Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lend Me Your Ear

“Is it a full moon?”

This was a question that was posed every month. And, we did not have to look at a calendar to know that it was on its way. With the exception of the not-so-jolly Christmas season, anyone who works with large numbers of people can nail the week of the full moon. The reason Christmas doesn’t count is that too many people take on too much and are, well, crabby all season. But the rest of the year, there’s rarely any confusion as to the phases of that old moon.

In case you’ve been completely isolated from the media this last week, we’ve just experienced what has been called a “Super Moon”. The moon was the closest to the earth it had been for a couple of decades and will be for a couple of more. So, knowing how strong an influence the moon normally has during its not-so-super full phase, can you imagine how tense things can become with a “Super Moon”?
What Influences What?
©2010 Grand Canyon #1 by Michael Deuel

For more than a decade, I’d worked in what one might consider a very particularly demanding market. You could tell the moon was waxing to full. Even the calmest of clients could be cranky. Everyone, clients and staff, would become edgy, possibly in anticipation of everyone else being cranky and edgy.

I’ve been somewhat insulated from that situation the last year. I’ve been working a new business so that the traffic has been slow enough to avoid that building tension. And, it’s been in a small town, where, overall, the people are easy-going and not as rushed.  It’s been so very nice, to say the least! Nary a crank! I have been spoiled!

So, though I shouldn’t be, I’ve been surprised to sense a great deal of tension in my life this week.  I know part of it is dealing with quite a few changes again. Part of it is dealing with the same situations over and over again, without resolution. But, is it the “Super Moon”? Or just the “cycle” of living?

I do believe that the moon can affect mood and behavior. I’m not talking werewolves and lunatics being affected. I’m thinking that just as any other force in the universe, there is a physical impact which in turn creates an emotional wave for everyone. This wave can skewer perceptions which can cause serious communication problems between parties.
Force & Spirit
©2010 Blue Skies & Water & a Rainbow by Michael Deuel

There was a technique that was taught in many of the business classes I’ve taken over the years that works. You let the disgruntled individual state their case uninterrupted. When they are done, you repeat back to them what you heard them say: “What I hear you saying is….Is this correct?” They can then correct you or agree with you. And, 98% of the time, this works to facilitate effective communication so that any problem can be discussed. The other 2%, well, what are you going to do? Some people don’t really want to be satisfied and there is nothing you’re ever going to be able to do to fix that.

Talk, Talk, Talk! Don't You Ever Listen?
©2010 Love Birds #2 by Michael Deuel
This method can work on the personal level also. I found that, with the oldest daughter, it was very useful. Oddly enough, I think she actually initiated our using it to get to the root of a problem. I know I was pretty impressed with her at that point. But, I meander…

It is so hard, though, at times to keep your head clear of the smoke that arises in the middle of a, ahem, “discussion” with someone you care about. But it is so crucial to implement some system that allows all parties to speak and to be heard. Or else, you’ll be “dealing with the same situations over and over again, without resolution”, if I may quote myself.

It’s something everyone needs to work at: listening, really listening, and speaking without contempt or derision. If we could all remember that, not only would the world be so much better, but, there’d be nothing to dread about dealing with each other. We could all just enjoy the peace on earth and the beauty of the skies.

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