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The Dark Matter Between Us

Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.

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Quick Communication Tip

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The Dark Matter Between Us
(click for podcast)


In recent years, astronomy and cosmology have been looking at something they can’t see: Dark Matter.  In simple terms, Dark Matter is matter that we can’t see directly, but is inferred to exist from its effects on what we can see.  It’s estimated to make up 80% of the matter in the universe, while ordinary matter makes up only 20%. This makes it a great metaphor for communication.

Communication is the Dark Matter in, around, and between every one of us. It both separates and connects us, and is as much a mystery as a paradox. We're so used to floating within it, that we take the mystery for granted. We become less-than-conscious of its existence, its complexities, and most of all, how much we depend on it every day.

For the most part, we become aware of communication issues in the same way as we become aware of Dark Matter in space; not by observing the communication itself, but by observing reactions or movement in the surrounding bodies.

This puts us in the position of observing reactions, and then reacting to those reactions – which isn’t the most self-directed strategy. The alternative is attempting to observe this Dark Matter (communication) directly, rather than relying only on the observation of reactions to it. Of course, a combination of both gives the most information.

Start With the Mystery
We often try to answer as many unknowns as possible up front with people. This is partially from our desire for understanding (the high road) with a helping of impatience (the not so high road). Unfortunately, to do this we usually fill in a lot of blanks on our own; also known as assuming and projecting. Big mistake. This is where that Dark Matter comes in. When we make our assumptions, we might be right - or not. If we keep going merrily down the road of that conversation, sales call, or negotiation, with incorrect or inaccurate information, we’re not likely to get the outcome we’re looking for. Assume nothing and you’re forced to ask questions to fill in those blanks.

It’s one thing to empathize with someone, but as soon as the voice in our head says, “if it were me, and I did or said that, it would mean _____,” we need to apply the old brain brakes and remember that they’re not us, and we won't get the meaning until we ask.

Life is Very Different on Your Planet
As we’re shaped by our life experiences mixing with our genetics, our view of our surroundings is our view, not the way things are. It may sound obvious, but remembering that this is not objective is incredibly important and powerful when interacting with other beings who have their own distinct views. These views shape our language and our communication styles, so there is no escaping them.

Interestingly enough, this is a two-way street. By listening carefully to someone’s language and communication style, you can gather important information about the way they see the world around them (remember to ask questions to stay on the right track). Once you understand their view, you can meet them in their experience of the world. Are they drawn to aspirations of ideals or comforted by thoughts of security? Do they see patterns of sameness or do the differences in things jump out at them? Do details bore them or intrigue them? Does taking action excite them or scare them? Do you see how knowing these things could enhance any conversation, sales call, or negotiation?

The Final Frontier
Once we become more adept in listening with our sensors turned up, we can take our communication to an even higher level. Those very words, images, and metaphors that allowed you to get a peek inside the other person’s view are yours to use as well. If you learn that someone is goal-oriented, fast, sees patterns of sameness, and is competitive, you can shift your language and pace of delivery appropriately. Conversely, that very approach and linguistic style would completely irk someone who considers himself to be a "deep thinker" and rationalist.

Imagine really connecting with the people you live and work around, without misunderstandings getting out of control, and being able to communicate with them in their native language? How much more effective could you be? How much conflict could you prevent? It’s all about shining a light on the Dark Matter we call communication. When it’s clear, visible, and intentional, it becomes Conscious Communication.




Quick Communication Tip


Suspend Knowing

What prevents us from learning things is usually believing we already know things. This is a popular defense mechanism for many people; staunchly asserting that they know already. Of course if we have that space all filled up with our already knowing, there’s no room for something new to come in. If we think we already know what someone is going to say, we don’t really listen. We wait for their mouth to stop moving, and say what we thought was the best response to what we already knew they were saying.

Unfortunately we’re often either dead wrong, or at least missing a piece that we hadn’t thought of, and hadn’t left room for the other person to contribute. Sometimes that piece is integrally important, and changes the whole conversation. Now we’ve missed it, and triggered the other person by obviously not listening to them. One little bit of suspending that “already knowing” would have kept this train from going off the rails.

Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?  Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.


Resource Links:

Conscious Communication - the podcast series

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Personal Life Media - "Coaching the Life Coach:"
Communication Excellence (Podcast Snippets)
Communication Excellence (full interview)

Interview Podcast for Evolutionary Radio w/ J. McClain

Kind Ambition -
2nd Edition now available

Got Blog? c
ome visit the Blog.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?



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The Optimizer
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