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January /
February

2010

 
Communication Actions
for Optimized Results

Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.

 

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Feature Article  No time? Listen to the

  podcast version (10:08 min.) in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.

Quick Communication Tip

Resource Links

 

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Happy New Year!

The decorations are coming down and those New Year's Resolutions are being tested for durability.

 

If the "application" isn't running the way you'd hoped,
upgrade your Personal Operating System.

 

The resources are there; you just need to Optimize them.

Let's make this your best year yet!

 

 

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Communication Actions
for Optimized Results

(click for podcast version)

 

Action Steps for Success

There are steps you can take right now, that will help you achieve success with less stress and more joy.  They don’t require any expense, and they're within your grasp.  These four communication shifts have turned faltering companies into wildly successful ones.  Applying Conscious Communication shifts the entire culture of an organization, and brings it into the 21st Century.

1. Start with what if questions, not decrees.

As a leader of any kind, regardless of your intentions, there will be a natural sense of resistance to virtually anything you have to say.  That’s just the way it is.  Most people are completely unaware of how much unconscious "power struggle" they're involved in.  It's probably leftovers from a parent/child dynamic that comes up when they feel they have less power.  Decrees feel like being told to "take out the trash," or "clean your room."

On the other hand, when people are asked questions that create the image of your desired outcome in their minds, they start seeing where you want to go.  When this desired outcome clearly has their benefit built in, acceptance is even easier.


2. Take the top off Top-Down Management when it comes to communicating what's going on.

You need to enroll your people in any plan, initiative, or process you want to implement, plus you need their input and help to make it happen.  In keeping with the first communication shift, your what if questions might be:  "What if you had a say in how we did things around here," and "what if you shared in the profitability that you help create?"

Although some may accept your intentions, you might also face some skepticism.  Not to worry; this leads you to the next level of agreement.  Now you can ask another question: "What would you need to see, to believe that this is real?"  This will give you great, useful information.  The answers will clarify where the perception of a credibility gap is, so you can address and correct it.  Once you honor this agreement, there is an opening for their leap of faith in you.



3. Share the big picture, and invite people to share in the opportunities.
In building the trust necessary to enroll your staff in any plans or initiatives, you need to share information with them that may previously have been thought of as being for "management eyes only."  When they understand for example, that payroll will be a fixed percentage of revenue; rising and falling together, the organization’s income becomes personally relevant.  They become stakeholders in your organization.  When they're personally involved, and that contribution is rewarded, you'll get more of that positive behavior, and new ideas for increasing revenues.


4. People are not interchangeable; everyone has a unique key to their motivation and language.

We often try to treat everyone “the same” either for ideological fairness, or because it’s easier.  The fact is, exactly what gets through to and excites one person will bore or not be heard by another.  By getting to know each person, you may discover mismatches in talent or temperament with tasks and responsibilities.  You'll be able to help people do work that is more suited to them, with less resistance, errors, or stress.

Putting all four of these shifts into play creates an environment where the “us or them” dynamic dissolves, and you become a team.
 

  • The “what if” questions become a seed for letting people dream about possibilities, rather than putting up defenses or objections.

  • By listening to their ideas about how they do their work, and how they might do it better, and then implementing those ideas and standing behind the people who contributed, you build trust.  This gives you the ability to implement the process improvements leading to profits.

  • By showing how people fit into the big picture, they’ll see how they can impact their own income.  They’ll become a workforce of enthusiastic "consultants" looking for innovative ways to cut costs, and increase sales.

  • By listening to them as individuals, with different motivations and interests, you'll be able to help them succeed in helping you succeed.

How well does this work?  For one example, a while back, I implemented these four communication shifts in a client company, resulting in the annual sales of $363,000 rising to $1,212,000 over 2 years, while customer satisfaction ratings rose from 61% to 98%, and turnover completely ceased.  Conscious Communication is more than theory; it raises the level of play for everyone involved.


 

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Quick Communication Tip

 

Ask for Ideas

The American Ideal of the Rugged Individual and the Feisty Entrepreneur doing everything on their own may be romantic, but it's also a ridiculous amount of unnecessary work, and not particularly effective.  Brainstorming and "Masterminding" are invaluable tools in improving your systems and ways of doing things.  These processes require multiple perspectives with varying experiences contributing in an environment that supports that contribution.

When people are doing their jobs, they are more aware of what gets in their way than anyone else.  When they are encouraged to come up with ideas for how to improve their jobs, their own sense of enlightened self-interest kicks in, and they are only too happy to bring their imaginations and "best selves" to work.  When you support these ideas, test them, let them run their course, you build a team of contributing idea people, who all want to improve the business.

 

Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?  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.

 

 

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Resource Links:

 

Conscious Communication - the podcast series

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"

Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the Integram (TM)

 

Personal Life Media - "Coaching the Life Coach:"

Communication Excellence (Podcast Snippets)

Communication Excellence (full interview)

Interview Podcast for Evolutionary Radio w/ J. McClain

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition now available

Got Blog? come visit the Blog.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?
 

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Welcome to the Conscious Communication Chronicle, sharing how Conscious Communication results in success, and how you can achieve yours.   Enjoy!

 

 



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results
415.826.0478

 

 

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Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.

 

Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use 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.

 

 

 

 

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