As we evolve to higher levels of awareness our evolution becomes apparent in the language we use.
This came to me recently as I realized that I was using the wrong language in responding to questions and comments I received. I’d hear people say “You know just what questions to ask.” Or, “How did you make that connection?”
My previous response was “I’m fortunate to be one with the universe”…a horribly misleading statement. By implication, I was saying that I’m the only one, or only one of a few, who have that connection with the universe. The reality is that each and everyone of us is connected to the universe. It’s just that many of us haven’t yet discovered that connection. Or if they have, haven’t discovered how to tap into it consciously and at will.
My new response is “I’ve been fortunate to become aware of my connection to the universe and how to tap into it consciously and at will.” Then I make it clear to that we are all connected.
It was this shift in language that helped me become aware that I’d reached a new level of awareness. While I’ve long known that everyone is connected to the universe, I wasn’t communicating my knowledge in a way that is helpful to others…to help them enjoy greater awareness.
When the idea for better language arose, I realized that my understanding of awareness had grown in a way that would benefit me and all with whom I shared this knowledge.
So what does this mean to you?
One of our natural tendencies as human beings is to see only our shortcomings, the things we’d like to “fix” in ourselves. In the process, we overlook the growth in awareness and understanding that we enjoy on a daily basis. In other words, we instantly take for granted what we learn; consequently, we don’t share what we’ve learned because we presume others have that knowledge as well.
One of the ways to overcome this tendency is to spend a few minutes of quiet time each day considering what you learned and how your language has changed as a result of what you learned.
As you become more aware of what you learn and how it impacts the language you use, another natural tendency will kick in…the tendency to share what we learned. It’s one of the natural tendencies we all posses that serves us well…the desire to share what we learn with others.
Don’t get discouraged it at first you find it difficult to see the progress you’ve made. Again, our natural tendency is to focus on the negative. During the quiet time, allow your mind to drift to various conversation you had during the course of the day. Pay attention to the times that your ideas were readily accepted. What language did you use? Commit that language to memory so that you can use it again and again.
Then recall the times when you got resistance, or lost the listener’s interest. What language did you use? How could you have rephrased what you said to avoid losing their interest or creating resistance? Also, recall whether you used facts and logic to persuade the listener. If you did, consider asking questions in the future? Questions don’t trigger the resistance that statements do. If you’re doubting that last statement, you proved my point.
As you become used to revisiting conversations and become aware of the impact your language has on others, you’ll become more precise in your language…a sign that your awareness has grown, that you’ve made progress in your personal development.
For our kids
As you pay attention to the language you’re using, you’ll naturally pick up on the language your kids are using. When you hear imprecision in their language, ask them “Do you mean [this] or [that]?”
This simple question will help them become aware of the impact their language has on their communications with others. As they become more precise in their language, they too will enjoy the awareness they gain of how much they’ve evolved for the better.
Let others know that you love them by sharing this blog post. They’ll appreciate that you care.
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please share your experience in a comment.
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Happy New Year Dale. What a grand article. Does it seem to you that in today’s world language tends to confuse and separate people rather than unite and clarify ideas and views?
Words without mindful intent and meaning create chaos. Sometimes I feel it’s better to “zipper the liper.” I am also asking for your views and ideas about people learning to lead with simple questions and real deep listening to activate meaningful dialogue and rebuild damaged relationships.
Stephen, thank you for taking the time to comment. I do think that people are generally less precise in their language today. In part, I believe that’s because they are too deeply entrenched in their thinking. As a result, they don’t explore alternative explanations or rationale for what they see or hear. Instead they accept what affirms their beliefs and dismiss what doesn’t.
As you suggest, asking questions…especially clarifying questions using an exploratory tone…helps everyone communicate more precisely and effectively. That is true in all forms of communication whether with family, friends, colleagues, subordinates or bosses. It’s especially helpful for leaders for it helps them get to the real issue. Often the reasons espoused by their subordinates are attempts to deflect the conversation from the real issues. It’s human nature to try to avoid conflict which often translates into less than candid communications. Asking clarifying questions using an en exploratory tone usually elicits the information needed to resolve the issue..and rebuild the trust needed to heal damaged relationships.