I am a storyteller, a weaver. I want to share with you in our exchange. Jay likes very direct, specific communication. When he asks a question he usually just wants the facts so he can move on. When Jay asks me how my day was, I launch into this long explanation of everything I did, everywhere I went, everyone I talked to, and it goes on. Often I’d have to go back about this or that because I’d forgotten something “important.”
Then I’d ask him how his day was and he’d respond with “good.” He lets me know he had a couple of meetings and he’s ready to figure out dinner.
Learning how to communicate is a compromise.
We ask questions expecting responses in alignment with our way of expression and when the response isn’t “our style” we may get a little frustrated. Or maybe the minimal response leaves us worrying something else is going on so we start creating assumptions and alternate realities to help us process the lack of information.
Sometimes I need a “Meadow Report” from Jay and sometimes he needs short, concise answers from me.What is “The Meadow Report”? It’s an anecdote illustrating the difference between communication types.
Let me explain with a story.
An indigenous tribe followed where the food was throughout the seasons. One brave soul would scout ahead to find a place for camp near the wildlife they were hunting. When asked where the animals were, he would point and give a short description. It’s easy to follow a herd and you didn’t need much more than a direction and approximate distance.
The women would gather nuts, berries, herbs, and other necessities for the tribe. These can be a little harder to find and the instructions of how and where were much more involved and complicated. As the tribe moved, women who remembered the area from previous seasons could pass along this valuable information. “Follow the river around this bend, through the meadow towards the large willow over this, under that and you’ll find…” The details were important.
Most relationships have both types of communicators. One is a storyteller while the other is more direct and concise. This knowledge is a gift. When Jay asks how a meeting went, I can ask if he has time for my “Meadow Report” or if he’d like to talk about it later when he has time. I can also ask him to elaborate on details when I’d like more of a Meadow Report from him on certain projects or issues.
Add this tip to your toolbox along with the S.M.A.R.T. tool from last week. They’re both tools we teach in our Illuminating Connections course which I absolutely LOVE to teach. Any opportunity to celebrate our coupleships and strengthen our connections is fantastically exciting. Come check it out and play around with the tips. Let us know what you think and how it works. Ask us any questions you have for clarification and share your tips for a great relationship.