How to Cultivate Conscious Relationships: Proactively Discussing the Elephant in the Room
We are all mystified by the dynamics of human behavior in our relationships. Instead of consciously cultivating our relationships, we lose valuable time, energy, and productivity in trying to figure out what’s going on with the other person.
There is a way to interact that is more satisfying. I call it consciously creating a relationship or a relationship recalibration/reboot. Simply, it’s about directly and intentionally getting to know someone so you can optimize for smooth relations rather than a lot of drama.
Below are questions that invite a conscious relationship. I recommend this discussion for anyone starting to work together and/or anyone wishing to recalibrate or reboot a relationship to its next level.
These are a very strong start, and I am sure you will think of other powerful questions that will bring you closer.
Questions that Invite a Conscious Relationship
What are the 1 to 3 most important things I need to know when working with you?
From this question, you will glean their particular preferences, if any. Their response may be as simple as “I won’t respond to emails over the weekend” to “Don’t ask me to a meal if we are having an important discussion.”
What does trust look like to you? How do I earn your trust?
Trust is a subjective term, so it’s best to get on the same page about what it means to trust each other.
How do we want to set the container for how we interact when we have tough conversations and/or disagree?
It’s easy to interact when you agree; the challenge of a lifetime is to stay connected even when there’s disagreement.
How do we want to set the container for when we give and receive feedback?
Most people dread giving and receiving feedback. This question is an opportunity to raise the bar on your interaction by knowing exactly what feedback is and what it isn’t.
Tip: Refer to “Chapter 11 – Feedback 101” and “Chapter 12 – A Culture of Evolution” in my book Evolution Revolution.
What tone do we want to set for the rest of the organization? What ripple do we want our combined brand to create?
The leader sets the tone, as does the leadership team. In the absence of conscious commitments, unconscious patterns will rule the day. What tone do you want to set in your organization?
How can we be the model for how cross-functional leaders or teams collaborate?
Making decisions for the good of all takes strength of mind, character, and biology. Become the model of collaboration, and share what you are learning (so it scales).
To introduce this activity as a way of being, you can begin the conversation with—
“I am committed to, and I operate under, the practices that are in this conscious leadership handbook. It would be an honor to learn alongside you.”
And hand them a copy of my book – Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age.
Then, let the evolution begin!!