During my mental training, now about 7 years ago, I remember very well that my coach Roy was very strange. “Stiff in it, limp out with a white drop on it” is what he said during a training evening. Oh my God. At first I thought I didn't understand. He repeated it and asked me what I thought when I heard it. Red head and I was a little giggling along with the others and did not want to say it out loud. I thought it was a trick question or a test. The others in the group also became floury and giggling. What a crazy man. It sounded a little vulgar for serious training. “That's not what a teacher says?”
This one little sentence has taught me so much. Here I was directly confronted with my own assessment and interpretation and my reaction and behaviour. I became aware that I was looking for the answer my coach wanted to hear, or rather what I thought the master wanted to hear. That's how it used to be in school. I wanted to give the right answer, but then what's good? Is there even a right or a mistake? I wanted to give the right answer, because I was always a streak and had to be the best of my class. “What exactly does this man want from me? Hopefully not stiff in it and limp out”, I thought to myself. I felt uncomfortable and giggled it away and hoped that the attention would go to one of the others. I went on the mealy tour, because that was my familiar mechanism, laughing away and joking. Looking back, I had a certain expectation of how a teacher should be or should speak. All pre-filled expectations and this turned out to be completely different. I automatically assumed that what I thought was the same as what my coach meant. It rained insights, not at that time, but much later. Even if I dwell on that moment again, I get extra insights. That is very special. So powerful.
Roy brilliantly set up mental training. Every time I do this again or can assist in a new group or participate in the monthly open evenings I learn more about myself again. The handles I received in this training, I still apply daily in my work or in my personal life. Eventually it became clear to me that I was the subject of my training. I learned how to deal with myself under any circumstance. I learned how to process information and communicate and respond. What do I respond to and how come I respond in this way are questions that I continuously asked 'in' and to which I found answers. I learned that others are different, think differently. I learned that not everything is what it seems or what I think it is. How I see things doesn't have to be the same as how the other person does it. It is only my reality and so the other has his reality.
Morality of the story is that Roy finally talked about a breadstem dipped in a glass of milk! Wow, I was wrong. What I thought says a lot about how I think, associate, fill and filter, but little about Roy. The assessment I finally have is mine. Roy and I were clearly not talking about the same thing. This was an eye-opener because at that time I learned that there are more ways and forms than just what I knew. That was also an option, which apparently I had ruled out. I learned how to filter, select and choose. In any form of communication these filters play along and that's fine, but being aware and aware that the other person you communicate with is really great. I know now that I have to verify and check if I and my interlocutor are talking about the same thing instead of cheerfully talking past each other and thinking we're talking about the same thing. It gives so much more peace and meetings or conversations become cleaner and more effective. Simple questions like “What exactly do you mean? What do you mean by that? What do you expect? What does it mean to you? 'can remove the noise very quickly. I try to make as few assumptions as possible and fill in myself.
Every day and everywhere I often see cases 'Stiff in it, limp out'. How many times have you talked about that breadstick and the other one about something else? Miscommunication can be avoided quite simply. I do notice that when I verify or return what I have understood and ask if I have understood it correctly, the reactions are very diverse. Regularly this even raises irritations in people, because they think I haven't listened and instead of confirming things like “Yes I just told you, I have to tell you again now!”. This is kind of humor. I sometimes think, “Well, what would you prefer, that I proceed with my assessment of what I think you meant, or should I just fill it out and make assumptions?”.