That happened to me this week and it triggered a thought - what would happen if our brains could signal that message when we "lose connection" in other areas of our lives, like our relationships, or our life purpose and our values?
We lose connection when we allow extraneous noise to consume us and take us off course. Noise can appear as emails that entice us with their "today only sales" and you end up following an internet path you never intended to take. It can happen when you feel like you need to respond to someone in a certain way to get that person’s approval. It can happen when we live our lives from fear instead of from vision and fulfilling purpose.
We lose connection in conversation when we allow judgment to influence our beliefs and behavior. We lose connection when we are so sure we are right that we listen only to validate our opinion, not to what matters to the person with whom we are speaking. We may find ourselves engaging in conversations that consist of complaints, worry, and blame, resulting in sadness and a strange sense of comfort around our shared misery.
Is that the connection that we seek?
Dr. Otto Scharmer, senior lecturer at MIT and co-author of Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System, offers an alternative. In his U-Lab, he discusses four Fields of Conversation. These range from what he calls: downloading, or saying what we believe others want to hear (polite conversation); to debate, or speaking from what we know to be true (being right); to dialogue, or engaging in inquiry, being part of something bigger than ourselves; and to collective creativity, or what we can create together is more powerful than one of us can create alone.
A bit complicated, yes? Not so much. The next time you’re in conversation, focus more on the other person and seek to understand, with open mind, open heart (empathy), and open will (willingness to act). Create a judgment-free zone and marvel at what emerges from that place of safety.