Wednesday, September 3, 2014

THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL ASPECT OF COMMUNICATION


contributed by Dr Ana Garcia, PhD, DTM



George Bernard Shaw said: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”

Most people believe that when they talk, they communicate. Dr Louann Brizendine, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco states in “The Female Brain" that: “A woman uses about 20,000 words per day, while a man uses about 7,000". Are we to believe that all these words amount to successful communications?
In order to answer this question, we don’t need to go far. Simply check out the number of misunderstandings that you, dear reader, experience on a daily basis, be it in a family or business environment, or even among friends. Don’t you wonder sometimes whether we individuals come from different planets? It gives me a glimpse on the Tower of Babel story in the Bible…

The question is, why? Very simple. Because communicating is not the action of talking per se, but it has another element that we forget to take into account: there has to be a second person in a receptive state of listening and an integration of the communicated message, be it the words as well as the intentions or motives, the context and the clarity of meaning, and so on and so forth, which need to be assimilated before one can confirm that the communication has indeed taken place.

And after the meaning has been accurately captured, assuming that the listener doesn’t have his filters switched on (this is, his idiosyncratic way of seeing the world: we don’t always hear what is being said because we apply our own limitations and conditioning), which is rarely the case, the dual-direction of such communication should be completed when listener and speaker change roles where the former has the opportunity to express his opinion in relation to the information that he has just received.

That is, if he so desires, as his response could very well be non-verbal, in which case we are talking about a completely different way of communicating all together.

Complicated, isn’t it?

THE COMPLEX WORLD OF COMMUNICATION

 

