Conscious Communication & Conversation: How to Find Self-Mastery in 7 Steps
I’ve lived and worked in many community settings with diverse people from many different backgrounds. One thing I’ve learned is that everyone speaks a different language.
Even if two people are speaking English together, each speaker speaks their own language. Each speaker comes to the conversation with years of unique life experience that no one else will ever experience in exactly the same way they did.
Even if they use the same words as another person, the constellation of meanings and associations they have with one word could be completely different than the meanings and associations aroused in someone else when the same word is presented.
For example, to someone who lived and worked on a banana farm, the word “banana” can carry an entirely different constellation of meanings and associations than someone who is allergic to bananas.
This creates an interesting dynamic in communication between diverse groups of people. Misunderstanding is the primary source of all conflict. And misunderstanding is largely caused by miscommunication.
In order to exist more harmoniously with others, we need to learn how to fully communicate the meaning of what we’re saying.
Add to the mix that we are often communicating emotions and experiences from the vast realm of the “unsaid” – the opportunity for misunderstanding and miscommunication becomes even greater.
So as conscious community members, we not only need to understand what we mean when we say it, but we also need to be able to communicate that in a way that leads to mutual understanding.
So what could that look like?
For years, community facilitators, conflict-resolution specialists, and counseling professionals have been trying to understand this question. The subject of effective communication has been a huge source of interest, research, and study across many fields and in many professions. From Ury & Fischer’s “Getting to Yes” to Non-Violent Communication, to Gestalt Relational Awareness, there are many tools people have experimented with to create clear communication.