How to communicate signal not noise

“We’re shouting at each other, with closed minds and an attachment to ideas, experiences and beliefs. Is it any wonder there’s so much defensiveness and division?”

This was just one of the golden nuggets of wisdom that conscious communication expert Jem Fuller shared in The Leaders’ Surgery this week.

Jem works alongside CEOs and senior leaders to design and implement strategies that create the right workplace culture and we took a dive into his book ‘The Art of Conscious Communication’ which explores how small steps in awareness can make big impacts in everything we do as a leader.

It was a rich and broad conversation with leaders from diverse sectors and there were many golden nuggets. Here are three that resonated with me and the questions they invite for leaders:

  1. When we look to the etymology of the word ‘communication’ it comes from the Latin word, ‘Communicare’ which means to impart or transmit and is derived from the root ‘Communis’ which means to make common or to share.

I really liked this expanded perspective of communication being about creating shared understanding rather than just broadcasting position or opinion. If more of us focus on this as the purpose of communication, I wonder what impact it could have in our increasingly divided and digital world could help create high-quality signal rather than low-quality noise.

How could you create shared understanding rather than broadcast position or opinion in your next conversation?

  1. Energetic communication is as vital as the spoken word – and it means more than just body language!

How we show up with others creates the energetic atmosphere of what’s communicated.  I’m sure like me, you’ve had the experience of being with someone who isn’t saying anything but is very clearly communicating many things! And equally when there’s a mis-match between the words being spoken and the energy in the room. Being present to the moment and aware of what we’re feeling, thinking and experiencing is key to intentionally channelling your energetic communication.

Is your energy communicating what you want and need it to? Is it in alignment with your words?

  1. Leaders need to self-care so that they can be in service to communication.

Because of the power dynamics involved, when leaders communicate it has consequences. By regularly taking the time to pause, breathe and notice how we are feeling throughout the day we can create moments of equanimity that allow us to keep doing the work of creating our energetic atmosphere, listening deeply so that our people feel seen, known and appreciated and expanding our behavioural responses in service of creating shared understanding. We self-care so that we can care for others in service to communicating consciously.

It takes work. So I wonder, what could you do to self-care today? Because that’s where high quality, conscious communication begins.

Until next time…

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