 
As complex as this may already sound, we should also add to such filters further elements like attitude, cultural variety, language barriers, personality, class background and educational level… which can (and generally do) create a willingness (or lack of) to listen, based on our preconceived stereotypes.
All of these components could be classified as physical. We haven’t even started to mention emotional states (we don’t communicate the same when we are happy as when we are angry or frustrated, for instance) or the level of personal development that one may have achieved over one’s life (filters become cleaner the higher the person’s level of awareness because one can make allowances for the receptor of one’s message if one has an understanding of his idiosyncrasies). That means that one can communicate within an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding. Not always the case.
And so as the variables start multiplying exponentially, we feel that we enter into sometimes chaotic interactions: our communications emulate erratic and unpredictable behaviour.
MY LONG JOURNEY INTO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
I have always had a natural skill with languages. Over the years I have become an English, Spanish, Basque and French teacher and I studied German for four years. It has taken me about 4 decades of ongoing study to get to this point; yet, I do not consider myself to be a good communicator because I have a facility for languages.
Granted, it opens doors all over the world and to be honest, you don’t need to learn a language for 10 years in order to go to a hotel somewhere in a foreign country and ask for food or directions… although it may help.
When I was young I was pretty introverted. I found communicating with others very difficult: there seemed to be a wide gap between what was in my mind or what I was feeling, and how people would react to my voicing such thoughts or emotions. It was a puzzle… and a dead end. Desperately, I wanted to write hoping that would allow me the relief of being able to express myself accurately.
However, I learnt later on in life that I had a huge creative block (a block in my Throat Chakra, the chakra of self-expression, creativity, integrity and communication) so I couldn’t express myself in any genuine or meaningful way. The body always manifests what is going on energetically, so I used to suffer from chronic laryngitis which would take away my voice for weeks at a time.
I was stuck in a corner, not knowing in which direction to go.
By the age of 22, with no healthy relationships with any members of my family and no real friends, I moved to the UK in order to perfect my English. I got a job in an international company. A perfect fit… except that there were people working there! So the test continued.
By the age of 32 my marriage failed and I fell into a point of depression. They say that “A broken heart is a healed heart” and in my case, it was true. As I fell into this dark hole, there was nowhere else to go but up, and it was at that point that I made myself a promise: I would take my own power and I would never fully rely on another person again.
18 years later, I still haven’t broken that promise. And now I teach communication to others.
So what happened here? What is the mysterious missing link?
There are many layers of meaning within a communication exchange. People tend to quickly point out whenever there is a misunderstanding that it was a problem due to accent, country of origin, education or social status, and so on and so forth.
But we know that people who do not speak the same language but have the good will to listen and to get along, can. Are we therefore talking about skill or are we talking about the one single thing that separates humans from other living beings?
We are talking about awareness.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION FOLLOWS PERSONAL EVOLUTION
Awareness is centred in the heart. That is why when my heart was broken, the emotional toxins of unhealed childhood, years of isolation, unsuccessful relationships, unreached dreams and unfulfilled longings and desires were able to find a way out. It was the beginning of my empowerment, the beginning of the integration of my energy matrix: an alignment of my mind, body and spirit or, in a lesser metaphysical way, an alignment of the three levels of reality: thoughts, words and deeds. All energy based.
As I started to actually see myself, I started to make choices on how I could focus my energy and redirect my life. I started to understand my family and people around me with detachment and compassion. As my ego was giving way to a higher level of consciousness, I started to function in the grown-up world.
And then I decided that I could indeed forgive and forget, so I started to release baggage. And as the blurriness and confusion were leaving my cloudy mind, I was able to see a future for myself with more clarity.
My resolve was becoming stronger. I started to find the satisfaction of reaching my goals in my own terms and under my own guidance, not through other people’s expectations. And then, the first miracle happened: I was heard.
That had never happened to me before. It had taken me about 40 years. They do say that life starts at 40… And with that, my personal authority was claimed.
The second miracle happened right afterwards: I was given a strong vision based on service to humanity. With that, I had a passion ignited in my heart: to help the planet raise consciousness.
I feel that ignorance is the foundation of all our sins: when our kundalini energy cannot reach the level of the heart and stays stagnant at the base chakra level (survival level), our choices are always based on the fear of not having enough. There is no compassion. I take before it is taken from me.
My determination became unshakeable. My focus, sharp. Distractions had to go and I learnt to say no with unconditional love and compassion. I was able to move forward and help others while doing so, respecting their boundaries and cancelling out energy manipulation games because I could clearly see them.  I was able to pick my battles and so I started to contain my energy.
There was no entanglement but emotional detachment instead. I took responsibility for my life and I stopped trying to save others… or to expect others to save me!
In my own eyes, I started to excel.
At the beginning of my spiritual search, I spent a great amount of hours meditating. With this practice, came the release of drama in my interactions with the world and I became disciplined in looking at the truth in the eye, no matter how much it hurt.
And as I saw myself in the light of truth, I started to see people’s desperate attempts to maintain the Status Quo at all costs… which would invariable translate in manipulation games, ego fights, fierce expectations or inflexible demands, just to name a few.
Because I became transparent, I started to see others through a transparent glass.
As I understood myself, I started to understand others. Why? Because deep inside we are all one and the same. We all have the same feelings and emotions. We all experience pain and elation. We all have the same fears and we all want the same things.
Our hearts are one and the same… so I came to understand that beyond the superficiality of race, gender, cultural background, language, mental capacity, education and so on and so forth, as I know myself, I know others.
After the years of spiritual, energetic and metaphysical training, as well as the studying of languages, public speaking and the development of my writing skills, several abilities awakened inside myself:
·     I used to be a very sensitive child, but now I had developed a sharp intuition and could feel energy (clairsentience). My Reiki Master training (Japanese method of hands on healing) helped.
·     I now heard not just with my physical ears but with what could be described as an etheric antenna (clairaudience). My Native American Totem Medicine training helped with this and later on I produced two Ebooks named “Animal Strategy” (www.amazon.com).
·     I now could understand at an etheric level (that is, having an inner knowledge without any confirmation of it being true or claircognizance). You are able to speak your truth without hurting another as there are no attachments, expectations, projections or manipulation in your communication.
THE FINAL INTEGRATION TOWARDS MEANINGFUL CONNECTION
This level of communication comes from a healed and integrated psyche and this can only happen when you have fulfilled your own needs; in that way, you don’t need to get anything from the person you are talking to.
At this level, here is complete detachment and unconditional giving. The integrity of both speaker and listener are maintained, and choices open up that were not available before.
People come to me because they think that they need or want language, public speaking or writing lessons. Yes: I base my work on the word – spoken or written. And the word is my love.
One word is not the same as another in any language that I know, and it is also not the same in different contexts. One word always has subtleties that another word doesn’t. And I love being specific – as Spirit put it once “You have made your work into an Art” – hence “The Art of Effective Communication”.
My clients repeatedly tell me that “I seemed to come up continuously in the internet and they knew they had to come to see me”.
I laugh to myself. Because what is really happening is that a deep and internal energy transfer takes place: an alignment of frequencies that is activated when my clients take responsibility for whatever shift needs to take place. And in this process of communication, I speak the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth.  The rest takes care of itself.
The alignment of these three levels of reality or dimensions is what makes our communications meaningful, efficient and effective: they are clean and they get completed. There are no unresolved feelings lingering afterwards.
There is closure and there is achievement of goals. There is a clean focus and a long term vision. There is personal power and energy released that before was being suppressed by negative feelings or spiritual ignorance of universal laws.
Anyone will teach you tips on effective communication, but one should verify whether the teacher has integrated his different levels of consciousness himself. Because meaningful, real, true communication comes from the heart and is not fancy.
It is simple and it uses simple words. It flows from the soul and there is no disconnection. It gives you strength to state who you are and become an authority in the process.
So when do you really know that a communication has been successful? There is a link from heart to heart, a resonance. There is an alchemy. There is magic.
And once you get used to magic, you will not want to live life any other way.
 
