“This is the key to life: the ability to reflect, the ability to know yourself, the ability to pause for a second before reacting automatically. If you can truly know yourself, you will begin the journey of transformation.” – Deepak Chopra
Have you ever been in a situation where you have reacted to an event or statement and found yourself wondering, “where on earth did that response come from?”
Have you been asked to do something, and your expression and body language scream NO! Before you even open your mouth?
The reality is that in both of these situations, you were not in the present. Instead, you were reacting to a past failure, fear or hurt. Consider that your communication is a by-product of all your experiences, values, and beliefs. In other words, the perception you have about your past or future may influence your communication in the present.
The real question is, are you indeed in communication?
In Unstoppable Mindset, we begin a series of talks designed to help you Master Your Communication. This week learn why we react to present events that remind us of our past. We will then explore why we don’t stop to process what we hear and respond or make a natural choice.
As we grow and develop, we encounter experiences that create our attitudes and opinions about what we see and experience in the world. We then walk around with our failures, mistakes, disappointments, and hurts from the past tucked away in an invisible knapsack that weighs us down. To live fully in the present and effectively communicate, we need to learn from the past.
What is Communication?
The Oxford Dictionary defines Communication as the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. …The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.
I believe that how we communicate is a by-product of all our experiences, values and beliefs. In other words, your thoughts and emotions about your past shape your response in the present. Therefore, communication mastery is to be conscious of the words we speak and how they impact the outcomes you create in the world.
The Communication Iceberg
The analogy of the iceberg transformed my approach to communication. The exposed tip of the iceberg is the message you consciously communicate through verbal language to the world. The greater and submerged part of the iceberg is what is unconscious or what you would prefer to keep hidden. Therefore, to experience richer communication and more genuine exchange, it is essential to look at how the submerged part of the iceberg can impact your message. Otherwise, a listener can unknowingly crash into the submerged part of your iceberg. The result is unclear and, at times, confusing communication. This concept has profoundly impacted my communication by allowing me to appreciate that many unseen factors prompt the visible messages between clients, colleagues, and people in my personal life.
“In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.” — Shakti Gawain.
Exploring my iceberg helped me manage my impulse to react or make a premature assessment of a situation. Taking a moment to reflect allows me to choose my response and communicate authentically. This awareness also helps me to be present, remain open, neutral, and withhold judgment. I now understand that seeing the world solely through the lens of my own unique life experiences or conditioning often lead to assumptions, stereotyping and misunderstandings of others whose experiences differ from my own.
Whether you react or choose to respond can be the difference between moving a conversation forward or escalating emotions to a place where a useful discussion becomes impossible. Regardless of the situation, we can always choose how we show up and who we choose to be. However, if left unchecked, our perception about our past or possible future will unknowingly influence our communication in the present.
To learn why communication mastery is one of the top success habits, book a time with Suzan http://bit.ly/TalkWithSuzan
P.S: This week, reflect on a situation where your communication or engagement did not go well. How could you have taken 100% responsibility to ensure the communication went differently.