As a form of self-expression and creative outlet, I move clay and the female form is often where my fingertips take me. So the other day, someone privately messaged me asking me if I ever sculpt post-birth bodies.
To which I replied, “Yes, all the time. I have four children and am most familiar with my own body so that is my primary template.”
She then came back with, “No, a momma’s body.”
This stumped me. “I’m confused by ‘momma’s body’. I would need to see an image of what you have in mind as Momma’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes both pre and post-birth.”
Any time I get a request for a commissioned piece, I have lots and lots of questions. If I were to jump to my own conclusions about what someone envisions, I would likely end up with many dissatisfied collectors.
Here’s the thing, we all have the propensity to make assumptions and communicate from our own particular framework. The variation of what another thinks or imagines is extremely high which makes for both an exciting life and potentially confusing conversation.
When we rest on what we think we know, we miss out on so much! And, there is the potential for greater conflict and disappointment through misunderstanding.
An essential piece to successful and productive communication is having an open mind to another’s perspective. Think about how art is framed. Not every painting belongs in a plastic posterboard frame from Walmart. The frame we choose enhances the picture.
Same with communication. Enhance your picture:
Ask, rather than assume.
Repeat back what you hear.
Listen to understand.
Indulge in creativity by switching out your dialogue framework. You may find newness in conversation that lights up your mind in ways you’ve never imagined and cuts down on confusion and conflict.