How do you come across? Have you thought about it?
I think most of us are familiar with how non-verbal communication works, whether through education or observation, but what about the energy component? What is happening behind the scenes? Is there a power play or control game going on?
Most of us don’t even know we’re doing it, while some of us are masters at it and we all learn to play along either to get what we want or just to get through the day. I have discussed this in two previous blog posts – How Not to Be a Power-Trippy Control Freak and Clear Communication: What did you say? – the first being the introduction to the Conscious Leadership series and the second being directed towards workplace wellness. No matter what your situation, this energetic communication is learned behaviour, often deeply ingrained from our early years. It follows us wherever we go until we recognize it and begin to neutralize it.
This component of Leading From Purpose is based on the 4th insight of The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, which teaches about control dramas. Every component of Leading From Purpose is about energy and connection; however, this one is quite possibly the most effective in understanding interpersonal dynamics.
Am I communicating or controlling?
True communication is mutually respectful, seeking the best good for all involved. There may be arguments, negotiations or conflict to be resolved. There may be negative emotions expressed…if there are negative emotions involved, getting them out in a conscious conversation is the healthiest way to deal with them.
The easiest way to tell where you are coming from is by paying attention to the way you feel. How are you reacting? Do you enter a communication set to get your point across no matter what or do you feel resigned and perhaps anxious about what is to come? The former is an aggressive approach while the latter is passive. Both are examples of an energetic imbalance that closes the communication to alternative outcomes. The first is taking power from those involved while the second is relinquishing power to others.
It becomes a habitual pattern. Interestingly enough, both examples come from fear and disconnection to personal power…to source energy. Does that sound a bit harsh? Don’t beat yourself up about it if you recognize these patterns in yourself. As mentioned earlier, these are deeply ingrained, but they can be addressed and overcome. Listen to your gut on this. It knows that things don’t have to be this way.
An Exercise in Energetic Discernment (Part 2)
Part 1 is from this previous post: How Not to Be a Power-Trippy Control Freak.
Try this tomorrow: For the whole day, pay attention to your interactions with everyone who crosses your path.
At the end of, or even throughout the day, make notes on how you felt with each person. Did you feel:
- Intimidated, as though there was an obvious or underlying threat?
- Undermined, as though you were doing something wrong, or as though there is something wrong about you?
- Sucked In, as though you were pulling teeth to get the simplest response or information?
- Guilty, as though you felt personally responsible for someone else’s outcomes, that you couldn’t do enough?
For Part 2, try this on another day. Do you feel that you are:
- Intimidating, as though you need to push people to do what you want?
- Undermining, as though you need to judge or criticize?
- Withholding, as though you feel people should effort for your attention/involvement?
- Put upon, as though you are the victim of circumstances out of your control?
It’s no fun to recognize any of these patterns in ourselves; however, naming the thing is the first step in neutralizing the pattern. As Carl Jung contended: What you resist persists. Once you see and accept the thing that is being resisted, it can be resolved.