Thanksgiving and Effective Communication

Enjoy your meal a little  more with these words of wisodm from Adam Breeding, esq. Originally published in the Novemeber 2014 issue of Lake Norman Woman Magazine.

We all know the story of Thanksgiving – though not an official holiday until 1863, we can trace Thanksgiving’s roots back to 1621 when a rather devastated group of new world settlers shared their harvest feast with a particularly useful Patuxet Indian, Squanto, and his tribe.

The Pilgrim colonists were indebted to Squanto and his pals, for the Native Americans had graciously taught this group of ‘newbies’ how to survive the brutal elements of 17th Century Massachusetts. But, there’s more to the story than just sharing a feast… haven’t you ever wondered how two groups seemingly at odds with one another wound up at the dinner table together? The answer is effective COMMUNICATION – the fundamental key to overcoming differences, and forming productive relationships. I don’t think the Pilgrims and Indians were best buddies. After all, they came from very distinct cultural, social, and religious backgrounds. They were, however, able to provide utility to one another, and both groups understood that forming a lasting relationship no matter their differences was important to their own survival, livelihood, and prosperity. Today, I literally preach this same concept to my clients who are embroiled in some type of dispute, or find themselves on the brink of conflict. The absolute best way to resolve a dispute or avoid potential conflict is through effective communication. In my law practice this means: treating the opposing party with respect; clearly stating my client’s position with reason and inviting a thoughtful response from the opposition; responding (and not reacting) to the opposition’s position; and ultimately finding creative and thoughtful ways to find common ground, if not a mutually useful relationship. The same process works for one’s personal / professional life too. Just like the Pilgrims and Indians back in 1621, we all rely on friends, family, and other community members for our own survival, livelihood, and prosperity. My lovely wife probably gets tired of me saying – Whoa… “RESPOND, don’t react,” but she would also admit that it works. A deep breath and taking an extra minute to support your position with reason and thoughtfulness rather than force or aggression goes a long way. This holiday season, we would all do well to remember how the Thanksgiving Story’s underlying theme of effective communication plays into our daily lives. Seek to transform differences with others into usefulness to you. Strive for improved relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and even adversaries. You may not end up at the dinner table on Thanksgiving with all of these folks, but you will surely enjoy your own dinner more, while giving thanks for your peace of mind and prosperity.
Adam Gray Breeding is the founding attorney of Lake Norman Law Firm. He dedicates his law practice to family law, business and real estate matters, and estate planning / asset protection. To learn more about Adam or Lake Norman Law Firm, visit www.lknlawfirm.com, call 704-765-1617, or email the Smart Honest Legal Advisors at legalstaff@lknlawfirm.com.

proper communication