Communication Excellence Course

IntroductionAll of life is Communication or Exchange of Information and all Success depends on good Communication. It takes some deliberate time and effort to improve your Communication Skills. Do not stop just because difficulty comes up. You can take breaks but do continue on until you think you are smarter, feel lighter or made new realizations that will help you to be stronger and succeed in daily life and on the job. This Course is Experiential. That means understanding it or believing in it or reading it amounts to Zero – doing it, feeling it and using it is what allows for progress.Experiential Lesson 1: People I like and dislikeUsing a separate sheet of paper, list some people you dislike, along with the traits you dislike about them. After that, check if you have any similar traits sometimes. If so, write that trait down. If not, then don’t write anything. So if for example you dislike the trait “stubborn” about someone and you find you are sometimes pretty stubborn yourself, you would have the word stubborn in both columns (“Traits I dislike” and “My similarities”). Some of the traits you dislike are projections of what you don’t like about yourself. After that write down something you respect about each of these people. Even if it’s difficult, try to find something. Radiating some respect towards all will keep your friends close and your enemies at bay. A good Communicator knows that what you radiate out into the world is what you ultimately get back. Finally, write down what your Intentions are regarding your future Communication with them. Examples for Intentions:I’d like them to listen to me more carefullyI’d like more honesty between usI’d prefer to feel neutral towards themI’d prefer a friendly relationship with themI’d like them to participate in the projectSimply define what it is you’d prefer. If you keep defining what you don’t want and don’t like, you will keep getting stuff you don’t want and don’t like. If you don’t define anything at all, what you will get will remain random. So make it an official exercise to keep stating your actual intentions regarding a thing, situation or person – at least to yourself. You might not always get what you intend, but you do increase the likelihood of it happening when your attention is focused on the preferred rather than the unwanted. So on your separate sheet of paper your table would include this:People I dislikeTheir traits I dislikeSimilar traits I haveWhat I do respect about these peopleMy intentions regarding my Communication with themAfter you are finished with that, list people you like, the traits you like about them, your similarities and finally your Intentions regarding Communications with them. Do not assume that it is always easier to Communicate with people you like – sometimes its harder because the interaction lacks neutrality or because you might be looking up to them. Both too much “looking down at” and too much “looking up at” can inhibit the free flow of Communication. So include Intentions that would improve your experience with them. On your separate sheet of paper your items would be:People I likeTraits I like about themMy similaritiesMy intentions regarding Communication with themPlease only continue with this Course after you have completed all of these points.Welcome back.What do you conclude from this first exercise? Have you experienced a change of state or attitude? Do you feel lighter? Did you have a new realization? Please write down what you feel still needs some practicing in the days to come in order to integrate this lesson into daily life.Experiential Lesson 2: Communication DisturbancesThe disturbers of good Communication flow:Environmental (such as loud music or drilling)Physiological (such as deafness or blindness)Semantic (such as a different interpretation of what a word means)Syntactical (Mistakes in Grammar, Verbs, Tenses)Organizational (poor structure of thoughts, not being clear, confusion)Cultural (coming from ignorance of others customs, values and beliefs)Psychological (unresolved emotional issues and projections coming into play)Semantic, Organizational and Psychological issues often go unnoticed and cause more Communication Problems than Environmental or Physiological issues which are easily recognized and therefore easily changed.The exercise here is to write down or discuss examples where these disturbers came into play in your own life or with people you know. The more examples you become aware of the more likely it is you notice them in daily life and can avoid them by virtue of recognition.In our live Courses we sometimes spend an entire day training semantics, communication psychology and conflict resolution. So keep in mind that there is much more to say and do on the subject and consider creating exercises yourself or looking up more information on them in the Internet.Experiential Lesson 3: AcknowledgmentPeople naturally need approval and acknowledgment. Too much acknowledgment appears strange but the most frequently made mistake is giving too little acknowledgment. It is important to acknowledge what someone said or to acknowledge that you understand what someone said. Acknowledgment is the lubricant that keeps Communication flowing. It does not