What is the question behind your question? | on the edge

Have you ever been in a conversation that has left you with a feeling of disquiet and yet the atmosphere was quite cordial?
This happened to me the other day. I had the opportunity to share a business plan with a new leader in an associate business. Although the discussion was essentially robust, my experience was that of being tested, not overtly though. What was that about?
Communication intelligence (http://2interact.com/) says that you choose to convey a message in a way that defines your communication behaviour.  Collaborative communication behaviour is inclusive whereas accommodating communication behaviour is certainly empowering. Yet, competing communication behaviour is “I” centric with the intention of being persuasive and avoiding communication behaviour withholds information and intention. Communication intelligence suggests taking responsibility for the impact of your communication behaviour.
Communication acuity demands proactive listening. Listening to respond is substituted with listening to understand. Listening to listen how your inquiry lands certainly promotes understanding and created responses (as opposed to automatic reactions). Listening for connection is key to communication. The epitome of listening is with total ease and openness. This listening honors the space for uninterrupted, pure thinking. When your inquiry comes from genuine curiosity, building trust is a possibility . . . . and the raw truth comes out. However. listening can also be enigmatic. This was my initial reaction. “What’s going on here? What is this leader’s agenda with his line of questioning?” Yet, your listening can also have an intention disguised as curiosity. When your listening comes from a place of presupposition or prejudice, authenticity shines through in your response or further inquiry. Whether you like it or not, intention drives inquiry.
When you ask a question with a preconceived answer in mind, you need to be aware of how that question lands. How authentically are you coming across? If you do this repeatedly, how do you know that the answer you are getting is the truth or the respondent’s assumption or best guess about what you’d like the answer to be? Asking a question with your fixed agenda in place may be experienced as manipulation. If you are coming across as testing, what is the likelihood that you’ll get the truth or a version of the truth! What do you prefer?
Are you taking 100% responsibility for the impact of your communication?

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