A friend asked me to write down what I considered to be the elements of workable communication.
This list could be added to, I’m sure. I haven’t been religiously practicing these guidelines myself because this way of speaking has been largely lost.
What that means is that there are no partners any more to communicate this way with and so it gradually falls into disuse. And starting it up again is a large task. But I think it’s probably time to consider the subject.
It was my experience long ago that very few people had the pluck and stamina to communicate in the ways described here. It requires a great deal of courage to reveal oneself when those around you are playing their cards close to their chest. It takes a great deal of willingness to plough through misunderstanding after misunderstanding until clarity is reached. Many people are unwilling to stay the course, but the rewards are great.
The Nature of Workable Communication
Workable communication does not assume that someone is sick and needs to get better. It doesn’t treat the communicator as a patient who gives up responsibility and initiative to a practitioner, but as a fully capable, responsible and empowered actor and initiator. The growth movement assumes wellness and works up from there.
The Reason for It
If we’re to successfully build Nova Earth together, we need a common communicational ground of being. I recommend this ground of being, with additions as they appear. But it’s not an easy system to learn and it requires courage to practice it, more courage than a lot of people want to give to such things.
What Workable Communication Promotes
Workable communication promotes success by maximizing clarity, responsibility, transparency, and harmony in work, relationship, and recreation through ways of speaking and listening that work. In this article I only discuss speaking.
Guidelines for Speaking
Stay in the here and now: Be present.
Speak directly to the person involved.
Be honest: tell the truth at all times at the deepest possible level.
Speak clearly; eliminate ambiguity.
Check out your impressions. If something feels untoward, check to see that you heard it correctly before acting.
Speak for yourself: use “I” statements. In workable interpersonal communication, we use “I” statements but I can’t see a way to avoid using the word “you” in guidelines.
Be responsible for your thoughts and feelings, choices and actions.
State what you’re aware of; be aware of your own body language.
Share feelings; don’t disguise thoughts as feelings. “I feel disheartened” is expressing a feeling but “I feel that you did this” is not.
Turn questions into statements. Questions allow us to hide our motives and intentions, which is why many people use them.
Own your own judgements and agendas, opinions and manipulations.
Call yourself on your numbers, rackets, and strategies – before others do. To call myself on my number without waiting for another to call me was always viewed in the growth movement as an accomplishment.
State the status of your knowledge (thought, belief, feeling, opinion, hunch, etc.). The most common cause of fights between people communicating is giving the impression that we know something that it’s impossible to know and that can only be a hunch or a feeling or an intuition. The question people ask us is: “How do you know?” And often we actually don’t know.
Use Perro. Intergalactic language of diplomacy: factual statements.
State and call yourself on your self-serving intentions and agendas.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Try on and test out what others say about you. See if it fits; if it does, own it.
Say what you’re afraid of saying. Say what you’re determined not to say. Unless it puts you in personal danger or jeopardy.
Share the withhold.
“To withhold secrets requires a tightened body; it requires curtailment of spontaneity lest the secrets be revealed; it requires vigilance, shallow breathing, physical exertion, and a preoccupation with your own safety. This results in your missing all sorts of stimuli because your body mind is not relaxed enough to allow them in.” (William C. Schutz, Elements of Encounter: A Body-Mind Approach. Big Sur: Joy Press, 1973, 16.)
“Censor” yourself when necessary. There are some withholds that cannot be shared without harming another or yourself. In these instances, perhaps say: “I’m censoring myself.” To do so identifies there is a withhold but declares that important considerations persuade you not to share it.
Observe the rule of four. The rule of four means that there are four matters to be considered in any communication: (1) What I want; (2) What I don’t want; (3) What you want; (4) What you don’t want. Be clear whether what you’re communicating is something you want or don’t want or what you think the other person wants or doesn’t want. Don’t say “It’s OK” if you know that it isn’t OK for the other person; say “It’s OK for me.” This, for me, is the second most common cause of fights.
Don’t “mess” with another’s share. Don’t tell them what they “should” do. Don’t express pity for them, etc. Don’t fix them or advise them. Allow their share to be.
Don’t analyze; describe
Avoid noncommittal words like I’m curious, interested, etc.
Avoid absolutes (always, never) and globalisms (everyone, the whole world).
Avoid embellishments and superlatives.
Avoid gossip and sidebarring. Gossip and sidebarring are negative assessments of others, shared with third parties to isolate the person concerned. Share them only with the person concerned. Therapeutic discussions are OK, provided they really are therapeutic.
Avoid using pronouns without clear referents (it, they, that) ; state the referent.
Now a note from me: Reading a list like this leads to intellectual knowledge but it probably does not lead to experiential knowledge. And only experiential knowledge is deep enough to cause shifts in perspective, approach, etc. I may discuss some of these categories in future articles. And I may also discuss workable communication in listening; this list only discusses speaking.
If you think about what is said here, you may see how utterly different these ways of speaking are than what is commonly accepted in society today. But they’re also vastly more effective. If we’re to build Nova Earth together, wholesale revamping of the way we talk to each other may very well be needed. And I could be wrong.
Finally, I would not be surprised to hear that most of the elements described here are actually Fifth-Dimensional ways of communicating. But again I don’t know that for a fact.