Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from
"auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all,
Quick Communication Tip
the Big Picture
Gratification has become an epidemic addiction that’s eating us alive as
individuals and as a society. You may remember the phrase: “Patience is
a Virtue?” Why do we ignore this? Will we give ourselves a couple
minutes to even read this post through?
We have excuses and justifications like “I’m a Big Picture thinker,” as
if they were related. The only relationship between being a Big Picture
thinker and a lack of patience is the one we create. They’re not
mutually exclusive; in fact they work together to create a superior
outcome. We just need to put in the effort to learn patience.
The instant gratification plague adds to an almost “crazed,” frantic
rush in our lives with little connection to reality. It’s as if we look
at biological time and digital time as the same thing. In the natural
world we’re still a part of, things take time. It takes years to grow
up. It takes months to develop a relationship. It takes weeks to develop
a habit. We’re biological creatures, and live in biological time.
There’s no digital app for skipping over a learning process. There’s
nothing I can click on to understand you. We have to communicate.
Impatience shows up in many ways, but let’s use a really blatant
example: driving. How many bicyclists get hit by people in too much of a
hurry to stop and look before turning? Why do people roll red lights
when there are pedestrians crossing? All we can do is blurt the vague “I
have no time!” that’s being fed into our brains from every direction. It
just isn’t true.
Thinking Beats Reacting
Thinking is different than reacting to a cultural cattle prod. Critical
thinking tells you that a few seconds here or there on the road is
meaningless, (unless you’re an Emergency Vehicle.) There are no trophies
or cash prizes for beating somebody through a light. There’s really no
upside, save the invented illusion that we’re somehow winning
The one second made racing to the stop sign is ridiculous. You can’t
make up the fifteen minutes from leaving the house late (do the math:
you need 900 one second races to make 15 minutes, each of which
could result in an accident.) The downside is astounding, but
time-scarcity shuts off our imagination. It has to be shut off to not
think of a puppy or a child potentially running out into the road.
Driving makes a dramatic point, but the downsides of impatience riddle
the rest of our lives as well. Impatience damages our communication, our
relationships, and the quality of our lives. It has no upside. Nothing
is improved by impatience.
Rushing is not fast. There are more clichés and proverbs around rushing
than just about any other issue we face. “A stitch in time saves nine,”
“Penny-wise and pound-foolish,” “measure twice and cut once,” and my
favorite from the Navy SEALS: “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”
Happy Solutions, Boundless Benefits
Patience offers us countless positive outcomes. Safety (physical,
emotional, communicative) for all is enhanced on a quantum level.
There’s also the very real biochemical difference in the way we feel
when we’re pleasant, patient, and kind, versus the way we feel when
we’re brusque, impatient, and surly.
Our impatience drives us to push conversations faster, to rush the
person speaking, to interrupt, and to assume what they were going to
say, so why wait for them to finish? Not only are we missing details,
but we’re doing damage, running over their feelings. By being more
patient with one another, and more conscious with our communication, we
can get more done well in less time, and that’s what we wanted in
the first place.
In the midst of our busy lives, we’re bombarded with messages that often
connect success to being mean, rushing, and grabbing for ourselves. You
may have noticed it’s not making us feel better or improving the
world around us. Being more patient, compassionate, and looking at the
Big Picture will absolutely make us feel better, and will
improve the world around us. It’s an easy choice, when you slow down and
think about it.
If you want to reach higher altitudes; catapulting your communication
and relationship skills, give me a call or
email me. We can design a tailored program to fit your needs and
desired outcomes. There's no limit to how high you can fly.
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Quick Communication Tip:
Let Them Go First
of the chapters in “Kind Ambition” dealing with how we treat one
another, has an exercise related back to the road:
"Let someone go first at a four-way stop sign, let them get in or out of
a parking spot on a busy street, and give them acknowledgement as well:
a smile, a nod, or both. Notice how good you feel at the end of the
day. Notice that your productivity did not suffer one iota." I’d bet it
Ian J. Blei
- the podcast series
KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
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