Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Relationship Round-up | The Myths, The Problems, & The Solutions

Over the years, I have written a piece or two [or 3] on relationships and communication. From many perspectives and assessing many forms of relating. Given how often I have had the opportunity to send some of these articles to clients lately, I figured that a round-up of the most salient entries was in order.

The four I recommend as "covering the bases" are below. I list them in order of expansiveness:

Are you in a relationship? Or in a habit? How would you know? I take on this question in the following article:

Living Consciously: Fulfilling Relationships, Values, Forms

In the next two-part article, we address the problems as well as the solutions to many [if not most] inter-personally conflicts. Both the mindsets as well as practical solutions.

Relationships. Elegant Navigation, Effective Communication ::: Part 1

Relationships. Elegant Navigation, Effective Communication ::: Part 2

And finally, the headline says it all on this one, as clunky and geeky as it is:

Form and Evolution; the Myth of Post-Conventional Relating Mapping to Form

 

May they enrich your relationships--be they friendly, romantic, or professional.

0
  5371 Hits

Social Media and You | In-Depth Analysis and Recommendations

 

In the modern marketplace, if you are in business for yourself or at a high level within a company you work for, it is impossible to avoid social media and its use if you truly want to thrive. That combined with what I believe is an emerging Age of Authenticity ... well, you get the picture.

Just scratching the surface of the broad strokes, it allows you to:

  1. Provide value to others
  2. Manage your brand
  3. Market inexpensively and freely
  4. Show your human side
  5. Stay connected to others, events, and your own reputation
  6. Other fun and cool stuff

 

This is why I cover social media in depth in the technology module of the Evolutionary Sales course.

But recently, I have stumbled onto a few resources I thought some would find useful and valuable, and I wanted to recommend them to you.

The first is a wonderfully in-depth book I read about a year ago: Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand. Whether you are a solo-preneur or you are in charge of PR for an enterprise level organization, its content will be very, very useful to you. Chock-full of examples of both the dos and don'ts and great advice for best practices. I recommend you pick it up at Amazon at the link above.

And since social media is all about sharing, here is an incredibly useful article: 9 Reasons Why Your Content Is Not Shared on Social Networks: New Research. Again, very useful stuff backed by a respectable amount of research. Links to follow in that post as well.

And if you are looking for full education around social media for small or solo businesses, I can not recommend Laura Roeder enough. Just a great person who really, really knows her stuff and is on a scale the rest of us can relate to. She gives away a ton of free valuable content if you subscribe to The Dash.


On blogging [and really, email marketing as well] here is a great piece intended for students, but equally as relevant for solo-preneurs in re blogging, articles, and email marketing on how to write great headlines and subject lines, using, one again, using some of Guy Kawasaki's Genius.

And finally for this post, I thought I would round it out with something humorous/light/fun and also very useful. So many people ask [especially now that Google+ is out to a wider invite pool] which social media service they should join, or what is suited for them, or what is the differences among them, or even, "what's the point". So, via the genius of Guy Kawasaki comes the Social Network Decision Tree. Have fun with that.

UPDATE ::: several people have asked me about facebook fan pages. Without intending the pun, I am not a fan of fan pages on facebook. You can read a prime example of why I do not recommend them »HERE«.

And in general, I have a long-held aversion to running anything in re business where I invest a lot of time, energy and/or money when I do not "own" the data and the DB. I have known a couple people who have lost everything in biz groups as a result of a facebook "oops". You do not really own your data, and your ability to administer it is at least limited on facebook [or any other social networking site].

At the same time, the service is free--you get what you pay for--and we have no right to complain about such a great platform that is offered to us at no cost.

Having said that, it does not mean I will build my business on it in any signifigant way.

How I think facebook pages can be useful is to interact with followers on a platform they are already subscribed to, but I still think the pages should be used to drive traffic to our actual web sites outside of the closed eco-system of facebook.

Update 2:   in re who reads what [links you share, emails you send out, etc. Again, via Guy Kawasaki ::: "Fascinating study by Bit.ly about the lifespan of tweets and updates. It found that the half-life (how long it took for 50% of all clicks to occur that a link would ever get) was 2.8 hours for Twitter, 3.2 hours for Facebook, and 3.4 hours for direct messages (such as email)."

