I didn’t know why “Rae,” my former coaching client, wanted to speak. I didn’t ask. Sometimes it’s important to clarify an agenda, and sometimes it’s valuable to just let things unfold. We let them unfold.
About ten minutes into our discussion, Rae asked me a big question. I imagine she anticipated a clear, concrete and “teacherly” response to her inquiry, but I didn’t have one. I started talking, not knowing what I might say. My response was abstract and vague. Rae’s comments to me were also abstract and vague as she tried to make sense of what I had told her.
I shifted the discussion to how we were both talking on the edge of our conscious awareness. We were discovering what we knew by grappling and grasping for words to express our deeper perceptions.
That observation was me coaching real-time…pointing out the immediate dynamic of our conversation.
We returned to Rae’s question. Gradually our points became more concrete. We concluded with some real gems.
We all know more than we can say. We can discover what we know by trying to communicate what we know. Rae and I both consciously know more and can express more now than we could before our conversation. We evolved because we were willing to go into our confusion and sift and sort our ideas together. We could not have done that if one of us was too concerned with impressing the other with our brilliance.
That’s why collaboration is so valuable. We each have pieces of the whole. When we fumble to share what we know despite its incompleteness, we have discoveries like, “Oh – I didn’t k now I knew that!”
Like yesterday, when Angela and I were talking about her history, and she prefaced a point with “I never thought of this until now.”
When we share what we know in its incompleteness, we can figure it out together. After I drafted this post, I opened the comics and discovered the above strip. That is what Rae and I and Angela and I were doing. Writer Greg Evans gets it.
Too often we try to make things “certain” and concrete before we are willing to express ideas. Don’t settle for the fool’s gold of pat, pre-digested ideas. Go into the fog and fumble forward until you find the real thing.
How willing are you to let things be foggy on the road to clarity?