What is getting your juices flowing?

I had an eye opening experience yesterday when I asked a question that I always ask my clients as a way of getting to know them: “What is getting your juices flowing these days?”

I expect to hear about the stimulating projects or creative endeavors they are working on; or the fun things they are doing either at work or outside of work OR even that their juices aren’t flowing at all!

The answer I got was “Let me pull out my folder of all of my complaints”… about everything ranging from the phone company to major global threats.  The thing they all had on common was that they were really annoying and disruptive to this person.

We often hear the term “getting your juices flowing” connected with creativity, sports, big projects, or inspirational endeavors.  It implies getting the adrenaline flowing so that you are stimulated, in action, excited, and driven by purpose!  And I ASSUME that everyone looks at this question though my lens.  I promote my business using the phrase “helping you to get your juices flowing again”.  Now I wonder how many times I have made assumptions about the filters that people use and leave a conversation unaware that a key word or phrase was interpreted dramatically different from what was intended.

If I am in a leadership role, or in an interview situation, or in a challenging coversation, I would be wise to monitor the words and phrases I use that could be grossly misconstrued.  If the person interviewing me hears me talk about all the workplace challenges that really get my juices flowing, they may assume they are dealing with an exceptionally critical or negative person.

I coach a few people whose first language is not English and it also occurred to me that they could interpret that colloquial phrase in a literal manner – who wants to hear about your body juices anyway?

As we get more and more diverse in the workplace and in our communities, we have to hone our ability to pick up on when we have sent signals that were interpreted differently than intended, discover how the other interpreted what you said if it isn’t obvious, accept responsibility for the confusion, and restate your original communication so that what you say is what they hear.  These are communication basics that we take for granted and may have slipped from our conscious mind!

Unwinding communication assumptions are one of the things that really gets my juices flowing!  Thank you, Maggie, for the opportunity to do that!

And for you, dear reader, what is it that really gets your juices flowing?

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