Let’s face it: we have unspoken chatter in our heads which is an obstacles to good relationships. Do we see other people as a human being first, or as a threat? Dan Pallotta calls us on this in his recent blog. He quotes: “The unsaid is the most important part of language when it comes to performance,…What’s already there prevents anything new from happening.”
The only way to overcome that is to build a bridge, a human bridge between the two people. Each bridge will look different. In fact, it might not give the physical appearance of a bridge at all. The bridges will enable us to show interest in the other as a person. Our interactions become richer and more productive.
The 10 City Bridge Run focused on a global design challenge of building human bridges to help close the gap on poverty that results in atrocious levels of child mortality. How on earth are we going to reduce child mortality as a problem if we can’t even move past distrust and harboured grudges in our own little communities and workplaces? Building human bridges gives an opportunity for some important self-work in our own lives.
So why care, and why build a human bridge? Dan Pallotta sums it up best in his own words speaking about ‘anti-communication’ leading to misunderstand:
Combine the perils of communication technology with our predisposition not to want to talk about the stuff that’s in the middle of the room, and you have a perfect storm of anti-communication. It is the source of all misunderstanding. And misunderstanding is the source of 99% of our problems.
To me, there is no more important issue in business, or in life, than this, because it is the issue that underlies all others. And the good news is, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to fix it. Fixing it is as simple as the phone call my colleague and I had together. Whether it’s in the construction of a conference call, or considering that there might be a point of view other than our own, the answer is simple: Human beings just have to be human to one another.
Our failure to communicate, and our own misunderstands are evidence of the poverty in our own lives. This has nothing to do with how much money is in the bank account.
As my friend Maureen always loved to say: “Darling, just build a bridge and get over it!”
Visit Dan’s blog here.