Life in the Details: Successful Communication Made Simple Series
Drafted by: Mheyah Bailey
How can we make everything in life truly amazing? How can we create Radical Relationships with intensity and passion that are truly an authentic expression of our individuality and our togetherness? It is all in the details.
I just spent a fabulous week in France taking in and enjoying all the sensorial delights and ambiance of the beautiful countryside, villages, history and all of details that make up a truly inspiring French lifestyle, from the simple salutations in every shop, to expressing oneself with hand gestures, kissing on both sides of the cheek, dining al fresco with the silverware and good china, the je ne sais quoi of the fashionista, food grown in the garden or shopped for in the market, music and fragrances of walnut oil and honeysuckle in the air, the curiosity and gratitude for the joie de vivre. Sigh…….As I was planning this article about the importance and benefits of curiousity in our relationships and lives it dawned on me this week that life and love is all in the details and a curious mind is a necessity for finding the details, the nuances, the deeper meaning and enjoyment of anything.
Curiousity creates an intimate connection with people and life.
I love writing and coaching about love, life and happiness and hope that you will use all the information I share with you to make your life more fulfilling and purposeful and that I can help you create amazing relationships full of contentedness and passion with your partners and in life. It really is all in the details. If we are to Create truly Successful Relationships and a fulfilling life we need to understand that curiousity is one of those important principles that will help us define the details, so we can uncover the meaning and importance of deeper understanding through authentic discovery. Without using the gift of curiousity we will live a life of mediocrity and miss out on a deeper and more meaningful understanding of oneself and true intimacy with others.
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Socrates said “an unexamined life is not worth living”
In the series for Creating Successful Communication we have been discussing what it means to actually integrate the 5 Principles for Successful Communication. We have discussed what it means to be Conscious and how we can become more aware of our responsibility in our lives and the impact we have personally, professionally and globally. I believe that Compassion is an essential principle for any healthy relationship, which you can read about HERE . Going forward we are going to delve more into the principles Curiousity, Courage and Commitment, so hopefully you will see the positive benefits those qualities can bring to your life and relationships.
So what does it mean to be CURIOUS?
CURIOUS:[kyoor-ee-uhs] ADJECTIVE: eager to learn, understand or know; to be inquisitive, arousing or exciting speculation, interest, or attention through being different or unknown; an inquiring open mind interested & seeking to know and understand; to wonder. We are all born curious, it is a natural quality we all possess. Curiousity is what makes us humans learn to crawl, seek, taste, see, experience, create, philosophize, dream, explore, change, grow……. Curiousity is foundational to all creativity and is an essential principle to Creating Successful Relationships.
Why you might ask? Well if you aren’t curious in life and love then you limit yourself to only what you know already. That will be the defining limit of your experience, knowledge and understanding. To seek to understand more is an exceedingly important quality in your relationships personally or professionally, because we can never truly understand another person’s experience without delving deeper. It is important to not believe we actually know what anyone else is experiencing and to be ever so gently open and non-judgmentally curious.
In a previous article I wrote how curiosity will benefit your relationships:
I believe it is invaluable to be deeply interested in what another person is trying to express with no agenda other than to understand, and in turn being deeply curious about yourself, what you are feeling and what you need to express as well. Being curious shows that you care, that you are interested; that how the other person feels is important to you and that they are important to you. While being curious you need to be able to listen without judgment or interrupting. Listening means to be silent and that your brain is entirely engaged with the other person’s experience and how they are feeling as they struggle to express what is going on for them, while also being mindful of your own feelings and responses.
It is helpful to stop yourself from knowing or assuming anything. It means that you remain an open blank slate without making assumptions that you already know and understand what others are trying to express. Curiosity means that you are remembering that none of what is being said is personal. It means you are LISTENING INTENTLY to what is being said, what is happening, what has caused the happy feelings or upset, what the other persons values are, what is important to them and how they want or need something to be different.
This is an important detail about curious conversations; ask questions that help define what is needed, what is important to the other person and why. Nothing in the world is done without meeting a need and defining what others need is what builds connection and compatibility. A need could be as simple as desiring more tidiness, help with dinner or as fundamental as wanting to feel more respected, but all worthy of our time, curiosity, compassion, cooperation and collaboration to resolve. It is so important to check out what is going on for another person, make sure what you heard is what was intended, and do your best to understand what is important, what they need and are asking for. Curiosity builds trust if you are truly seeking to understand someone else with an open compassionate heart.
If you can stay curious even in times of stress, you are on the road to positive healthy relationships. Curiosity helps you stay present to what is happening, what is trying to happen and collaboratively decide what needs to happen going forward. Being curious about the people we are in relationships with, how they experience life, understanding and appreciating their perspective is the key to love in personal relationships and builds collaborative professional relationships creating an unbreakable bond of positive connection and mutual respect”
It is important to reflect our understanding back to people so they know we have understood their answers. It is simple to repeat back what you think you have heard which lets the other person hear you were really listening and understood the details and nuances of what was being said. If we inadvertently missed out any important parts then our “curious minds” can remain open to further information that clarifies what the other person is trying to convey.
Questions can often times sound judgmental or like a criticism so it can be helpful to not use the word “why” but instead to use open questions that start with “what” and “how”:
What is that like?
How do you feel?
What is important about that to you?
What do you need?
Can you help me understand?
How can I help?
There is a caveat to curiosity that I believe is important to mention as your curiosity must be connected with your awareness of yourself and is not meant to be an interrogation from fear or judgment. That is why authentic curiosity takes practice and an attitude of “open heated wanting to understand” rather than fearful interrogation. I hope you can understand the difference and realize that sometimes we all need to monitor ourselves and that curiosity must have no other agenda than seeking to know more or to understand better with the intention to create positive connection. With every connection we make it can be so useful to ask if you are creating positive connection or disconnection.
When I say that happiness in life and love is in the details I really mean it is in the details. We mustn’t just accept a superficial limited perspective if we want to feel happier and have more intimate connection to our partners, our friends and colleagues. Humans are complex individuals and being attentive with non-judgmental open hearted curiosity we can strive to understand people in a more authentic meaningful way. Curiosity can help you achieve more connection by inviting more detailed information. As humans we present ourselves, our conversations and concerns about 6 layers above where the more meaningful truth is, which means the majority of the time we are not necessarily attuned to what is really driving our complaint or concern. It is a gift of our time and presence to be curious, whether someone is experiencing a happy moment or a trauma. The impact is priceless as your simple presence and curiosity makes others feel appreciated and important and is that not after all what we all need in life; to love and feel loved. Curiosity is a loving act and love is in the details.
It isn’t only important to be curious about others but equally as important to be curious about yourself. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs it is one of our main human needs to grow and evolve, and how could we achieve that if we did not use our curiosity. To be curious about oneself is one of the most important qualities we need to create a purposeful and fulfilling life. It is in seeking and clarifying the details of our own needs and values that compels us to live a more authentic expression of ourselves creating more purpose, fulfillment and happy peaceful relationships. How could we discover what is important to ourselves without curiosity? We couldn’t. It is the act of asking ourselves the important questions that wakes us up and gives us choice to create the life we really want. Curiosity is about defining your dreams and goals and then making conscious choices to pursue our life with gusto and passion. This is a big conversation best left for the next time but in the meantime I hope you can see the value of curiousity for your life and all your relationships. Try it out and see what happens. I look forward to hearing what impact curiousity has in your life. Let me know. I would love to hear from you.
Love Mheyah ♥
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