To become essential, trusted advisors to our clients by cultivating relationships characterized by compassionate, no B.S. communication.
What is compassionate communication?
We see our economy grow ever more automated, outsourced, and dehumanized. Like you, we’re not on board. We refuse to join the ranks of companies that have decided it’s cheaper to bring in new customers than keep old ones. Instead, we choose humanity over A.I. in our working relationships.
Here is how we characterize compassionate communication with our clients and between colleagues at Emily Journey & Associates.
As Stephen Covey said, we “seek first to understand then to be understood.”
We restate what we’ve heard before responding. This allows for our understanding to be confirmed or corrected. After all, we don’t always understand correctly on the first try.
Allowing for Silence
If we have just described something in detail and need a response, then we can pause. We know something important is happening during that silence: whatever we just said is being processed and considered. There’s no need for us to fill the gap with chitter-chatter or a rephrasing of what we just said.
Respect for different processing rates
We understand that people process verbal information at different speeds. We strive to respect different processing rates by allowing others to finish their thoughts. We don’t interrupt.
We look for ways to say “yes” when our immediate thought is “no”. We can often say:
- Yes, at a later date.
- Yes, with an extension of the deadline.
- Yes, for an additional cost.
- No, but I can find someone else to help.
- Or, any combination of the above.
Compassionate communicators are not stuck with one approach to communication. We will pick up the phone and call when email is not efficient or when emotions are high. We can switch out of email at any time and suggest a meeting or phone call.
Clear and Direct
Communicating clear expectations and limits is not rigid or mean. Instead, we understand that clear and direct communication is in fact kind; it fosters trust. Our relationships do not fall apart when we communicate our limits. The people in our lives want to respect our boundaries—they just need to know what they are.
Painting the Steps
Sometimes our clients have a grand vision but don’t know where to start. We break things down to paint a picture of each step on the path toward their goals. We talk in terms of actions, objectives, and results instead of technical details. (Unless you really want to know the techie stuff. Then, we can talk about that, too!)
We are not offended easily. In the rare moments that we feel hurt or disrespected, we do not respond in kind. Instead, we are confident about our self-worth and maintain our professionalism. Even a harsh and unfair criticism can be met with a kind, solution oriented response.
We do not dismiss, ignore, or tolerate abusive behavior. At Emily Journey & Associates, we support identifying abusive behaviors and provide opportunities for quick correction or exiting from relationships.