Each morning, Weenta and I sit down and give one another 30 minutes of undivided attention. One of us will elect to ask questions while the other is given space to answer. The guiding objectives of this conversation exercise are as follows: 1) honesty; 2) openness; 3) non-judgement of personal as well as others' feelings; 4) focus on the present moment; and 5) non-identifying. Of the five, the last principle of “non-identifying” is the most difficult to parse out. The gist is - in this space and time, Weenta and I co-create a safe feeling, in which I can express any feeling be it positive or negative, be it relevant or non-relevant, be it about Weenta or someone else entirely, and she can do exactly the same.
Why do we do this? Why do we spend an hour each day for feelings when we are trying to run...start a business?!
It is my experience that my business partner, Weenta, likes to the get to the bottom of everything. She’s investigative. I, on the other hand, steam-roll through decisions.
When Weenta asks me, “Julia, do you think we should adjust our website, so that visitors can scroll rather than click through content?”, I answer her intuitively. Intuitive strikes as a feeling inside my belly. “No, I’ve never liked that website format,” I answer. I assume it to be the automatic truth.
This reactionary type of decision-making lacks of cooperative effort on my part. Yes, my response is decisive, which is valuable; but it is also rather dismissive. Part of me failed to listen. If left unchecked, without the input of a dedicated business partner, this could become habit.
All is well, though because Weenta and I spend an hour each day for feelings. Through daily non-structured conversations, we work on effective communication. The exercise is challenging, no doubt. Oftentimes, a sense of urgency, “we don’t have time for feelings and non-structured conversations,” comes over both of us before the outset. However, even if we begin with an eye-roll, we always conclude with a clear sense of reward. The reward is always the same- I feel heard. She feels seen. We both feel better understood.