Authentic Communication for Success
Speak and listen as if this is the most important
conversation you will ever have with this person.
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott
A council of apes represents the aspects of your small self (aka, the ego) that affect your actions and behaviors.
In a meeting, the council of apes represents the internal voices that may encourage you to stay silent, when truly your voice needs to be heard. Or on the flip side, the council may encourage you to speak over others and sway everyone to your way of thinking.
When your council of apes interacts with other people’s inner apes they contribute to distractions, poor communication and create barriers to an open, productive meeting. The wrong goals may be set, the real issues may get swept under the rug or the meeting may run on…and on…and on without progress!
To help silence your unwanted apes, it’s important to become aware of how other’s communicate and how you communicate. Use your physical, emotional, and intuitive senses, while taking into account the personalities and communication approaches of the people at the meeting.
Try looking at your own speaking style, body language, unconscious blind spots, and distorting filters, as well as other’s.Speaking Style – refers to our overall speaking patterns, as well as, what we actually talk about.
Does the communicator speak concisely or go into great detail? Are they soft spoken or loud and direct? Perhaps they are quick with a compliment or like to tell stories about themselves. Do they reference their feelings or are they all about business?
It’s important to remember that speaking styles are typically not about you! How often do you take other’s speaking style personally?
Practice being a neutral, but curious observer to gain further insight, not only into yourself, but into the other person. What are they truly trying to communicate?
Body Language – Includes posture, facial expressions, hand-gestures, body movements, energy levels, and other non-verbal messages.
How does the communicator seem emotionally (beneath the superficial “I’m fine”)? What is their demeanor? What do you notice about their energy? What other non-verbal messages are they sending?If you slow down and observe body language, it often holds important information about the other person and what they want to say or what they are holding back.
Blind Spots – Contain information about ourselves that are not apparent to us, but are highly visible to others. Everyone has specific blind spots, through which unconscious and unintentional messages are sent.
What are some of your blind spots? Are you judgmental or highly critical? Do you constantly seek attention from others? Maybe you are always in a hurry or on the flip side give too much detail. Perhaps you are prone to pessimism. Do you come on too strong?
How you come across to others impacts your ability to communicate effectively. Try to become aware of your blind spots or ask others to help you identify them.
Distorting Filters – Communication receivers also distort what they hear through their own distorting filters.
As a receiver you may fear being criticized, worry about being liked, try to look good all the time, feel inadequate, or want to control every situation. Our distorting filters affect how and what we receive.
Start a conversation with team members and ask for open, honest feedback about your speaking style, body, language, blind spot and distorting filters. No doubt you will identify some members of your council of apes. With awareness you can begin to silence the internal noise and confusion they create.
Happy Communicating!With Gratitude!