Dr. ANA GARCIA PhD, DTM.
The Art of Effective Communication
 
Mb:          +27 (0)76 393 3552
Email:       dranagarciaphd@yahoo.co.uk
 
 
Dr. Ana Garcia has a Doctoral Degree in Metaphysical Sciences (PhD), specializing in Transpersonal Counseling (integration of higher consciousness in the counseling process). She has a Master’s degree in Education and Languages from the Teaching University of her native Bilbao (Spain). She is also a Coach U CTP graduated Life and Business Coach. She holds a Certificate of Management with the British Institute of Management, as well as a DTM award (Distinguished Toastmaster) given by Toastmasters International on the fields of communication and leadership.
Dr. Ana is a Reiki Master. She has studied the Metamorphic Technique Universal Principles with its founder, Gaston St. Pierre, and holds qualifications in Character Analysis and Graphology with the British School of Yoga, as well as Nutrition with the School of Natural Health Sciences (UK).
Dr. Ana works on the field of Integration of Consciousness and Human Potential, focusing on the development of Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.) and Energy Management. By translating higher metaphysical concepts into practical everyday tools, Dr. Ana helps individuals achieve efficient, focused and waste-less lives. Dr. Ana is an author in the fields of personal development, metaphysics, spirituality and self-help. Her passion is to inspire others to claim their own power, clarify their dreams and create strategies to succeed.
 
Copyright © Dr. Ana Garcia PhD, 2014.
All rights reserved. No portion(s) of this article can be copied, used or reproduced for any manner without the expressed written consent of Ana Garcia.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

25 years ago I received this letter ...

 
 

Elias Charcour of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church was Archbishop of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and all Galilea from 2006 to 2014. Reasons for his retirement are unclear.


I received this letter from him a few years later.
 
What has changed?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Predicting Where Business is Headed


Predicting where business is headed

 “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves” - Shakespeare

This review of where business has been, where it is now positioned, and where it is headed is not based on any in-depth formal analyses, predictive modelling and forecasting, nor a claim to being a seer. It is a reflection based on being immersed in the business world – in a large number of countries and sectors - over the last half-century.
 

WHERE HAVE WE BEEN?

The chart below shows corporate areas of concentration over the past 50 years, and tells a story.

 
 
Note that each area of focus by decade: 
o   is a broad description that incorporates a number of developments and trends.
o   is not stand-alone and does not cease when the next area of focus takes off. For example, business has lately begun to recognise the closed-loop system of strategy and culture. Profit still remains the raison detré of business – the 70s were the age of ‘maximizing shareholder value’, and more recently the trend is moving towards serving the ‘triple-bottom-line’ of planet, people and profit.  A customer service strategy might flow out of vision and values, and require cultural elements in its execution. (Incidentally the first modern customer service standards were formulated by the International Organisation for Standards in 1946). In the late 1990s the Moss Kantor, a leading management thinker, said “the vision thing is giving way to the values thing in the lexicon of business leaders”.1  But of course vision and values are inextricably linked – Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech was values-laden
o   is driven by enablers or ‘how to’ initiatives. These aspects are excluded, not specifically mentioned in the chart. (Thus games, information and communications technologies and their intersection, narrative contribution, learning organisation components, quality management, organisational development, process redesign, balanced scorecard measures, leadership qualities and skills … are excluded)
o   might brew for many years before taking off and being widely adopted. (Rooted in military practice, modern business strategy emerged as a serious field of study and practice in the 1960s.  Scenario planning as an aspect of strategy formation can be traced to the 19th century. Shell, a forerunner of its modern use, has been using scenarios for over 4 decades. Culture has been a factor of focus in business for about 3 decades now.  Values have their origin in antiquity. Within the broad scope of values, corporate responsibility has been around for more than 5000 years …)
 
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
In part driven by a backlash against the excesses of rampant capitalism, including widespread compliance mechanisms, and by the failure of many organisations to determine and implement meaningful values, we are currently seeing an embryonic ‘virtuous organisation’ movement. “In sum, virtuousness in organizations refers to the process and practices that support and manifest the display of virtuous behavior. In virtuous organizations, employees collectively behave in ways that are consistent with the best of the human condition and the highest aspirations of human kind”.2
 
The practice of converting stated values to lived values at a deep level is still very much in its infancy. There have been some mumblings about 'a return to values' and 'doing well by doing good', but the primary goal still seems to be one of maximizing profit. (The title of an article about Richard Branson's book is a giveaway: Screw Business as Usual, And Make Your (Huge Piles Of) Money By Doing Good).3
 
