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
Happy New Year!
Funhouse Mirror Reality
Remember that saying:
“perception is reality?” This seemingly innocent phrase is probably the
most common cause of conflict and misunderstanding on the planet.
Perception is perception; not reality. We have subjective experiences.
We take in and organize stimuli in direct accordance with our
ego-structure’s happy belief that “it knows” how to do this to best
Coming to terms with how vast the chasm is between perception and
objective reality is a great step forward in our ability to communicate
and connect with one another more effectively and authentically.
Recognizing how and where our perception is a function of our current
operating system “set-up,” we can take in more information (like other
people’s perceptions, perhaps from another angle) and actually grow or
evolve, as our own scope is widened. That wider scope includes more
information, rather than forcing an either/or conflict.
There are a lot of reasons people hold on to this conception about
perception. The clinging is often rooted in identity, a moral/ethos
meme, or fear. More and more, holding on to the child-like “it’s all
about me” is reinforced constantly by consumer marketing. The more
you’re focused on you, the more I can sell you things to make you better
or fix what’s wrong with you.
Holding on is rather like a bad habit, with similar limitations, and
similar freedoms when we kick it. It’s like living in one place all of
your life. You know where everything is - even in the dark, it’s
comfortable, you can almost convince yourself that this is all there is.
To step outside becomes both exhilarating and frightening. You know that
you're going to become more just stepping outside, but what if something
bad happens? How can you stand your ground, if that ground can move? Do
you need to stand your ground? Isn’t it safer when you have answers?
Regardless of accuracy, any answers are safer, aren’t they? Not knowing
might make you look foolish, and wouldn’t that be mortifying?!
Okay, take a breath and relax for a second. All of that anxiety and
concern is just another sad bi-product of this early developmental
stage. Your freedom and your ability to really connect are waiting for
you just outside of that illusionary box of “safety” and “knowledge.”
Step outside, relax, let go, and rejoice. You are faced with open space
and the Empty Cup.
Ripples in the Pond of Narcissus
This belief that our perception is Truth, rather than our perception,
forces an either/or confrontation when another person’s perception is
met. Starting with the awareness that we're actually incapable of
perceiving objective reality takes a lot of starch out of the argument
before it starts. Once I start being conscious of my own Perception Lens
filtering things in and out, I can see you as well. You have your own
lens of perception filtering different things in and out, and between
the two of us (or more) we can get more information, and a wider scope
of what’s happening. It still won’t be “objective reality,” but the more
pixels, the higher the resolution.
As I’ve often stated, communication’s greatest foes are assumptions and
projections. The vast majority of these assumptions and projections stem
from this one developmental aspect. Our inability to move from the “me”
to the “we” blocks our path. As soon as we start putting motivations on
others based upon “what ours would have been,” we’re on a sad course
that prevents connection. When I don’t leave that empty space for your
experience, and I fill it in with my assumptions and projections, I’ve
disabled our interaction.
To be able to hear you, I need to silence Me. To be able to empathize
with your experience, I need to stop being so immersed in my own
experience (for that interaction). If I'm focused on my own fear that
what I love will be taken away, how can I hear that your concern is
about an appearance of vulnerability? I would just project my own stuff
on you, and assume that you’re just like me.
"Oh Grow Up!"
Joan Rivers’ old comedy
catch-phrase is remarkably accurate for how we can greatly improve our
communication with one another, and let’s face it, improve our situation
on Earth. We don’t even have to think of it as giving up anything. When
we move/grow beyond this developmental stage, we become all that we were
plus more! Our growth always includes the earlier stage, so there’s
nothing to miss. No worries about losing anything; it’s all gain.
Seeing everything as a reflection of ourselves is a trap and a prison
that keeps us separate. We miss out on experiencing each other - really
experiencing each other. We derail our communication and miss out on
connecting with each other.
As products and services become increasingly similar and harder to
differentiate, our relationships will be all we have to leverage as
Unique Selling Propositions. Communicating and connecting are the fuel
of the future of business.
Quick Communication Tip
What if I Missed Something?
When we get caught up
in our perception being The Truth, we get side-tracked. We get pulled
into an “I’m right,” “no, I’m right,” argument that has little to do
with what we were originally sharing. Defending our position of
“rightness” becomes the most important point, and that position is
usually not particularly useful.
There’s an old expression that you can either be right or married. You
can extend that to virtually any relationship, including one with a
client. This is where the “customer is always right” comes from. Arguing
will just lose you the sale.
There’s no real prize for convincing someone that your perception is
right and theirs is wrong. When we’re facing each other at the beach,
one of us may see the ocean where the other sees only sand. Neither of
us is “right,” and if we dispense with that argument, we can share the
information we both have. This gives us a more accurate picture, and we
don’t get stuck in arguments.
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
Personal Life Media -
"Coaching the Life Coach:"
Communication Excellence (full interview)
for Evolutionary Radio w/ J. McClain
2nd Edition now available
visit the Blog.
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