Recently I attended a meeting where quite a few of the participants know and use concepts from the Process Communication Model (PCM). Basically, PCM is a model that teaches ways to change one’s own communication style and technique to become more effective and successful in communicating with others. It enhances our ability to establish lasting relationships.
As I entered the space I immediately was reminded of the generosity people can have towards one another. One of the concepts of PCM invites to think about other people’s need. Seeing them allowing to be generous and to respond to them through compliments, attention or care towards one another.
This meeting showed again how the habit of spontaneously offering something nice and generous can change the atmosphere. It was noticeable how participants were, for example, more willing to listen to one another than often. Simply because they felt seen by the others.
What I also noticed was how the difference in personality impacted the way generosity was offered. It resembled the difference in distance between sympathy, empathy, and compassion.
Sympathy happens at a more cognitive level, it means that you can understand what the person is feeling. Empathy allows for more proximity as is means that you feel what a person is feeling. Compassion then is the ability not only to feel what a person is feeling but also the willingness to relieve the suffering of another.
Connecting this with some of the compliments, it was clear that some were on a surface level, something one notices, and shares. The compliments were chosen depending on an understanding of what is important for the other person. In other situations, reactions were generous and spontaneous, while relating to the context. They showed a deeper understanding of what the other person had shared and what it signaled. In other cases, it was visible that the person was acting and offering care. They knew that their action was kind and needed at that moment. They knew how to touch the other.
All this generosity worked and was welcomed. Nevertheless, the art was in adapting to the situation and being willing to show more or less distance to the other. In seeking to make sure that the recipient would be receiving a gift of generosity.