How would it be if we communicate by
- listening with the heart
- speaking from the heart
- being short and to the point
- being spontaneous
Allow that to sink in and compare it to the way we usually communicate: not being present with what is being said, rehearsing a response, judging what is being said.
We like discussions. The physicist David Bohm called them a ping pong game. Both parties have the intention of winning. Another place where our competitiveness shows up. Instead, we could explore a subject without the need to "win".
Listening with the heart:
- being fully present
- listening with the whole body
- no judgment
- no rehearsing of a response
- empowers the speaker
- creates a connection between speaker and listener
What might we do to be able to listen with the heart? Do exactly what it says. Usually we listen with our ears. Take a few breaths while, visualize the heart being the one that listens; the words entering the body not at the level of the ears, but at the level of the heart
Also, what if we shift the focus away from the words themselves and perceive the emotions they awaken in us, the energy we perceive?
Each one of those intentions require practice. So when we start out with them, what if we allow ourselves to be curious, to notice what is going of for us, where we are. Yes, one could say the focus is not fully on the speaker, yet we are present. What if we inquire about where we are and what is going on for us. Often the awareness we get allows us to return to be fully present.
Speaking from the heart:
- being authentic
- being passionate about the subject
- keeping it simple
- being vulnerable
What might we do to be able to speak from the heart? Again, we might see our words come from the heart area of our bodies. Another way to look at it is to stop thinking and allow consciousness to speak through you. This can mean to let go of any needs we have around a subject (to be seen, to be right, to be heard) and to be in allowance of what needs to happen. That can include to be silent. As speakers and listeners, we can feel uncomfortable with that
Learning how to give talks, one important aspect is to keep the vocabulary simple. Can we let of of the need to use "big words". It is not necessary to use them in order to show the passion we have for a topic. And how often do we 'hide' behind those "big words"? When being vulnerable we have to assess our sense of safety in a group and choose our words accordingly.
Authenticity does not mean speaking one's truth using it as a weapon to say what one wants to say. Authenticity is staying aware of the impact our words have on others. Speaking from the heard does not have an intention to hurt anyone in the group.
Being short and to the point:
- don't drone on
- what does the group require in the moment
- what can I say to contribute to that
We all have different styles of communication. Some are naturally short and to the point, others paint pictures with their words. And, at times, we keep repeating what we said because we feel we have not been heard; not uncommon in the usual way of communication. What if both parties contribute to each other; the listener by staying connected to the speaker with their heart and the speaker by shortening the 'story'?
No matter what, following the energy allows for the necessary amount of time. Sometimes, this may not be short and sweet, but requires to hear oneself and, as a result, get to a new awareness which is facilitated by the others who are listening with the heart. It is important to learn to trust the process.
- no preparation
- what needs to be said in the moment
- what will contribute to the overall conversation
A conversation does not mean listening to a keynote speech. So there is no need to prepare, no advanced decision to talk about something specific. Be aware of the fact that rehearsing may impede speaking from the heart. What if what one forgot to say either was not necessary in the moment, or someone else will speak to it.
Trust the knowing that each participant is an integral part of the circle and, as such, will know exactly what needs to be said. This knowing comes from the heart, not the intellect. It can help to check in with self and ask what needs to be said in this moment and who will be served by it. This could include self, the group, and expand out into the collective.
The Art of Communication is something that needs to be practiced. I have converted the text of this page into a downloadable pdf. If you desire to dive even deeper into this and various ways to apply it, I would recommend the book "The Way Of Council" by Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle.
In order to have a space to practice this kind of communication, I have created a group in the free part of my online community. For me, getting to a kinder, more heartfelt way of communicating is so important in the current climate of divisiveness and polarity. Can we speak with each other and hear what the other is saying without going into judgment? Can we desire to hear what is said, as well as what has not been said because we are willing to be so utterly present with each other? No matter who we are, what our individual points of view are, we have so much more in common than it seems.
As a result, I am offering this group for free, yet expect that if one joins, they are committed to practicing, meaning they'll show up for the sessions.