As we zigzag through Zoom calls, fumble through Facetime, or dive into Duo, are we communicating comfortably? Set aside being foiled by frozen screens and malcontent microphones. Are we saying what we intend to say, and doing so in ways that are respectful and impactful for the people listening to us and who we’re listening to? I’m bad at judging pauses: I often, too often, hear a pause as the end of a sentence, rather than a gathering of a thought, and I step on the conversation. It’s not malicious, but it’s the damaging opposite of “active listening,” a practice of giving someone your full attention so that you are not just hearing your discussion, but also seeing the non-verbal clues which may be 70% of communications between people. Active listening draws on mindfulness, “…awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,” says Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the developer of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. “And then I sometimes add, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.” Mindfulness can take you in exotic directions.

antique hearing aid

antique hearing aid

I pulled the following potential resources from OSHA publication “Safe+Sound.” Seems to me that if you can get ideas from conversations about safety, you can apply those anywhere!

Difficult Conversations, Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen

Crucial Conversations, Skills for Talking When the Stakes Are High, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzer

Fierce Conversations, Susan Scott

About Lauren Williams

Me, Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®: I'm a professional organizer who works in homes, home businesses and also small businesses. I'm a NYC native who's spent time in Philadelphia, Palo Alto, Baltimore and now Seattle. All great places, but NYC will always be home, and Seattle will be where I now stay. I help you think outside of the box to get something into the box.