“No matter what message you are about to deliver somewhere, whether it’s holding out a hand of friendship, or making clear that you disapprove of something, is the fact that the person sitting across the table is a human being. So, the goal is to always establish common ground.” ~Madelaine Albright
By Jennifer Simmons
It was Christmas and my beloved and I had been dating for not quite a year. We had experienced our share of relationship ups and down despite having made concerted efforts to show up and behave in the healthiest way we each knew how. But both of us had a history and our own “stuff” to deal with, which triggered us at times, leaving the other at a loss, feeling unheard or misunderstood. That’s neither unusual nor abnormal.
But what is extraordinary is that it marked a turning point—either we were going to figure out how to communicate well together or we would lapse into our comfort zones, continue past patterns, and perhaps eventually part company.
“His beautiful, heart-felt explanation and description of why he made it, what it symbolizes, and how it works brought tears of joy and gratitude to my eyes.”
That insight led one very talented and conscious man to his shop where he hand-crafted what would become the first Conversation Block™ cube prototype. You might imagine my surprise and rather dull expression when I unwrapped his gift. “Umm, babe, umm thank you?” I think that was what I managed to say. But then he sat me down at the table in dramatic fashion, sitting opposite, facing each other, with my new gift in between. He was grinning. I was baffled.
His beautiful, heart-felt explanation and description of why he made it, what it symbolizes, and how it works (which have now become the accompanying cards of the Conversation Block™ method after extensive research into psychology, relationship theory and communications science) brought tears of joy and gratitude to my eyes.
The original now sits in prominent view and is a touchstone every day to be thankful for our differences as well as what we share in common. Many times, since then we have used it literally by tangibly placing it into our conversation space, and figuratively by remembering the wisdom of asking, “What colors do you see, my love?” when we disagree. It reminds us to be true to ourselves and see any misunderstanding as our shared enemy—not each other. It’s helped us increase our capacity to hold dissonance and appreciate differences in each other. And, it helps us see each other with fresh eyes, keeps our communication flowing, and our relationship growing.
We hope you will enjoy its beauty and usefulness as much as we have.