Why does conscious communication matter for you and your business?
We live and work in a world flooded with social media and communication networks, a world in which everyone wants to talk and nobody is willing to listen. This is not some futuristic Armageddon scenario. It’s the world in which we live and work right now – whether we are aware of it or not. And it’s having a catastrophic effect on how we communicate with each other, or, more precisely, how our ability to communicate is seriously malfunctioning.
Our Obsession with non-stop Talking
Our obsession with non-stop talking has reduced communication between us to a series of empty monologues, made up of soundbites, buzzwords and cliches that we fling into an abyss, hoping something will somehow find a listener as it stampedes its way into an unspecified somewhere.
How do we create a way out of this communication crisis that is making us strangers to each other and even enemies? The solution is simple, but not easy, because it challenges us at our core.
The Solution to the Crisis in our Communication
Like all solutions that are effective, we have to start by paying attention. In this case, paying attention to how we communicate. That begins with becoming aware of the following:
– how we talk
– how much we talk
– how much/little we listen
– how much we reflect on what others say BEFORE we speak
– how much we are willing to put aside the goals of our communication and allow the outcome to emerge organically
– how much we are willing to be with silence, instead of rushing to fill this space with empty trivia
The way to rebalance our communication is to become conscious of how we communicate and begin to correct the imbalance within.
Shifting from Monologue to Dialogue
As I’ve said before, when we learn to engage with others, we are creating a new communication template for everyone, one based on the principles of real dialogue instead of empty monologues that masquerade as conversations. Dialogue is right at the heart of conscious communication. It consists of three fundamental skills: Careful Listening, Non-Judgemental Reflection and Meaningful Response
- We can only participate in dialogue when we are first of all willing to LISTEN. Conscious listening is not a practised performance in which we dutifully nod, smile and add the occasional uh huh just to show that we are listening. Conscious listening is about giving our full attention to the person speaking. And when we consciously listen, the person being listened to can FEEL it. Authentic listening – as opposed to fake listening – can be felt.
- Next, we have to be willing to control our urge to respond immediately – to start talking as soon as there is a pause. Instead, we consciously REFLECT on what the other has said, maybe ask questions for clarification purposes. Reflecting on what has been said in a non-judgemental way takes us away from our agenda and allows the exchange to deepen and unfold organically. That’s when real shifts in communication take place.
- Finally, it’s time for us to consciously respond – after we’ve slowed down the pace to allow genuine human-to-human engagement and interaction to emerge.
That’s why conscious communication matters in a world obsessed with non-stop talking.