Friday, January 3, 2014

Words: Singular Entries to Meaningful Dialogue

In tribute to the New Year and 2014 resolutions/nerdlutions posted on Twitter and in blogs, I pause to ponder on the effect of spoken and written words. This time, it is with a focus on their contribution or not to personal or professional well-being. Holidays seem to bring out the best and least desirable sides of human nature, depending on the types of situations encountered. Particularly at this time of year, words, by the nature of their tone or message, are singular entries to meaningful dialogue. In my attempt to create spaces to grow as a learner, I decided to carefully listen to others and prudently choose the path I take in response to words spoken. Therefore, I am resolved in 2014 to focus on Number 6 of the Effective Collaboration Norms and GuidelinesPaying Attention to Self and Others.

I have noticed that in conversations, words can be carelessly dropped, causing unbalance and unrest. Responding to such words often affects personal or professional well-being and can lead to future entanglements. Therefore, it is best to actively disregard words that cause disharmony; lift words from conversations that can be transformed; reflect to open new spaces of learning and respond in a positive manner. But this is easier said than done so developing the art of active listening, discerning messages, and using spoken and written words as strategic tools to move toward a more reflective stance as a learner are my new intents.

I actually started this process on New Year's Day while I carefully listened to message presented by one of our parish priests. He greeted the congregation with a message of hope as part of his homily on resolutions to start anew. Reflecting on the word closure and its significance for 2014, he stated, "Open the door to start a new chapter. Leave the past behind. The past is history, the future a mystery." Upon hearing that message, I paused to reflect on the importance of the word closure as a lead in to being open to possibilities. 

Without deliberate action the words, closure and openness, only float in the corridors of the mind.  So, I ask myself what will it be? Will I open the door to meaningful dialogue and discussion by being more conscious of the words spoken by others and myself? Will I bring closure to past situations and see new possibilities? Lastly, will I be more reflective to bring about change and new achievements? 

Words carefully lifted from conversations can lead to multiple avenues of exploration. They can become the singular entries to meaningful, reflective conversations. So what message will our words deliver during 2014? The choice is yours and mine.       

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