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This YouTube clip explains several things you can do with process awareness
This is one of a series of articles
in Lesson 2 - learn communication basics and seven powerful
to get more daily needs met more often. Progress with this Lesson
depends on simultaneous progress on Lesson 1 - empower your
resident true Self to guide your personality in calm and conflictual
times. The unique guidebook
Satisfactions (Xlibris.com, 2nd ed., 2010) integrates the key Lesson-2
Web articles in this nonprofit Web site, and provides
many practical resources.
article overviews the essential communication skill of process
awareness. It is the basis for all six companion skills.
The article assumes you're familiar
is learnable, and is
required for six other effective-communication skills. Most busy adults and all
kids are unaware of
their unawareness and its effect on their relationships, health, and serenity. Is that true of you?
Status Check - see how you feel about these premises - A = "I agree,"
D = " I disagree," and ? = "I'm not sure, or it
depends on (what?)"
Adults, kids, and
infants have three levels of awareness; conscious,
semi-conscious, and unconscious. All three combine to
cause current thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. (A D
Anyone (like you) can
intentionally expand their conscious
awareness by learning to become still, meditating, and
regularly. (A D ?)
general awareness is communication-process awareness. As people learn to be objectively aware of
the moment-by-moment dynamics...
within themselves, and...
between them and any partner, and...
in their partner, and...
in their environment,...
they can intentionally improve their
effectiveness. (A D ?)
Teaching kids to be aware and to want to
and use it is a priceless life-long gift. (A D ?) Do you do
this? Did your childhood caregivers?
communication occurs when each person feels...
needs were satisfied
in a mutually-respectful way. (A
Premises - typical
of low-nurturance childhoods are often unaware of their unawareness; and their
limit and distort local and chronic personal awareness. These
promote many personal and social
problems. Implication: intentionally
your true Self to
your personality (i.e. working patiently at
Lesson 1) will
clarify and expand your awareness levels. That will help you to fill
more current needs (solve problems) effectively more often
Pause and reflect on what you just read. Be aware of
your thoughts and feelings.
This learnable skill helps in
allinterpersonal situations, including
interactions among your dynamic
subselves. "Communication (process)
awareness" is intentionally noticing at least eight of
50 factors in and between you and a communication partner.
Are our true Selves
in charge now?
What R(espect) messages
are we each receiving?
our communication needs match or clash now?
are we each focused?
we problem-solving, or doing something else?
Where are our
skill/s are called for? and...
Was our communication
effective? If not, why not?
A common reality is that the
people try to resolve relationship problems often becomes another
raises the odds that
the way you problem-solvewill not amplify your problems
invest a few moments in this simple
exercise. Then experiment with
achieving basic(vs.full) awareness by
yourself - and optionally any partner - eight or more questions about any
important interpersonal situation:
guiding our personalities
now - our true Selves or a
To answer this
question, you need to complete Lesson 1 in this nonprofit Web site,
and then use this and
any communication partner is ruled by a false self, effective
communication is unlikely.See this
example for more perspective
when you finish here.
R(espect)-messages are we each receiving from our partner now?
1-up: you (seem to)
current needs as more
important than mine";
1-down: you (seem to) rank your current needs as
less important than
equal: you (seem to)
needs and dignity and mine as equally valid and important now."
Premise - communications work (fill everyone's
current primary needs) only if all subselves and people consistently get ""
R-messages (feel mutually respected) as their process unfolds. Do you agree? If any person doesn't respect
themselves at the moment, effective communication is unlikely.
AWARENESS 3) Do our respective
needs match now?
Humans behave in order to reduce
discomfort (needs) and gain pleasure.
five needs adults and kids
try to fill by communicating are to...
gain or keep respect
constant); plus the needs to...
give or get
vent - be empathically heard
and accepted; and/or to...
cause action (change) in
your partner/s, including shifting the emotionaldistance between
us. This can also be the need to feel locally powerful, vs. powerless.
And/or people need...
stimulation - i.e. to cause excitement (reduce apathy and
boredom); and/or we communicate...
avoid discomforts likesilence,
conflict, loss, overwhelm, guilt, or anxiety.
verbal or nonverbal exchange,
you and each partner seek self and mutual respect and one or more of
these other five needs. If your
communication needsdon't match mine now (e.g. you
need to vent, and I need to cause action) -
we have a communication-
important situations, we need to stay aware of our respective
communication needs, and use
our other six
skills to alignourneeds well enough (e.g. you need to vent, and I need to get information
and to strengthen our relationship).
Can you think of a recent time when
you or a partner tried to force your communication needs to match
["I insist that you (want to) listen to me now!"] without
of what you were doing?
AWARENESS4) "Where are
we each focused now?"
