You might think that “communicating” and “relating” are basically the same thing. It’s good to get a sense for the finer distinctions between these two business-critical concepts. They can help set you on a path to solving productivity, management and operational issues – whatever’s getting in the way of you and your team delivering your very best work and thriving while you do it.
First, though, let’s revisit the idea that communication is radically relational.
The word “radical” comes from the Latin word for “root.” When we say that “communication is radically relational,” we’re affirming that communication is at the root of all of our human interactions.
Communicating is fundamental, essential and vital for our capacity to relate to one another.
The concept of “relating” is a big-picture way of thinking about how human beings connect with each other. There are myriad influences and nuances in every single relationship, and their special combination makes each relationship unique.
But every relationship requires communication, and, ideally, good communication, for that relationship to come into being and continue to grow. It is a primary means for nourishing all our connections.
Simply said, communication is at the root of human relationship.
Like the roots of a plant, Authentic Communication nourishes, sustains and uplifts our relationships.
Because we communicate with absolutely every person with whom we interact,
and all of us communicate all the time,
when we acknowledge that our life and work are comprised of relationships,
when we see that a relationship can only flourish with strong, healthy communication,
we can begin to take steps to ensure that we are communicating in optimal ways for our relationships to blossom, our connections to deepen, our work and our lives to thrive.
Most of us think of communication as a technique for expressing ourselves. We use a consensual code known as “language” to convey our insights and opinions, to tell our stories, to generate ideas. We also communicate through our bodies – an eye roll or a hug can often say much more than words. We even communicate through images. We’re almost always communicating something somehow to someone.
What’s remarkable about communication is not that we do it, or that we do it so constantly. What’s really juicy is that all forms and fashions of communication are radically relational.
And so is business.
Every organization, company, and team is a group of human beings trying to do something together. It’s a group of human beings who are in relationship with each other.
So, whatever’s coming up for you – the stress of overwhelm, some vague sense of underperformance, a deep sigh of resignation – it’s not just about you.
It’s also about every other human being around you and how you relate to each other.
Your relationships are directly impacted by how, what, why and when you communicate. And the quality of these relationships has a direct correlation with teamwork, management skills, deliverables and client satisfaction – not to mention your own sense of meaning and love for your work.
Watch for future installments of "Loving Work" to learn more about how Authentic Communication makes work work better.
"The greatest illusion about communication
You are so ding-dang busy.
In fact, you barely had time to read that sentence.
On one level, it feels like it has always been this way. Now, though, despite your success and accomplishment, the sense that you’re always a step behind or underperforming by just that much is more intense, more acute.
And, at the same time, something is awakening within you that says,
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Although the management trainings and productivity tips have been helpful, they haven’t really cracked the nut. That makes sense because, most of the time, they’re just working on the symptoms.
To uncover sustainable, scalable and enduring solutions to your business issues, you have to go to their heart. And at the heart of every business issue you will find one striking commonality: Communication.
Business is a social activity. It’s a function of relationships, not the other way around.
The quality of every relationship is largely determined by the quality of communication between its parties. Better communication means better relationships means better business.
Until you harness the real depth and power of communication, your personal and organizational stumbling blocks will re-appear again and again. When, however, you tap the full potential of communication to change the way work works, now you’re onto something.
And that something is Love.
Do you feel a little squeamish about the “L” word? Hang in there. You already know that it’s part of every relationship you have – even the ones at work.
We’re shining a light on it, not to make you uncomfortable, but because when we name Love, we unleash the true and inherent power of communication to connect, ignite, bridge, create, innovate, and allow our work and our lives to thrive. It becomes your biggest competitive advantage.
When you begin to treat communication as an act of Love, you privilege the connections that are key to every aspect of your business.
You make being in relationship more important than being right.
You change the bedrock of how you and your team function at work, home, everyplace.
You discover a sense of freedom, increase meaning and joy, and, yes, unlock more efficiency and productivity.
You solve the issues that the 80/20 rule and Lean Six Sigma tools have never touched.
You get real about your humanity at work.
You become the true boss of your own future.
You master Authentic Communication.
Join me for a series of posts that will probe this topic and provide examples of how leaders with big jobs and big hearts can use Authentic Communication to solve pretty much anything.