Others, in searching for what makes organisations great, also allude to virtues, but again the emphasis is on financial performance, and the research findings in some doubt: The impetus for our research was the increasing popularity over the past 30 years of “success study” business books and articles. Perhaps the most famous of these are Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman’s In Search of Excellence (1982) and Jim Collins’s Good to Great (2001), but there are many others. The problem with them is they don’t give us any way to judge whether the companies they hold up as examples are indeed exceptional”.4
Moss Kantor holds that “companies are more than instruments for generating money; they are also vehicles for accomplishing societal purposes and for providing meaningful livelihoods for those who work in them”. (The latter not being subservient to the former).5
She rightly argues for long term sustainability, and has coined the term ‘institutional logic’ – which does suggest an adding to traditional command and control thinking, rather than a totally new approach to how business is conducted. 
We believe that the embedding of agreed character virtues throughout the organisation, following a sound process to determine desired behaviour indicators, and employing a new business model, is the right route to follow.6
 
WHAT NEXT? WHERE ARE WE HEADED?
 
 
In my view the next logical step for modern business focus  - following strategy, profit, culture, vision, values and virtues - is ‘spirit’.  
Given the parlous state of the wider world and the corporate world – characterised by wars, shortages, protest, corruption, deceit - this seems like a cranky, flaky, naïve, over-the-top prediction to make. However, there is far less tolerance of traditional, hierarchical and unethical leadership. Mindfulness training is being taken up by more and more – with benefits of better self-awareness, better interpersonal relationships. The harnessing of diversity is being more soundly practiced, with attendant growth of respect, trust, dignity. Emotional and social intelligence development is becoming a norm. Values and virtues are beginning to form a platform for many operations. Consciousness of the implications of the wide, interconnected web in which business finds itself – members, society, the environment, stakeholders – is being raised. (Spiritual awareness is an understanding of being imbedded in a larger whole, a cosmic whole, of belonging to the universe”. (Fritjof Capra, physicist, author of the Tao of Physics)
All of these trends signal a potential to breakthrough out of chaos as deeper understanding and practiced virtues take hold – as our essential humanity is rediscovered. This is what I term ‘Spirit’. A state-of-being where virtues shape, inform and undergird strategies, motives, culture, vision and business processes.  Where a habitual (even mystical) awareness of the interconnectedness of all things is widely present.  Where the da Vinci virtue of connessione (practicing love) emerges as the highest virtue and a transformational force.  June Singer, a giant in the world of analytical psychology, has this to say:
In our concerns with counting and weighing and measuring, with precise descriptions
and careful evaluation, we sometimes fail to recognise or give credit to values that do not
fit these criteria. Or, when we do recognise that such values exist, we split them off from
the consciousness of the marketplace and relegate them to the categories of religion or the  arts”.7 
We believe that this is about to change. There has been a raising of consciousness.  Soon this will become a groundswell. And in the next decade we’ll reach a positive tipping point, a switch to love-founded, heart-driven organisations. You see, “love behaves like a separate being in the psyche, acting from within and enabling us to look beyond ourselves at our fellow human beings – people who can be valued and cherished, rather than used”.8
“Great leadership, at West Point and everywhere, has a lot to do with love. Not romantic
love or unconditional love but that caring, passionate drive that binds teams together to
accomplish goals greater than any individual among them could imagine”.9
It is not business as usual, but business with a new perspective, a new way of doing things, without being distracted and self-involved, success because of ‘spirit’ at work.
The miser visits a rabbi to complain how miserable he is. The rabbi takes him by the shoulders and places him in front of a mirror.
            “What do you see?” he asks.
            “I see myself,” mutters the miser.
            The rabbi steers him to the window and asks, “What do you see now?”
            The miser responds, “I see people and trees”.
            “The difference,” says the rabbi, “is the silver on the mirror”.
 
REFERENCES
 1. Moss Kantor, Rosabeth On the Frontiers of Management Harvard Business Review Book  Boston  1997
2. Horne, Amanda Virtuous Organisations August, 2012

http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/amanda-horne/2012080323377

3. Ferenstein,  Gregory  Richard Branson: Screw Business As Usual, And Make Your (Huge Piles Of) Money By Doing Good

4. Raynor, Michael E  and Ahmed, Mumtaz Three Rules for Making a Company Truly Great April 2013
5. Moss Kantor, Rosabeth  How Great Companies Think Differently November, 2011
6.  Williams, Graham; Haarhoff, Dorian & Fox, Peter The Virtuosa Organisation: the importance of virtues for a successful business  2014
7. Singer, June The Power of Love to transform our lives and our world Nicolas-Hays, Inc. Maine 2000
8. Johnson, Robert A. in his Introduction to A Lover: embracing the passionate heart.
Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious Volume 4 Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam NY 2002
9. Murphy, Bill Jr. Lessons From West Point: Leadership Is Love