Four key "focus
Who - are we focusing
on me, on you, on us, or none of
these? Important communications work best if each person is
mainly focused on us (a "2-person awareness bubble")
Time - are we focusing on the
or the future? Primary needs always exist now;
Topic - are we both focusing
on (a) the same topic, (b) different topics, or (c) do we have
no clear topic? Communications degrade if anyone changes
the topic without being sure everyone feels "done" with the
current topic. When you finish this arrixcle, see this research summary for perspective.
And a vital focus zone is...
Need level : are we focused on
filling surface needs, primary needs, or something
in between? Unaware people usually focus on resolving surface
discomforts, not the underlying needs that cause them. Dig-down
skill helps reveal current primary needs.
usually work best if all people involved are steadily focused on (a) the present,
and on (b) a
subject of common interest.If people aren't
aware of their
communication focus in key situations, they risk not filling their
respective needs and feeling frustrated.Do you agree?
Recall - we're reviewing eight key awarenesses for effective
communication between people. The same awarenesses apply
to conversations among your personality subselves.
Personal and social "problems" are unmet needs
(discomforts). "Problem solving" is intentionally...
identifying each person's current
equally, except in emergencies, and...
trying to fill each
person's needs "well enough" as mutually-respecting teammates,
regardless of age, rank, social role, or gender.
. Instead of
problem-solving, unaware people
controlled by false selves often put their energy into...
changing the subject
focusing on the past or
bringing up old
None of these fill everyone's needs!
Do you do any of these? Once aware of your inner and ,mutual communication
processes, you can help each other avoid these unproductive
dynamics, and stay focused on win-win
problem-solving - starting
internal conflicts in either of you.
are our respective E(motion)-levels?
"Emotions" (feelings) are automatic neurochemical responses to
our perceptions and bodily sensations. They affect our
heartbeat, respiration, muscle tone, and blood flow. As
communication occurs, subselves activate a bring us a dynamic
miz of emotionstions. They vary moment by moment, and
range between mild to intense. It's common to feel several
emotions at once.
When the intensity of
someone's current emotion-mix is high enough. it can be said
they're "above the ears" because they block the person
from hearing other people clearly. Remember the last time you
experienced that? Infants, kids, and adults learn to
automatically assess other peoples' E(motion)-levels by judging
their voice dynamics, skin color, facial expression, and body
language. This assessment becomes instinctive and is often
Anyone can learn to identify their own E-level and that of any
communication partner. If they (you) observe someone's level to
be "above the ears, that's a signal to give or ask for a
hearing check. When we feel well-heard, our E-level usually drops "below our
ears" and we can hear our partner/s again. Mutual hearing is
essential for effective communication.
Reality check: think of the last face-to-face argument you had,
and imagine you were a neutral observer. Where would you say
each person's E-level was - above or below their ears? Do
you think either person was aware of this important dynamic?
communication skill should I use now?
To answer this in important or conflictual social situations, use the awarenesses
clear thinking +digging down.
Use the other four skills depending on your mix of E-levels and needs:
Which Communication Skill To Use - When?
If My E-level is ...
and your E-level is...
then I should use...
"Below my ears" (i.e. I'm calm enough to really hear
"Above your ears" (you're very emotional and can't hear me well or
at all now - you need to vent;
in a way that left each of
us feeling good-enough
about each other and our current communication process?
Only one of possible outcomes to any conversation is
(win-win). Without your respective true Selves in charge and mutual awareness of
these factors in important conversations, your odds are
A variation of this
is "What's the
pattern of our communication outcomes over
time?" - e.g. "In the last (x) months, what has our general
conflict-outcome pattern been: lose/win, lose/lose, win/lose, or win/win?"
(or ineffective > effective enough)
+ + +
Pause and reflect: were you aware of these eight factors that
affect the outcome of important communications with other people? Do
you know anyone who is aware of them? Do your kids know when to pay
attention to these vital communication factors yet?
You can significantly improve your
communication effectiveness (get more needs met) by using these
with your own
subselves and key adults and kids.
of up to 50 process-awareness factors! Master as many of them as you wish, but teach your kids at least these
Status check: on a
scale from one (I have no interest in raising my communication awareness
now) to ten (Becoming more aware is among my top five life priorities
now), I'd rate my current motivation to use the information in
this article as a ___.
This article is one of a series on effective communication basics and skills. It focuses on the keystone skill of
processawareness - a subset of general awareness.. The
learnable skill notices objectively "What's happening in us,
between us, and around us, moment by moment?"
The article hilights eight of over 50 communication variables anyone can
learn to be aware of in important interactions among their dynamic personality subselves, and with other people.
this awareness allows identifying and reducing communication
blocks and problems.
Process awareness provides input for the
communication skills of
Pause, breathe, and recall why you read this article on
communication awareness. Did you get what you needed? If
so - what do you want to do now? If not - what
do you need?
these questions - your resident
or "someone else"?