Conscious Communication: bringing communication
up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above
in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.
Quick Communication Tip
This may seem like an overly dramatic way to describe an everyday
experience, but in the strictest sense, it’s true. Generally speaking,
most of us are ruled by our habits, not conscious intentions, and that
puts us in positions not of our own choice. If everything we did was a
result of conscious, intentional choice, our lives would be quite
This isn’t to say that shifting our way of being in the world is as easy
as flipping a switch. Even when we do our best to remain conscious, we
find ourselves doing or saying things we didn’t mean to, and far more
insidious; we interpret what we’re seeing or hearing through unconscious
filters. Those interpretations complicate our lives immeasurably. This
is primarily because we don’t see that we’re interpreting, we think
we’re just taking in the world around us “objectively.” That level of
functional unconsciousness is what habits are all about.
We wouldn’t be able to function effectively without habits, so this
issue isn’t as simple as “good/bad.” We need to look at what’s working
for us or not in our lives. Then we need to look at where habits are
playing a role, and deal with them appropriately. If we look at what
we’ve read, studied, and learned about how to succeed in business, and
we’re not taking the actions we need to take, why is that? What are we
doing instead? Why are we doing that? This is why it’s so important to
review this dynamic. If we’re being held back, away from success, and
away from happiness, isn’t that a kind of tyranny; a form of oppression
by our own habits? And aren’t we the kind of people who rebel against
tyranny and oppression?
If we’re going to
rebel against our habits, and embrace our right to choose intentional
actions, where do we start? Habits are so strong that merely going up
against them is almost sure to fail. Those failures become part of our
internal narrative, habits gain momentum, and the battle gets even more
difficult. We need to recognize that going head-to-head against habits
doesn’t work. That’s not to say we can’t win; merely that going against
habits head-to-head isn’t our smartest choice. Fighting against our own
momentum makes things much more difficult than they need to be.
Offer Yourself an Alternative
I recently did a talk about shifting our habits and used a
visualization that I think would be helpful here. Imagine a football
player running downfield. If you wanted to stop him, you’d need to
exert an opposing force, and that would be a painful lesson in
momentum. It’s much easier to push him sideways, out of bounds. Now
imagine that you’re that football player, and your habit is to
run the wrong direction, or at least in a direction that doesn’t advance
your goals. Stopping you is going to be difficult, whereas shifting
your direction is going to have a much better chance for success.
If a child wants a snack, and is going for a nutritionally empty, sugary
thing, telling her she can’t have it will usually make her want it
more. Offering her something delicious and good for her instead has a
higher chance of working.
Shifting directions is a matter of creating new neural paths in your
brain to replace the existing paths. Instead of “don’t think of a pink
elephant,” which immediately conjures that image, we need a replacement:
“think of a blue hippo.” Rather than breaking a bad habit head on, we
can learn a good habit to replace it.
I mentioned earlier that some of our most insidious habits are how we
interpret incoming information. Those interpretations can get in the
way of learning new things, and it becomes twice as difficult to install
a new habit. This is why we first need to learn how to re-wire our
habits associated with our interpretations and our perceptions. When we
attempt new processes or new ways of doing things without first changing
how we think about them, we encounter tons of resistance, which usually
wins out, and we find ourselves back to our old habits in no time.
Re-wiring our brains, so that we’re more receptive to the new processes
gets us far better results.
The process for re-wiring is not difficult, but it does require
tenacity. If you’ve ever memorized the words to a song, you have the
skills needed. The place where a coach makes all the difference is in
helping you identify the habits that aren’t serving you, helping develop
what replacement habits need to be installed, coaching you through the
installation process, and keeping you on track until they are indeed
Special Offer - Independence
4th is the USA's celebration of getting out from under rule without
representation. As we fight for the right to live by our own choices, we forget that
Habits have become our new dictators. The battle is far from over.
To support you in your struggle for independence, I want to make you a
3 Dynamic Discovery Sessions to three lucky people (who haven't already
gotten them) just for including the secret word in the subject line of
your email: "Jefferson"
Discover your Operating System and how that gives you resources
and alerts you to challenges, so you can be every bit as incredible as
you were meant to be.
Each session is a $250.00 value, and will be worth much more to you in
life-changing ways. Good luck!
Quick Communication Tip
I call the
process I use for re-wiring habits RARE, because it stands for
Recognize, Arrest, Replace, and Evolve. This is a tried and true
process that anyone can use to effectively replace ill-serving habits,
behaviors, or interpretations with new ones that will serve you better.
first step is conscious awareness. We need to be able to Recognize
when we're about to engage in the old habit. This is usually
accomplished through somatic awareness, which is another highly useful
skill to learn. The next step is to Arrest that habit or behavior
before we engage in it. This is often called a "pattern
interrupt." The next step becomes that much more important,
because at this stage, we're basically standing poised on one foot. Nature abhors a void, so we need to Replace that old habit with a new
one. Establishing that Replacement habit is one of the more
creative aspects of good coaching.
The last letter is for Evolve, because over time (usually between 21 and
28 days) we will have successfully re-wired our brain from the old habit
to the new habit, and from a way of being or communicating that didn't
serve us, to one that does serve us.
Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or
catapult you forward? Come visit the
or better yet,
contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
- the podcast series
KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
visit the Blog.
Ever want to create
characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were
Subscribe to the Conscious Communication Chronicle
Welcome to the Conscious Communication Chronicle, sharing how Conscious
Communication results in success, and how you can
Institute for Integral Enneagram
Without Losing Your Soul
about you having
the tools to slide over to the
driver’s seat of your
Circumstances will always be
changing, seemingly thwarting
our plans, but we don’t have to be
thrown around by them. You can
charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.
is written for you,
as a practical guide you can
right now. It is a collection of
insights and actions designed to help
you move forward and get more out
of your life at home and at work.
The chapters hold to a formula of
first giving you a new way to look at
things, then offering you tangible
Action Steps to try them out, and
finally some things to notice when you do.
Kind words for
"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large
organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will
find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that
will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can
be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is
enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."
-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media
“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to
growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics
solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian
lives his work!”
-Romanus Wolter -
Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment
We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The
good news is: they can be overcome. The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."
-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's
Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters
Syndicated Columnist: Fast
scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to
making the most of your life. Ian Blei provides the know-how, the
inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in this
-Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past
President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film,
“Dance Me Outside”
Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward
ways. His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."
-Roy King, III