This past weekend my friends from basically birth (neighbors and friends who went from grade school to college together - in each other’s weddings, laugh together, cry together …) came over to my place in Des Moines, and we shared food, memories and laughter. This is the group of people who know me, love me, and understand who I am to my core. They judge me completely and call me on my faults.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking for constant criticism (because my ego is rather fragile). However, I need someone to call me on my stuff. Dr. Odland’s mom, Annette, used to do this for me when her office was next to mine*. There was a Studer speaker once named Beth Keane, and she did this talk called “Spinach in Your Teeth” … essentially, on being honest in our communication. She talked about communication with grace - to have the hard conversation (coaching with caring) to improve the situation. Basically, how do we point out issues in a graceful, loving way?
Sometimes we are too “Iowa nice”. Our natural inclination is to not say anything because we don’t want to offend - however, if my zipper is open, or I have spinach in my teeth, or I’m speaking too loudly and/or my communication is coming across wrong - please, please let me know. We - collectively as a society and organization - can’t continue to improve if we don’t know how we come across.
Let’s all be (or at least act like) honest friends from birth. Of course, though … in a loving, caring way.
*(“did you eat garlic yesterday? Because you smell like an Italian restaurant.” … horrors, but helpful).