like a lifetime ago and yet it was no more than 3 years ago.

I'm also reminded of how my loved ones didn't know how to communicate with me, without shouting or worse and so there were very long periods of silence. Long periods of being ignored or worse spoken to in a way you wouldn't speak to your worst enemy.... withdrawal, that was what I was trained to do, ignore and put up or shut up!

So, How do I find my voice again, well in some really simple ways. I'm learning to sing, I love to sing out loud and I do it all the time now but nothing beats Choir practice on a Tuesday night, I sing out with out fear of anything, Wrong and Strong as our teacher encourages - its so much fun.
So that is one way, another, I just realised is to learn a new language and to have more people hear me, to practice with others some better, some worse and not to be attached to getting it right.

Now here is the core of the learning for me - I loose my voice when I can't find the other person right.... (What this means in English is, if I believe the other person is in the wrong then I find it hard to articulate what goes on for me.... What I am learning as a write this posting is that, its not that I loose my voice, I do try and try and try again and then when I fail to be understood, it is then that I just give up and walk away! I'm sure there is more to come....) Delete inset.....

So the learning for me upon reflection of this topic is not that I find the other person wrong, the learning for me is that, when I have exhausted all my communication tools and still I am not being engaged with - it is then that I don't know how to proceed, it is then that I give up.
So, if I feel that the other person is not engaging with me, or if they withdraw from the dialogue or I feel criticised or Blamed, it is then that I find it hard to engage back. What do you say to someone who doesn't want to listen to you and who withdraws or disengages with you? I know I have a real desire to be understood and I also know that to be understood, there has to be a person who wants to understand.....