always mean that you agree but it does mean that you received the message or understand what was said. People who forget to give acknowledgment are often perceived as ego-centric, needy, tense or lost in thought.Examples for Acknowledgment:A nodA paraphrase”Yes”"OK”"Alright”"I see”Exercise: In order to commit this to memory, take a day or two in which you exaggerate the giving of nods, acknowledgment, “yes” and “OKs” to everyone along your way. Acknowledgment given will improve the way others perceive you.Experiential Lesson 4: How to improve your Communication flow with someoneOne way to improve your Communication flow with someone is to find things you and the other agree upon. This will quickly increase the “vibe” you have with each other. Salespeople misuse this by pretending to be in Agreement on several issues with someone they want to sell something to. But people are smart and I recommend you find things you actually agree on with the other (if you want to improve your Communications with that person).Another way to improve your Communication flow with someone is by Appreciation. For example, you could find out things you like about the person. This will shift your attitude and behavior and ultimately increase your positive “vibe” with the other.Of course simply talking to them more often can increase your rapport with them, but it is always much easier if Appreciation and Agreement are added.If you disagree with too many people or dislike too many people you will generally feel more “low” and weak in life.The solution is to either reduce your aversion towards people you dislike or find more people you do like to hang out with. Love them or Leave them.Experiential Lesson 6: Flow of EnergyYou have the most strength, power and energy when you have attention and give attention. You are the weakest and most energy-less when you need attention and want attention. From bottom to top:NeedWantLikeHaveGiveNeeding attention, approval and interest you have the least energy and the other the most. Liking attention has a softer, more neutral energy flow to it but its still not entirely empowering. When having attention there is an energy-flow from someone else to you instead of the other way around. And when giving attention there is an energy-flow from you to the others which automatically provides you with the most energy.In order to lessen your “need” and “want” of attention I recommend giving yourself a lot of attention, approval and acceptance throughout life. You will then have more energy and have more to give.Check for yourself whether this is true or not. It can take a few months of study to “get it” and be able to apply the secrets contained within this lesson, but once you do you will never be the same person again – in a positive sense.Guided MeditationThis is a guided Meditation you best let someone else speak while you mentally and emotionally go through the process. Alternatively you can also read it to yourself.Who did you want approval from?Could you relax needing/lacking approval from that person a bit?Imagine having approval from that person.Relax.Who wanted approval from you?Could you relax resisting giving approval a bit?Imagine giving approval.Relax.Repeat dozens of times with the same person or other people, until the neediness of approval is relaxed and the resistance toward giving approval is eased.Advanced version: Apply the same Exercise with the words Control, Freedom, Unity and Security in place of Approval. Note that this exercise alone can take several months or even years before fully understood and integrated.Experiential Lesson 7: Communication is also… … Physical Expression & MovementHave you ever moved an elbow only to have them move theirs too? If when you move they move too, that is an indicator that their attention is with you. If in a group someone has their foot directed at you it is often an indicator that their attention is on you. Gestures and Facial Expressions have the power to underline and emphasize your words or to properly express agreement and disagreement.Exercise: Watch people negotiating on Video without Sound. Who is in Command? You don’t need to hear the words, its enough to see the physical behavior.Exercise: Communicate something to someone else without speaking until the other understands what you are Communicating.Exercise: Practice being in Command without talking – by mere posture and presence…. Tone of VoiceVoice Training and bringing flexibility into your tone is a vital part of being able to steer and direct meetings, conversations, presentations. In our Live Courses we do several exercises in “Voice-Coaching” in order to give the voice more power. The tone in which you say something is often also more important than the words used. “Hello”, for instance, can be said in a friendly or unfriendly tone. Tone is the carrier-wave of an intention. For more training I recommend our mp3 Download “Voice Coaching”…. PostureThere are postures which put you in Command and postures which put others in Command, depending on your Intention. You lying down on a sofa is a relaxed posture while standing erect and your legs apart and firmly rooted in the floor is a more commanding posture. Changing your posture will always change the mood and the roles of