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
to Speed Up
There are things we learned in childhood from fables,
parables, and mythology that we either forget or dismiss by the time
we’re adults. Some of them contain lessons we really would benefit from
remembering. For example, our topic: sometimes to speed up we need to slow
down. Perhaps because this seems to be a contradiction, we dismiss it
It becomes another one of those things we know, but we just don’t
follow. What’s up with that? Why don’t we do these things we know deep
down inside will serve us? Maybe it’s because when we hear something
that has seeming contradiction right up front, our dualistic filters run
a quick spot check. If it’s X, it can’t be Y, and vice versa. Of course
without that dualistic filter, it could be both X and Y. That makes
what looks like a paradox a lot easier to swallow.
And since it appears that the nature of the Universe is filled with
paradox, it may be time to look at whether our dualistic filters are
helping or hurting the situation. Dualism certainly makes things
simpler, and we do like simpler. Of course accuracy might be even
better, so we may have to step into the land of nuance. Time and time
again we turn our backs on nuance and opt for fast and simple. Why?
We’re in a hurry. You see how these issues tend to circle back and
create tangles? Let’s look at “rushing” as a great place to start
untying the knot.
Parables Have a Purpose
It’s been said that when information is combined with experience, it
becomes wisdom. We can learn from our own experiences or not. We can
also learn from other people’s experiences or not. Learning from theirs
can be a great time saver. To borrow another old saying, why re-invent
This isn’t to say that what works for me will necessarily work for you.
However, when something shows up over and over for hundreds of years, it
becomes harder to ignore the lesson. This is one of the great things
about those fables, parables, and mythology. A lesson could be just as
useful and relevant in Aesop’s time as ours, and the learned wisdom can be
handed down to us. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel and learn the
lesson through our own experience.
Let’s look at a couple perspectives on our theme of slowing down to
speed up. The story of the Tortoise and the Hare is still pretty
familiar to most. There are several sub-lessons woven throughout the
story, such as “not getting so confident that you don’t still go for
it,” but the primary moral to the story is “slow and steady wins the
race.” Unfortunately we figure, “yeah, but if the hare didn’t take a
nap, he’d have won,” and dismiss the lesson.
Then rushing to get out of the house, we forget important papers, keys,
or spill coffee on ourselves while multi-tasking. This inevitably eats
up more time than if we’d slowed down just enough to be more conscious
and intentional. Especially if you have to go back in the house to
change your outfit, or you’ve locked yourself out, or both.
Another favorite expression of mine is: “measure twice and cut once.” It
takes just a little more time to slow down and double-check before you
take an action that will require far more time and resources to re-do.
Ben Franklin advised that “a stitch in time saves nine.” How often have
you thought you didn’t have time to fix something right now, and paid
triple in both time and money later?
will also decrease your experience of doing things, but as decreasing
the quality of your experience is subjective, measurement is tricky, so
I’m going to stick with the more tangible metrics of your
effectiveness. Rather than just looking at the negatives of rushing,
let’s look at the positive affect you can have on your life by slowing
down just enough to find your natural “perfect pace,” and the beat of
your own drummer.
In virtually every sport, one of the top techniques for success is
something called “slowing time.” Anyone who has ever swung a golf club,
baseball bat, or tennis racket knows that the more you try to kill the
ball, the worse the shot. Taking the time to prepare, visualize, and
smoothly swing through the ball gets much better results.
In auto racing, they regularly, explicitly say that you need to “slow
down to go faster.” By pushing too fast in a corner, the car will “wash
up” the racetrack, (due to centrifugal force) leaving an opening for
your competition to pass you lower on the track. In addition, you wear
out your tires sooner, (a great metaphor for resources) and will likely
have to stop entirely, needing a change of tires, or worse, due to a
blowout. In the pits (where race cars are serviced during races) crews
are trained to slow time in their minds, so that they can change four
tires, do chassis adjustments, and maybe some body work in under 15
seconds, with no errors. Missing a single lug nut could cost a race or
cause a life-threatening crash.
We have plenty of personal experience to back up the old wisdom, and
still we’re all guilty of blowing that knowledge off when we’re in a
hurry. Unfortunately we also pay for it over and over again. Maybe if
we can stay a little more conscious and in the moment, we might remember
what we already know. We can take a few seconds to save hours. We can
listen to another person more fully, and with more attention, because
we’re not rushing off in our heads. We can avoid misunderstandings that
waste time. We can give others the gift of our full attention,
enriching our relationships, and creating depth and sustainability. We
can do things once, without errors, giving us back more time to do more
(if we want to). We can also fully experience our own lives, rather
than a blur from the window of our speeding bullet train.
Quick Communication Tip
One of the things we skip when we are racing through our lives, is
taking the time to define terms because we think it will slow down our
conversations. After all, isn’t the point of a common language to save
Well yes and no. Thankfully we are not standing at the base of the
Tower of Babel, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of variety in
our interpretations of words and statements. Responsibility, integrity,
friendship, even words like “late” or “early” have drastically different
meanings to different people. Define terms in the beginning, and save
the hassle of straightening things out later.
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.
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