Part 2: It’s Not What You Say It Is

 Is It What You Think It Is?

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.

Korzybski Structural Differential-3D teaching tool for differentiating events from the objects and labels we attach to them

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

==>Tell me More about this course



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Leave A Reply (1 comment so far)

  1. Joseph R.
    9 years ago

    Mark … of course I have a bias as you know, not politically where I’m much more undecided … or anti-political, but with regard to the central topic of your post here, i.e.: communication and its impact in our lives.

    Let me see if I can sum up my bias quickly. In my worldview I hold that we are first and foremost social beings, even before we are individuals. Literally, that individualism comes after we are deeply engaged with others, at the very least our primary caregivers.

    If you’ve ever observed a child with a nurturing mother, especially one who happens to be nursing her child, you will see an exemplary social bonding scenario. In this case the child is connected with the mother without any sense of separateness, mother and child are one unit for all intents and purposes.

    What occurs between an infant and its primary caregivers is pure communication in every level and in every way. The synchronicity of that communication can be observed in many forms … auditory, physical movement, physical touch, rhythms, eye contact … and each supports and reinforces another. The total connection is the communication, and the communication creates the connection.

    For instance, the act of nursing is a communication between mother and child. When the child mews and begins groping the nursing mother instinctively becomes reactive to the signal that the child wants to nurse. As the mother assists the child to move its mouth to the nipple the child immediately begins to relax and shift to another mode, from requesting to preparing to nurse. When the child and nipple come together there is an intimate communication with regard to making the adjustments to insure proper latching. Communication … communication … communication … and yet something more emerges, e.g.: connection and relationship.

    Truly communication at the level of intimacy that is possible between humans is more than the sum of the parts. Yet so few remain open to the act of communicating at this level of intimacy, despite the constancy of the signals being present in the system to do so. This is where a re-awakening to the act of extraordinary communication, beginning in hyper-awareness to the signals in the system, comes into play.

    I believe what you are suggesting goes beyond a “how-to” list of proper or good communicators, to the essence of what it is to be human. However, I also believe that to arrive at such humanness requires a substantial willingness to transcend communication as a tool to be used to create outcomes. I am more inclined to align with the mystics who have communicated with cosmos to find themselves … and then to find themselves in others.

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