It’s Like a Kiss… You Can’t Do It Alone

John Cheever, the prolific American writer, said, “I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.”  

Whether you’re a writer, leader, manager, professional, or lover, when you are communicating with another person, it is vitally important to consider their point of view and what they might need from the conversation.  

For example, when a leader takes the stage at an annual meeting to clarify or re-clarify the company’s future vision and mission, it is important to consider how this future will impact the employees in the room. When a manager sits with a team member to review progress toward a goal, it’s important to consider how accomplishing this goal would benefit the employee.  When a healthcare professional presents new information to a patient, it’s important to consider how their lives might be improved through this process.  

I’m currently writing a book on Courageous Conversations, and my book coach recently warned me against only thinking about what I want to say and forgetting to consider what my readers want and need to hear—because it’s often different.  

We need each other in our work and lives. We need each other to communicate well. You have something important to say, but don’t forget your audience. They have something important to take away as well. When you keep this notion front and center, you’ll focus less on what you want to say and more on what they need to hear.  

“A beautiful thing happens when we start paying attention to each other.  It is by participating more in your relationship that you breathe life into it.”

~   Steve Maraboli

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