Many of the folks who read my last blog post “Pacing With Mittmann; How To Lose Friends and Alienate People,” were surprised, even shocked that I would make any “political” references in my writing. They were exhibiting a reaction that was purely based on semantics which is BTW exactly what most people do. Most of us have been trained to react to semantically loaded verbal representations, and we act in the world as if the words are truly the things, even when they are conveyed within a very specific context. It takes flexibility, a kind of mental yoga, that very few are willing to learn. The rewards of this type of flexibility are great. One being…….sanity.
In biological terms, it could be one of the differentiators separating animals and humans. Example: the difference between an average dog’s response and a human’s response to food being removed from his plate while he is eating. Most humans have learned not to bite……dogs…not.
The fallout of my experiment was a larger heading for the doors by those who either didn’t read all the words, or couldn’t differentiate the context
in which the words were presented. If you didn’t read my “Mittman….” blog, go back and read it. If you have a reponse other than, “this article is
displaying an example of how ‘pacing’ is important in ones choice of verbal content,with awareness of context ……….you are adding in something that is not in the intention of the writer. Even if I get somewhat inflammatory with my “empty suit” reference….it is up to the reader to place Mitt in that suit.
If I have any axe to grind from my own past, it is that of my own experience with those who impose domination by position, through intimidation.
Many in leadership positions do not have the aggregate nature and skill required, and make choices either consciously or unconsciously to
either surround themselves with weaker subordinates, or stifle those who are more dominant through intimidation of position. If you’ve worked in
corporate settings I am sure you’ve been present to it. Again, you can place anyone you like in that picture. Just for fun I remember a time
when I’ve been that person, so I can be careful about not falling into the trap.
More on pacing.
I’m not surprised that examples marking out the importance of pacing, and what happens when it is done poorly generate strong visceral reactions. As you go through the next couple of days, it would be useful to notice when you have strong responses…positive or negative,regarding the
interactions you have.
Notice first, “what is going on” contextually, in the environment, then notice the tone, tempo, and the verbiage being used. Notice the abstract relationships that emerge from your own inner experience..”the meaning you are making” of the whole event. Notice the signals you are experiencing…….. differentiate between the signals and the meaning you attach to them. When you interrupt your knee-jerk ractions, and slow down the whole process, you begin to have a different sense of yourself, and others.
I would welcome commentary and examples of your discoveries, in the section below.
When it comes to “pacing”………context is critical. When and where……do you communicate what?
For anyone who wants to be effective in a leadership role, one must develop the ability to be precise about the ideal environment, and either wait for it to emerge, or be skillful enough to create the context as you make your presentation. (Here I use context and environment interchangeably)
This is exactly the kind of work we’ll be doing in the workshop
The Seven Conversational Secrets of the Best Communicators, taking place in New York City
If you’ve ever wanted to know how to say the right thing, at the right time, to the right person(people)….if you sell anything for a living, are a leader, a partner or a parent you need this.
You can learn to
- read the subtler signals in the system,
- become a much more effective communicator, leader, motivator, change agent, or partne
- be the one who knows exactly what to say, when, where, and to whom, to get the response you want
- never drop a stink bomb in the middle of a slam dunk negotiation,
- keep the flow going in the right direction in a difficult one,
- learn the conversational protocols that will raise your game to a new level.
- become the person who has a profound positive effect in their own life and the lives of others, through communication