a Communication…. Vocabulary usedThere is a difference whether you say “You are stupid” or “Let me show you something more intelligent”. With the former you probably won’t reach your goal with the other person, with the latter you probably will. Lessons on the Power of Language and Reframing are taught in the next Part of the Communication Excellence Course…. Touch and ContactA handshake, a clap on the shoulders, a “coincidental” brush of the hands – all these are forms of Communication, as is lack of touch. The way you touch other objects than the person also says more about you than you may be aware of. If for example you are in a flirt-situation or on a date with someone, the way you handle her coat or his car-door may be taken as a hint on how you will handle him or her…. LookingIt makes a significant difference whether you are looking straight at your partner, into his eyes, his face, between his eyebrows, to his sides or away and elsewhere. Depending on what you intend you can change the entire flow or meaning of the Communication with your eyes only. Some people base their entire Peoples-Skills on the way they use their eyes…. ListeningPeople can actually sense whether you are listening or not. Active listening means that your attention is fully on the other without the need of speaking yourself or needing anything yourself. Active listening also means that you are thinking about what is being said. Passive listening is hearing the sounds but not really processing all that is said. With people we have an aversion towards we listen passively, with people we like we or that have something interesting to say, we listen actively. For a good Communication Flow I recommend you seek to understand before you wish to be understood…. Distance and OrientationThe distance you are standing from someone, from where you are communicating with someone, from which angle or location also have some influence on whether Communication succeeds or not. These parameters can also be changed depending upon what you wish to achieve. For example if you want more authority over a group, never sit with them in a circle but instead with you in the front and perhaps even up higher or behind a podium. If on the other hand you wish to be friends with a group, sit in a circle with them. Or if you wish to close an important deal it is preferable to do so in person than wanting to do it by email…. What you don’t sayCommunication is not only what you say but also what you don’t say, withhold or fail to say. If for example you wish to retain energy and power, speak less, chatter less, justify less, react less. If you do not want a situation to get out of hand, save your disagreement for a later time when you are in a better state. Such small feats of self-control can go a long way in succeeding in various venues. On the other hand failing to communicate when it is necessary is not only an advantage it can also be a problem. Your motto should be “When uncertain, in doubt or in trouble, Communicate!”Half of all corporate problems are due to a lack of Communication and Clarity…. Social SensitivityThis means to be respectful of other peoples limits and reality-frames. Peace and Harmony is just as much an asset as Truth and Frankness. Sometimes it is wiser to withhold comment for the sake of peace than to create turbulence where none is necessary. Many people are not mature enough to accept truth at all times and in all situations. Social Sensitivity is also about the Timing in which certain truths are shared. It is not necessary to “talk turkey about the struggling Business” while at a Funeral. In this case Peace and Harmony should be preferred to truth. Likewise it is not necessary to “be nice and calm” while Millions are being lost to mismanagement. In this case Truth and Frankness should be preferred to Peace and Harmony. Social Sensitivity is to behave respectful enough as to choose the right Timing and Situation for various Communications. When your employee calls off sick, don’t have an assignment be your first Communication toward him and don’t call at midnight. If you need to criticize your spouse, wait for the right moment. Don’t do it while he is hurt or helping you out.Experiential Lesson 8: RealitiesWrite down something you think is true and others also think is trueWrite down something you think is true and others think is not trueWrite down something you think is not true and others think is trueWrite down something you think is not true and others also think is not trueWhat conclusions do you draw from this?Something that is true for everyone is called facts or Absolute Truth.Something that is only true for some is called opinions or Relative Truth.Mistaking the two is the cause of many problems. In regards to facts I recommend zero tolerance toward deviations and with regards to opinions full tolerance toward deviations from your opinion. But first learn to discern the two.This completes Communication Excellence 1. If you gained benefit from this Course I would enjoy seeing you at Communication Excellence 2 which goes into depth on the principles already presented while introducing new, even more advanced concepts for the upcoming Communication Pro.Copyright 2010

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