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
Back in High School I wrote
an ambitious progressive rock anthem called Last Illuminations. Each
movement addressed different facets of the same issue: what are you
chasing? Why? What would be different if you had it? And what would be
next? One movement, Futility’s Chase, really emblemized the theme.
How seriously I took myself back then! And how ironic that my life’s
work has me asking clients the same questions today. Finding the real
motivations hiding underneath our perceived motivations is at once a
joyful “aha!” and disturbing “oh, man!” It’s a phenomenal cross-road
where we can make a significant, life-altering shift. Just by raising
our consciousness around the deepest of our motivations, we can see how
irrelevant they are to our lives right now, in-the-moment.
So much of what drives our behavior is echoes and ghosts of our past
that really aren’t applicable anymore. We develop survival strategies
when we're quite young, and forget to question them when we grow up. We
look back on our younger selves saying, “what was I thinking?!” about
almost everything except these old strategies.
The survival strategies of our childhood become virtual parasites to our
adult dreams and goals. These aren’t just any parasites, but brilliant
and successful ones. A really successful parasite not only doesn’t kill
its host, but convinces its host that it’s there for the host’s own
good, and needs to be defended. These are the guys we need to root out
of our hearts and minds.
By and large asking questions isn’t very popular. People prefer answers,
and those who provide them are celebrated (regardless of the accuracy or
productiveness of those answers.)
Questioning things is often seen as some kind of dissention. This gets
defended against, and a questioning person becomes a problem person. Not
surprising that if we get whacked on the nose with a newspaper enough
times, we stop asking questions.
Unfortunately, this is the antithesis of growth and evolution, and just
plain sad. This negative reaction to asking questions in effect trains
us to make assumptions and projections, in place of those questions.
When we don’t clarify what’s really going on, we start accepting the
insulated version of our perception as reality. This means we miss a lot
of what is actually real.
Inside Outside My Side Your Side
apply an Integral approach, you’re always asking questions, because
you’re trying to establish how things interrelate from multiple
perspectives. Seeing that reality is an incredibly complex,
multi-faceted holographic composition puts you in a delightfully
exciting place of constant discovery and amazement.
Having a placeholder answer filling up the space pales by comparison.
Being “right” or making yourself be right in your own mind doesn’t win
you anything except maybe a brief pause before needing to defend your
assertion in the face of new information.
Let’s put it another way. How many times have you felt like someone
wasn’t listening to what you were saying, because their mind was already
made up and they weren’t going to let you change it with new
information?! What if you're doing that to yourself inside? Would you be
willing to listen to another voice inside of you, with another possible
reality to offer?
Illusions of Internal Needs
The Nine Mirages:
Pondering the concept of chasing after what we think we need, I had an
image of the water mirages we see sometimes on the highway. As we
approach, the water seems to disappear and reappear further down the
road. It looks real, but it isn’t reality. Why and what we chase in life
is very much like that mirage.
Some try to fix what’s already perfect.
Some chase connection that was never lost.
Some chase symbols of worth, when worth is inherent.
Some mourn what’s missing, when it’s really inside.
Some seek knowledge to become what they already are.
Some seek the safety that their faith would give them.
Some chase a plan that’s already in place.
Some press their will to be where they are.
Some seek the peace and love that resides within.
What they all have in common is chasing external illusions of what’s
within; ironically ignoring the very things we seek.
way to get off the “hamster wheel” is to recognize what we’re doing
(what are we really chasing) and re-examine our strategy. If we’re
putting so much energy into something that isn’t real, (Futility’s
Chase) maybe we don’t need to be so attached to it? How liberating would
it be to dump that strategy, and develop one that brings a deeper, more
sustainable sense of joy, well-being, and connection.
This is the magic of going from unconscious compulsion to conscious
choice. When we really know what’s driving us at our very core,
we can consciously slide over to the driver’s seat, and
go where we choose, with direction, purpose, connection, and reality on
Quick Communication Tip
The Mirror Rapport
Part of what drives
our communication style is our lens of perception; or how we take in and
understand the world around us. The odds of other people sharing your
lens of perception are small, so it follows that the odds of them using
your communication style are also small. Nevertheless, most of us talk
the way we talk and expect others to just understand us.
This is a little bit like expecting our house key to work on other
people’s doors. Luckily we have two ears and one mouth, and if we use
them proportionately, we can learn a great deal about other people’s
lenses of perception. By listening to their words, how they organize
their thoughts, and even their tempo, we can mirror this back to them,
and increase our ability to build rapport.
Did you know that if you talk fast to someone who speaks slowly, they’ll
most likely think you’re lying? Did you know that
people who talk fast are usually more visual and prefer headlines to
details? Mirror and match the communication styles of those you are
working with, and you’ll see a vast improvement in your ability to
connect with them.
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
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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