("What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?")
Welcome to the Conscious Communication Chronicle, sharing how Conscious Communication results in success, and how you can achieve yours. Enjoy!
Cover to Cover
and of course
the 800 lb.
Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life. Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.
Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use 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 “Kind Ambition”
"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
-Romanus Wolter -
Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
" 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 Company Magazine
“A 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 straightforward and inspirational book.”
-Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past
President of SF Coaches
" 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, Director Pacific Development Partners
Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.
Being strongly inspired to address this subject, I suddenly felt a sense of déjà vu. Indeed I had been here before - many times. Chapter 37 of my book, “Kind Ambition” is called, “Say What You Mean – one thing leads to another,” and rings as true today as it did then. So if I may be so bold as to quote myself, let’s look at an easily implemented improvement to our communication. All it requires is a little extra consciousness.
The specificity of words and the ambiguity of words are both the joy and bane of our conversations. Wordplay depends on words having shades of meaning, or multiple meanings, that we can take down a surprise road, whipping our heads around as if we’re on an amusement park ride. Unfortunately, they are also the potential fork in the road when we are trying to talk with each other. With every split, we find ourselves knee deep in conflict before we know what happened.
I’ve seen many interactions that went far too deeply into this kind of conflict, far too quickly. The problem is not the conflict itself (when it’s real conflict, and you can process it, the learning far outweighs the discomfort). The problem is when the conflict is between entities who aren’t even in the room, and the issues are not directly related to what is actually going on in the here and now.
We all have issues that are often highlighted in language as “hot buttons” or “triggers.” These are the words or phrases that hit the PLAY button on your internal tape recorder, and your tape just starts going. You are no longer really part of the process: you’re in auto-pilot. Inevitably, your defensive salvo will hit the other person’s trigger, and their tape recorder will go into auto-pilot as well. Now neither of you are present, neither of you are in dialogue, and you’re reduced to dueling reactions.
Imagine that you are challenged to communicate with someone in a darkened room, not allowed to speak, and the only tool you have is a stick. Most likely outcome? You are each going to be poking each other, not communicating, and probably getting a bit miffed as well.
It’s almost a miracle that we communicate as well as we do most of the time, considering how diverse our definitions of words can be. As an exercise, I’ve asked workshop/seminar attendees and even Boards of Directors to think about a dog in their heads. Then we go around the room and describe the dog each of us imagined. Of course we thought of everything from a snarling Rottweiler to a happy Cocker Spaniel. We’re only talking about a three-letter noun. Imagine when we get into abstracts, such as integrity or success?! Awareness around this inevitably improves the communication that follows.
Let’s say a customer complains about an order not being what he asked for. The written work order shows that you didn’t make an error, but he definitely didn’t get what he actually needs. If you say you can “correct” the order, you’ve just told the customer that you made a mistake. That will set a precedent which can become a recurring nightmare. You will likely get accused of making mistakes for the rest of this relationship. If you say you can “adjust” the order so that it meets his needs, you’ve just saved face for everyone, and made service points for your flexibility and responsiveness. Do you see how subtle the word choice is, and how enormous the reaction can be?
The Conscious Communication Approach
Think about your most recent verbal conflict with someone. When did you feel your button(s) being pushed? Was it the words? Can you remember exactly where the train went off the track?
Think about the earliest instance you can remember having this same kind of conflict. Who was it with? Can you remember the words? Can you identify and recognize your own “hot buttons” or triggers? Once identified, these triggers will begin to lose their potency, as you see them in a larger context.
Check in with the person with whom you’re having the conflict. Let them know that you are reacting to the word or phrase they used, (not the person) and you need to get more clarification. Did they mean “honest” or “open?” Did they mean “manipulative” or “persuasive?” Did they mean “it’s terrible,” or “I personally didn’t care for it?”
The more you check in and clarify what people really mean, the more you’ll understand where the landmines are buried, and the easier it will be to traverse the conversational landscape without the explosions.
A Second of Pause – you can’t un-ring the bell
Once again, speed kills, when it comes to conversation. Nine times out of ten, when we say something we wish we hadn’t, just a moment’s pause could have prevented it. Just as some folks find setting their email programs to Queue first before Sending, you might want to do that with your words. Build in a little delay to the system.
If you ask yourself why you want to say something, it can be amazingly illuminating. We are regularly motivated by unconscious drivers, that brought to consciousness, seem silly and lose their juice. Is it about being “right?” Is it about seeing it “my way?” Is it about “helping, criticizing, correcting?” Does it truly need to be said at all?
Conscious Communication - the podcast series
Personal Life Media - "Coaching the Life Coach:"
Interview Podcast for Evolutionary Radio w/ Jason McClain
Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition now available
Got Blog? come visit the Blog. Rants and delvings for your entertainment.
Character Driven -
Ever want to create
characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were
© 2001- 2009 Optimized Results. All Rights Reserved 205 Chattanooga St. San Francisco, CA 94114 415.826.0478