Quality Time For Dialogue

Published by Susan Gillis Chapman on

My friend Laura and I were sitting in the shade yesterday next to a local community garden in Vancouver, talking about how emotional intelligence relates to leadership. It seems any kind of leadership depends on how much you care about– or more accurately, love– the people in your sphere of influence.  When love is present, people connect.  But the next question is how do we get past the superficial barriers and connect like this?   We’re curious, we want to know more about each other– who are you?  what is your story?  what are your values and intentions?  your passions and fears?  But we end up just passing each other in the hall.  Making quality time to listen and learn requires time and space.  We call this ‘creating green zones’.  We need emotionally safe places where other people can feel accepted just as they are.

In the past quality time happened naturally on the front porches in any city on a hot summer night.  Now we have this bizarre phenomenon called television that enables us to be curious about people who don’t exist as we spend our nights indoors, separated by walls.

Let’s create more quality time to genuinely listen to each other, to get past the superficial opinions and rehashing of today’s news and learn more about who we are.  Today this happened to me while getting my hair cut.  I’d never met the hair stylist before, but after an hour I knew about his flight from Uganda in 1972, his morning meditation practice, his first winter in Toronto.  A stranger became loveable, as most people will, given the opportunity.

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Susan Gillis Chapman

teaches part time for Green Zone Institute and for Karuna Training. Susan is a retired Marital and Family therapist who has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 35 years.  She is the author of the book The Five Keys To Mindful Communication and a contributor to The Mindful Revolution, edited by Barry Boyce. Her website is: http://www.susangillischapman.com. Read more about Susan here.