I recently caught up with a friend over coffee and inevitably our conversation moved to Christmas, our plans for the holiday period and our mutually planned family gatherings. She simply groaned …..
“I don’t like this time of year. I often think it would be simpler if I stayed home to avoid the drama!”
Improve the holiday experience with communication suggestions from On the Table
Holidays can trigger powerful emotional reactions. Sometimes our expectation of happy gatherings can be laced with disagreements and frustration. We all know what the holidays are supposed to be like–happiness, the warm glow of family closeness, a spirit of loving kindness and “the” perfect gift.
Reality however is often closer to the attack on Pearl Harbour. And unfortunately our response can be based on pure unadulterated emotion rather than thought out effective communication.
It is possible, however, to improve your communication and enhance the Christmas holiday experience.
According to Bob Stevens, president of Mastery Systems and the creator of a personal development method called Conscious Languaging, our choice of language can either hamper or enhance our ability to create the experiences of our choosing. “Language is our fundamental software,” explains Stevens. “It is the operating system that supports our thoughts and actions — but most of us don’t realise how much of our life is run by our personal language ‘program.’ Nor do we realise the power that choosing our language more consciously has to reprogram our lives.”
Stevens asserts that by “upgrading” our language choices, we can upgrade our attitudes, belief systems and life patterns. So how does one perform such an upgrade? For those who desire guidance and coaching, Stevens offers a series of workshops and audiotapes that teach the principles of Conscious Languaging. For starters, Stevens advocates consistently adjusting one’s vocabulary and mind set in several key ways:
- REMEMBER THAT SPEAKING is self-fulfilling prophecy. Where your words lead, your mind and body will follow, so speak and think only that which you choose to have come into reality, now and continuously.
- KEEP YOUR LANGUAGE first-person personal. Talk from your own experience and don’t say “you” when you really mean “I.”
- SPEAK ABOUT THE PRESENT MOMENT whenever possible. Rather than recount stories about what happened before and how you felt then, focus on and say what you are experiencing now.
- BE SPECIFIC AND DIRECT. Don’t pollute your language by talking in circles, using conditionals (would, could, so that), tacking on vague modifiers (sort of, in a way), or saying things you don’t really mean.
- SPEAK POWERFULLY AND POSITIVELY. Forego the language of limitation (I can’t, I don’t, I won’t, I want, I need) for the language of empowerment and choice (I can, I am, I will, I choose, I have, I love, I create, I enjoy).
- WHENEVER YOU SAY THE WORDS “I AM,” the words that follow are a declaration and are experienced by your subconscious self as a direct order. So statements like “I am broke,” “I’m confused,” or “I’m so fat” only tend to reinforce those states. Instead, directly express how you feel about your current reality (sad, scared, hopeless?), and then declare what you choose to be and do instead.
Enjoy the holidays! Communicate Well.
Merry Christmas to everyone and their families.
About the Author
Kylie Head is a mediation services specialist with seventeen years of experience in senior management roles.
In addition to mediating disputes, Kylie acts as a facilitator resolving in-house conflict within business, along with working one-on-one to coach individuals through conflict, life transitions and problem solving. Kylie is experienced in providing mediation services with On the Table to parties where the issues are complex and intractable.
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