Communicate Clean

I have been deeply influenced by “Work Clean” by Dan Charnas. one of the chapters in his book is about how chefs communicate. He says:

“The heartbeat of the kitchen has always been the call and callback between a chef and her cooks”

He applies it to communications between any persons:

“Specific communication has been a part of the professional culinary heritage for more than a hundred years, and in military cultures for longer than that, but it came relatively recently to other disciplines. Now often used in psychotherapy and counseling and well represented in the teachings of corporate communications consultants, the technique is called active listening, or sometimes mirroring: the process of repeating or paraphrasing communication from someone else, be it a partner or colleague. Active listening verifies to the sender that his message has been received; it gives him the opportunity to catch an error or omission early; and it helps the receiver retain that information better, taking the words “into the body.” As a result, active listening builds trust, important in battle, whether during war or dinner.”

My husband and I don’t communicate very well. It seems half of what we say is not understood correctly, or even heard at all. So I’ve decided to apply Charnas’ concept to our communications.

Here’s what I’m planning:

* Listen clean. When my husband speaks I will listen with all my attention. I will look up from my iPad, stop what I’m doing and listen.
* Without sounding like a parrot, I will repeat back to him what I understood him to say.
* If the conversation pertains to a series of actions that one of us has to take, I may even send him a confirming email.

I’m going to try this for a week and report back.