Smart Communication

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Smart Communication

Did you know that communication is in fact a series of “transactions” between people?  Within this series of transactions you will find your communication habits.  If you are already aware of being a bit of a broken record on topics or experience particularly challenging relationships these habits may not currently be working for you.  Habits learned from childhood can be hard to break but with insight and determination you can do it!

Every verbal or written interaction between people whilst triggered by the preceding interaction has the scope to be a positive or negative fresh conversation. If you scrutinise your own conversations with others using transactional analysis you will become aware of your habits of communication and can then make informed choices to boost your professional and life relationships.

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Applying “In-the-moment transformation” thinking to communication.

In our busy, sound-byte way of communicating its very normal to get into habitual ways of relating to others that confound the result we hope for. Interestingly, with experience, when we are managing life’s stresses well, we intuitively learn to recognise that situations, people, projects and ways of living and working are constantly on the move regardless of our efforts to control them.

The good news is that to thrive to our best ability within the ever-changing world we live in, we can  sharpen and evolve our skills in the way we engage and communicate with others.  Through taking a fresh look at transactional analysis in your day-to-day communication it is possible to revamp your habits, putting to one side those that no longer work, adopting more powerful new ways of operating.

Communication in any given moment is created from its prior moment; when something new is created something old inevitably has to cease. Although we often choose to cling to the past, we don’t have to.   The trick here is to loosen up our thinking of what is possible in communication, not playing out the scripts from the past, being fully present with all that is going on in the present moment.

The Flow of Communication.

Leaders and influencers should begin by understanding their own unique way of guiding the thoughts and actions of those they interact with.

We should regularly ask ourselves “do my current patterns of communication generate “buy in” to what I have to say and how progress needs to happen?”

We begin to answer the question by recognising that our mind is always absorbing and processing the communication that is happening around us. In this way we have imprints on our mind from interactions with our parents when we were children right the way throughout life to those created and constantly changing in this present moment.

Transactional Analysis is based on two notions:

  1. We have three ‘ego-states’ that shape our ‘personality (Parent, Adult and Child),
  2. These ego states converse with one another in ‘transactions’ both internally (for the communicator) and externally with other people.

The phenomena of long term, self-fulfilling dysfunctional communication patterns can be observed where two individuals unknowingly act out behaviours thoughts and feelings from conflicting Ego states. When this happens past experiences function to project a distorted view of the present moment.

 

Habits can be hard to break but with insight and determination you can do it!

The trick here is to loosen up our thinking of what is possible in communication, not playing out the scripts from the past, being fully present with all that is going on in the present moment.

Check how alert you are to the other person’s reactions, energy, and body language as they react to what you are saying. It’s likely that you will need to develop the skill to recognse when to mirror their ego state and when the time is right to get the communication onto an Adult-to-Adult level.

Be ready to recognise that athough you may have good intentions about fully entering into a collaborative conversation, your past may haunt those with whom collaboration hasn’t always been so smooth.

Your commitment to keep going with a more constructive way of communicating may need to be very single-minded until people realise (and believe in)  the benefits of what you are proposing. Believe me, I’ve been there! The main thing is not to give up hope. When your intentions are helpful and transparent, with a little patience and encouragement there will be a time when it is good to test how you are shifting the typical communication flow.Be ready to have a plan B, or plan C just in case….try to keep going with your new habits and maintain a positive and steady mind.  If you can do this you will be creating smart communication karma that will reap rewards in the end 🙂

Smart Communication Nuggets

  • The ideal line of communication is the mature and rational Adult-Adult relationship.
  • Generally communication is easiest when both people are operating at the same level; life gets interesting when adults communicating together both flip into the more playful Child ego state that they know all too well!
  • When each person is talking to a different level communication problems can occur as wires get crossed.  This needs closer consideration and a bit more thinking through objectively rather than just reacting.

If you’d like to find out more, do get in contact.

 

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