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January

2019
 

     Motivation Informs,
          Behavior Confuses

The Integram: an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness;  a model of consciousness, including all aspects, for designing practical paths of personal development and evolution.

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This may be the final edition of this current version of "The Integram™" going out on Constant Contact, depending upon my progress with the new Optimized Results website. Restructuring a 300 page HTML site into a phone-friendly responsive code site has been far more of a challenge than I anticipated. The new site may interface better with another mailing service, and I do hope to have all the bolts tightened for February. Splitting time between multiple projects, clients, speaking, and writing, requires some compromises, so I'm skipping the podcast version this month for time's sake. Now you have my motivation; here now, the behavior:
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What Doesn't Tell You Why
An ongoing issue obstructing our ability to connect with one another comes from trying to ascertain “why” by observing “what” people do.

Granted, observing behavior can be done with minimal interaction or commitment. You don’t need to actually be involved to observe. There's a sense of safety and self-protection served by not getting into the mix with someone. Not only do you get to avoid uncertainties and potential emotional aspects, but you don’t have to expose your own self either. Of course when you think about it, this means that the image you wish to portray is interacting with the image that they want to portray, and neither of you is really present. It’s a blind “Punch and Judy” puppet show, which isn’t the most effective way to communicate.



When it works, it’s pretty much by accident (even a broken clock is correct twice a day – once if it’s digital.) Remarkably, we continue to do this, as the potential discomfort of being exposed or having to deal with another person’s issues seems worse than looking at the abysmal results we’re actually getting.

Aside from the lack of important, pertinent information, there's also an inherent conflict being written into the interaction. This is what puts us in that position of trying to “sell” our side, while the other person tries to “sell” theirs to us. I’m not talking about the healthy debate of differing ideas; indeed one of the more healthy aspects of communication we have. I am talking about a battle of perspectives masquerading as empirical truths.


Observable Behavior Steers Us Wrong
Perspectives are directly linked to our motivations and focus of attention. Our motivations and focus of attention are what steer our behavior, not the other way around. We could do the same things for different reasons as easily as we could do different things given the same motivation. Obviously motivation, perspective, and focus of attention are what define who you are. If all I use is observing what you do, I can't possibly understand you, because I don’t know “why?” If I can't understand you, how can I expect to be able to interact or work with you effectively?


Strategic Implications
There are very real and logical reasons to downgrade observable behavior’s importance in formulating our understanding of others, and thus being better equipped to work or interact with them.

What people do primarily tells you about their survival strategies; by definition their most defended positions. And again, these are often learned strategies that have nothing to do with who the person really is. Trying to work with that defended behavior writes conflict into the interaction. We're in effect, storming the walls, trying to break through defenses, rather than effectively communicating.

It's unfortunately our most common approach. I can’t tell you how many clients over the years have come to me looking for better ways to storm the walls, more effective weapons, better armor for themselves, etc.




“How can I get them to do what I want?” is almost a catch-phrase in management these days. The short answer of course is that you can’t. At least you can’t do it in any kind of sustainable way. Being whipped, cajoled, or manipulated into action usually results in great energy being expended toward escaping to freedom, and little else.

You can, however, work with people to a common goal. By understanding their motivation, you can join with them on their side of the wall without conflict. You can present the goal to them in a way that appeals to their motivations, rather than your own. Of course truly understanding your own is necessary, to enable you to recognize it and remove its associated projections and assumptions.



Choosing Understanding Over Frustration
Trying to predict behavior based on observing prior behavior is at best a game of odds. If you are the big winner, you can guess correctly – this time. You’re still not in a position of understanding what makes that person tick, which leaves you in a position of judgment, frustration, and confusion.

You can't understand motivation through observed behavior.  You can however understand behavior when you know the motivation. It's a one-way street. Understanding the behavior beats observing it without understanding any day. That understanding gives you something real with which to work. That understanding puts you on the same team with the other person, rather than at odds with them. Which do you think will be more effective?

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?  Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei



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Special Offers!

“Ian is a catalyst for ‘aha! moments.’ I saw how to adjust my communications to get outcomes that everyone is happy about.” --Keith Myer: Global Digital Media Executive, IBM


 "…I greatly appreciate your help and guidance through a tough time...The skills you taught me have played a large role in my snowballing success." --Doug Workmaster, Workmaster Photographic Studio



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Resource Links:


Conscious Communication - the podcast series

Melissa Risdon's Raving Fan Radio Show:
Ian Blei on the
Integram (TM) -understanding ourselves, each other, and our relationships

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition


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The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results
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