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
Turning Cranial Chaos Into a Choir
Those conversations you have
with yourself when making a decision are actually between more voices
than you might imagine. We usually think there are only two voices (a
dialectic) offering two sides of a situation. If only it were that
simple, we’d be able to make decisions instantly, with no questions or
remorse (like a computer – digital; two voices: 0 and 1).
Do you remember the old Mickey Mouse cartoons with a tiny Goofy on each
of his shoulders; a devil and an angel? This represented the simplistic
Good vs. Evil influences in our decision-making. Once again, if only it
were a simple binary input, those discussions in our heads would be so
much shorter. What’s more, once we decided, we wouldn’t question or
You are far more complex, and there are more than two voices in the
discussion; creating depth and dimensionality. We actually have at least
five voices representing five perspectives, each with its own agenda and
worldview. And each of us is a composite of those perspectives.
Just trying to keep track of all those voices, perspectives, and the
chaos they bring up increases our stress levels, which impedes clear
thinking. When you identify those five voices and their agendas, it puts
you back in control of your decision-making process.
The Multiple Perspective Perspective
One of the reasons people have a difficult time or resist any kind of
typing or modeling, is a general misconception that it puts you in a box
or says you are one type of person. Not necessarily.
An easy way of looking at the system I use (the Integral Enneagram) is
to imagine nine people sitting around a circle at the beach. Depending
on your position, you might see mostly ocean, or you might see mostly
sand. Both perspectives are true. Both taken as mutually exclusive would
cause an argument. The Integral Enneagram is a system that allows us to
model these different perspectives, as multiple truths at the same time,
and understand where they’re coming from.
You know that your perspective shifts radically under stress or when
you’re confident, and once again this model illustrates these dynamics
as well. These shifted perspectives are often called your Integration or
Disintegration Points, and would be just like moving to a different part
of that circle on the beach. Now you see things differently.
Just the Five of You.
We’ve talked about your primary typology, or the main way you take in
and sort input, and your Integration and Disintegration Points. Now we
introduce your adjacent Wing Typologies. They’re sitting next to you on
the circle, and if we were playing cards, could probably see your hand.
They always share their perspective and put their two cents in
constantly. Life circumstances usually influence how much each of them
speaks up, and how “evolved” their worldviews will be.
One thing you can count on is that adjacent wings commonly have very
different character traits, and this accounts for some of the sense of
opposition we hear as that dialectic. They’re not exact opposites, and
this is where the depth and dimensionality come in, along with the
confusion. The complexity of an individual is in the combination of all
Someone who is competitive, driven, and hard working may recognize four
other voices conflicting or adding to the internal discussion: “I don’t
want to do this, How can I help? The colors have to be more balanced,
and I just want my team to win.”
Someone who brainstorms, plans, and thinks a million miles an hour in a
thousand directions may recognize their four other voices: “Safety
first, My way or the highway, Why can’t anyone do it right, I love
finding things out.”
You may recognize a few of those voices as your own. There are a lot of
overlaps. Knowing who is saying what, and what that part’s agenda is,
helps you to make decisions on a far richer level. Imagine knowing that
the voice saying not to go for that dream job is only your Stress
Point’s opinion, and that your true self is ready and yearning for it.
Knowing about this chorus also helps us to hear these voices in each
other thanks to those overlaps, and understand each other without the
judgment that separates us.
Taking this further, these voices pulling together in harmony, rather
than different directions, toward your chosen goals is immensely
powerful and helpful for you. Knowing who is contributing what to the
discussion in your head puts you in charge of your own resources, and
takes a bit of applied training to master.
Appreciating the nuances of these types and the amazing applications
that are yours for the taking was the basis for Optimized Results
creating different coaching and communication programs for each
typology. Each type or worldview needs their own approach to achieving
their own best results, and by listening carefully to people, you can
hear between the lines, and get an idea of what makes them tick. This
gives you a competitive edge on developing rapport and relationship,
which is of course what drives your business.
Whether you want to improve your effectiveness in business, in your home
life, in relationships, etc. the most important common element is you.
Knowing and being in command of your resources gives you the ability to
shift from reactive to proactive in every facet of your life.
Quick Communication Tip
Multiple Personality Order
Getting past the jokes around multiple personality disorder, there are
actually advantages to having multiple personalities behaving in an
orderly fashion. First, within our own mind, there is the obvious
advantage to being able to look at any situation from a variety of
perspectives. We minimize the number of blindspots, when we add more
perspectives. Then when we add the complexities of working with others,
being able to hold multiple perspectives simultaneously gives us
superior abilities in communication and problem-solving.
Getting caught up in “I’m right!” “No, I’m right!” arguments is
dysfunctional and completely non-productive. Recognizing that we might
just share the other person’s perspective when we are in a different
state of mind opens the door of possibility that both may be right, and
a better solution serving both perspectives may be possible. The more we
can find solutions that serve more people, the better and
more sustainable those solutions will be.
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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