There were many valuable things I learned from my time studying communication. One was the “Sunshine Test” and it goes like this:
If what you are about to say, or just said was published on the front page of an international newspaper, how would you feel?
If the answer is “Totally good with that!”, then go ahead and scream it from the rooftops. If you answer involves an inner cringe and a weak “maayyybe?”, then don’t say it!
The sunshine test is basically your personal gatekeeper to what you should or shouldn’t be saying publicly or privately. It is how you truly feel about your actions and I use this technique often, to keep my shadows in check.
Yes, we all have one. That inside voice that sometimes becomes our outside voice…often regrettably.
While studying to be a yoga teacher, we learnt a similar communication gatekeeper. You are asked to run your statement past three questions. If it passes all three, then go ahead. If not, have a care.
- Is it the absolute truth?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it kind?
What if it is true, necessary but not kind? Then reconsider the necessary part and be sure that what you are about to say IS necessary. Often it’s not.
If it is, then you need to know how to have difficult conversations that are productive, not destructive. Ones that come from the heart, have a purpose and are helpful to the recipient.
Good communication skills are learnt not a born skill, so be easy on yourself and others. If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to have a difficult conversation but don’t know where to start, get some help or call me and book a session!