The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Leaning into reciprocity

In a casual conversation, it will often be easy to accept that there has been a misunderstanding or that two people might have a different perception of the same thing.

In a professional setting, people will assume that their communication has to be clear. There, leaders may put themselves under pressure expecting to establish clear communication. They assume that it will transform their team’s performance.

However, there rarely is a communication that can be fully understood as meant by everyone. The way people make meaning of communication involves too much context to be easily handled.

It doesn’t need to change the desire to be clear. It does mean accepting that communication is a two-way street.

It is building on this acceptance, that setting the intention to be clear becomes an invitation to interact. It’s an intention that leans into the reciprocity of communication and the desire to understand one another. Confusion is understood as a natural part of the process. That is, questions are expected to appear and seen as a way to understand what has not yet been clear. How clarity can be established then becomes the learning of the back and forth of questions and answers.

Clarity is an emergent attribute of communication. It results from integrating reciprocity into our communication. That is whatever we receive requires our engagement to seek understanding.





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