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
Just Don't Do It!
Ah the oversimplified,
television pop therapist approach to change: just stop doing what you're
doing. This can sound a bit silly, but there's a fundamental aspect of
real change that starts here.
These chapters explore bringing consciousness to your communication; and
let’s not be limiting; consciousness to your life. The very first step
of making any kind of change begins with awareness and consciousness. We
have to recognize what we're doing, (or not doing) when we're not
getting our desired outcome. We can't change what we're oblivious to.
The first stumbling block is often recognizing our behavior as we step
over a line, and thinking how much we wish we hadn't done that. We say
we want to change, we say we can't change, we say it's just the way we
are, we say we wish we could change, and then we proceed as usual.
Ironically, as we pay more attention, we often beat ourselves up about
this, because we "should" do what we say we want to do, and shame is
ever so empowering - not! There's nothing quite like breaking promises
to yourself and then feeling badly about it to motivate yourself.
Obviously there's a missing piece here. It feels like a ball rolling
downhill out of control, and probably the hardest part of stopping that
ball mirrors the physics of stopping a real ball. Forgive my simplifying
Newton's first two laws of motion, but I don’t want to stray too far
from the point. First, a body at rest remains at rest, and a body in
motion continues to move until an external force acts upon it. Second,
the rate of change of momentum of a body is directly proportional to the
impressed force and in the direction in which the force acts.
In other words, it isn't going to stop happening by itself. Once we
recognize that we "explode" when we don't want to, or use our words like
blades, we have to exert another force, significant enough to alter if
not stop the course of our behavior.
The next step after the conscious recognition of the pattern, is to
interrupt the pattern. Every time we repeat a behavior, we reinforce the
neural pathways that map it in our brains. Even when we are chiding
ourselves about "doing it again!" we are building stronger and deeper
neural paths, making it harder and harder for our brains to take another
This can be as simple as the internal dialogue where you tell yourself
you can't change, (and make it true) all the way up to complex
rationalizations for why the status quo is unchangeable (external
circumstances, people, genetics, astrology, etc.)
We have to start with the simple physics of it, and apply enough force
to the rolling ball to either change its course or stop it in its
tracks. Talk to anyone who has successfully kicked a cigarette habit or
any major addiction; you have to interrupt your patterns. Any approach
where the patterns survive (tapering off, for example) simply don't
work. We have to stop "going off" on people cold turkey.
interrupt the old pattern, we can't leave a void. Staying with our
physics metaphor, Nature abhors a void. We need to replace the old
pattern with a new one, or we'll slide back to the old pattern just to
fill the space. If you can create a pattern where you can fully
appreciate that space, and be comfortable there, go for it. Otherwise,
look at what you want to be doing, rather than what you have been doing.
If you want to have more compassion for someone who has historically
pushed your buttons, you need to "clip the red wire" from the buttons,
and then consciously respond with the compassion you aspire toward.
In the beginning, we’re not particularly adept at this, which is both
normal and necessary. We were so good at the destructive pattern, that
we didn't even need to be conscious. Now, it's a whole new behavior; a
whole new game, and we have to consciously concentrate just to be okay
Over time, we develop new neural pathways, and become much more adept.
Eventually, we may become so adept at the new way of being, that we
become somewhat unconscious again – this time with healthier patterns.
If you want to continue evolving, don't get too complacent. Stay in the
conscious stage, and you'll be able to continue changing your behavior
and your world, because you'll be directly involved in it.
This is where we start the shifts in our interactions with ourselves and
everyone in our lives. Merely by putting a little consciousness in
place, we add a force that can slow down that unconscious ball rolling
downhill, or even stop it altogether. A pause in the action gives you
the time and space to direct your words and responses in an intentional
way. So with all due respect to athletic shoe slogans, the next time
you're about to blow your stack, or make up a story in your head to
explain someone else's behavior, just don't do it!
Quick Communication Tip
way to re-wire ourselves or change our behaviors in a more permanent way
is to follow a specific sequence of actions for about a month without
breaking the pattern. Neuroscientists disagree on the exact
amount of time, as we all have slightly different brain plasticity, but
it ranges from 14 days to 30 days. To remember this sequence, sometimes
acronyms can really help mnemonically, so here you are: Recognize,
Arrest, Replace, Evolve.
- Recognize the behavior or way of communicating that is not serving
- Arrest or stop it in its tracks.
- Replace that behavior or way of communicating with a new way that will
serve you in a more positive fashion.
- Evolve to the new version of you.
There isn't any magic here; you're simply creating a new neural pathway
that replaces the old one, becoming the new "normal.
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