How Did Your Culture of Origin Shape Your Communication Muscle?
I talk *a lot* about being from the Midwestern part of the United States...Wisconsin, specifically.
Sometimes I imagine that the people I regularly see here in Florida have a bet amongst themselves. It goes something like this:
"I wager Laura cannot make it more than four minutes into this conversation without mentioning Wisconsin. I put a hundred bucks on it."
(Yay Madison, I love you!)
I am really proud of where I am from.
I love, love, love my Midwestern roots because I maintain that this particular place on Earth is full of people who care about others, who work hard, and who don't put on airs. You know what I mean.
But the Midwest has its faults, too.
Sometimes I notice, for example, that Midwesterners aren't the best communicators.
😟 We don't want to put anyone out, you see.
😟 We don't want to be a bother.
😟 We are here to get 'r done! (Without too much discussion!)
This humility and selflessness can be lovely and useful for so many reasons, but in too high of a dose, it is a real problem.
A huge problem.
A problem that harms marriages, families, and entire careers.
Good communication begins with self-knowledge. With curiosity about the status quo. A willingness to dig deep and own one's personal role and ongoing cooperation in this culture.
To change things for the better, we Midwesterners (and other too-meek, stubborn, or stymied folks) can begin by asking ourselves questions like:
👉 1. What do I want? (From this job, this relationship, this experience, this time in my life?)
👉 2. What am I willing to give or change or learn or ask for to get it?
👉 3. What are my blind spots? What are my core beliefs? Are they even true?
👉 4. Am I willing to hear "no," "not yet," or, "how about this instead?"
👉 5. Am I willing to explore why I am the way I am?
Good communication skills are muscles we build over time...and I am interested in getting stronger, even when it is uncomfortable. We were not taught this in school, so we need to commit to the goal on a personal level.
Are you ready?
Let's do it!