Peter Kane – Relationship Theorist and author "The Monogamy Challenge"

Authentic Communication, Leadership and Facebook?

I have friends who criticize Facebook for being inane and others who criticize those who use it primarily for self-promotion. I don’t spend much time with the playful conversations on Facebook, but I recently responded to a friends post that said: “I feel like buying something, what should I buy?”

Most of the responses were what you might expect – ‘buy this or that,’ to which I added: “You could sponsor a child via ChildFund, then go lingerie shopping, and then come home and see what happens.” I don’t often mention ChildFund or the children I have sponsored, but that was my authentic response. I think I added the lingerie to my comment as a way of being authentic and congruent with the lighter environment of my friends post and the prior comments.

About a week later I got a message from my friend thanking me for my suggestion and he shared that he had sponsored a child along with the child’s name, age and country!

I love this story. It fits into so many things I consider valuable: service, authentic communication, and intimacy to name a few.

It echo’s something I learned from an improvisational acting class that I have long applied to intimacy – that a key to intimacy is to embrace the others words or actions and respond in a way that regards and honors their contribution, and then to also add to their “offering” in a way that moves the relationship in a direction that we value or desire. This means listen, use similar language, and build a connection one step at a time. Our contributions are best heard when they are energetically linked to the others contributions. Whether we apply this to business or dating, it means that it works best to move one step at a time. It also means to take risks that stretch discourse in the direction we feel would be beneficial. All authentic communication does this and is therefore deep and sacred because it moves us toward greater depth and sacredness.

My favorite part of the story is the Facebook component and how by being authentic about something I felt, I helped create something meaningful. This fits into something I am quite passionate about: There is no hierarchy of miracles. It is our ego that wants to make special contributions that might dramatically prove our worth. Real depth is known and expressed in the moment. It often has few or no witnesses. Every piece of our lives and our interactions provide us with opportunities to contribute and all of our contributions are in a sense miraculous. World peace and the end of hunger are created one relationship at a time by our doing our best. Being present and authentic with our words, deeds, and actions is part of this. So, even a silly Facebook conversation can hold some real intimacy, especially when we engage truthfully.


This is actually what leadership is. Leadership is reaching forward while listening, speaking up while following, and engaging and making contact. Leadership is moving forward and backward together.

Here’s to each of us learning to trust our identity and to express it, and to having fun. And, have you seen my photos?

Love, Peter

P.S.: It is a coincidence that I am posting this on Fathers Day. Happy Fathers Day to all the men and women who have expressed their fathering in the world.

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