Check out the research » HERE« And speaking of the stream, readmore about the art of the Tweet repeat » HERE«

Update 3: Also ... be sure to check out How to Avoid the 7 Deadly Website Sins.

Update 4: I have been asked about scheduling tools for social media. The tool I currently recommend is Hootsuite Pro. It allows you to scheudle your entire markeitng day [or your social stuff while you are off the grid] in advance. I used to recommend TweetDeck, but sice twitter bough them and took over development, they stripped it of a lot of its functionality.


And if you have not read the email charter, do that » HERE « 

Continue reading
0
  6428 Hits

Relationships: Elegant Navigation, Effective Communication Part 1

Relationships: Effective Communication | Elegant Navigation

Part 1: The Problem (1346 words. Average reading time: 6 minutes)

In the global marketplace of cultures, ideas, relationships, and business strategies, we can no longer say that there is one way to “do relationships” or that there is an “is-ness” to what form they should take.

 There simply is no global—or even local—consensus around relationships—if there ever was.

Whether we are speaking about arranged marriages still common on the other side of the globe in India, gay marriages—legal in some countries and some U.S. States or other alternative forms of relating from polyamory, or other non-traditional, non-monogamous relationship forms, we can certainly say that what is considered an acceptable form of relating is massively expanding in scope.

Whether you agree or disagree with those life-style choices, it is undeniable that the very idea of relationship is in evolution both morally and culturally.  Not to mention in practicality—in form.

And yet … 

And yet, most people still cannot seem to even navigate the waters of traditional relationships with facility and elegance.  Even many friendships are not always fulfilling and conflicts are rarely navigated effectively—if at all. Sadly, many marriages and intimate romantic relationships often hobble along until people are just in a habit, not a relationship. They’re still “together” on the surface, but the reality, truth, intimacy, and dynamism faded—or died—long ago.

They are in a habit, not an actual relationship.

There are certainly exceptions to this.  Both in relationships and in society as a whole. We have individuals and small “intentional” communities who have it as one of their stated values to become facile at navigating the waters of relationships—including  conflicts and misunderstandings that arise, as well as their internal, individual, personal emotional upset or “charge” that comes along with it—with skill, ease, and a good degree of elegance.

But even after more than 40 years of the rise and expansion of the human potential movement, these are exceptions, not rules.  Heck, they are often not even expected standards, let alone the rule.

But it could be so.  

We can all have fulfilling, harmonious relationships. Even in conflict, there are philosophical approaches as well effective communication models that, if take on, can fulfill on this possibility—and make it a reality.

So…what are they?

 First, let’s look at some of the common problems that arise. And then, together, we will examine some simple solutions.

 

The Problems

 

Many of dynamics within inter-personal problems and/or conflicts can be summed up thusly:

  • A belief that relationships are “supposed to take work” or “supposed to be hard”
  • Dishonesty. Dishonesty in at least two ways
    • Deceit—actual lying
    • Hiding the truth—not just of facts, which we will lump in with the above, but of our internal, subjective experience. Our process. And what is going on for us.
  • Blaming others for our circumstances or the situation AND
  • Failing to take responsibility for our part in a conflict or misunderstanding
  • Simply meaning two different things—or interpreting something in two different ways—that are in conflict unknowingly until the it causes a conflict explicitly and openly
  • An egoic need to “be right” put before a search for truth and accuracy
  • A lack of emotional choice or facility [being run by our anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, resentments etc.]
  • A lack of knowledge around how to effectively communicate through a conflict—a lack of a positive, effective, workable model
  • A lack of skillful means with those models
  • A collision of values/world-views that are in conflict

 

Continue reading
0
  10247 Hits

Relationships: Elegent Navigation, Effective Communication, Part 2

Relationships: Effective Communication | Elegant Navigation

Part 2: The Solutions (1100 words, average reading time: 4.5 minutes)

[Part 1 can be found HERE]

 

I have a very simple approach to relationships, that avoids most, if not all, of the problems outlined in the interpersonal conflicts above. It is the philosophical grounding I take on in all of my relationships explicitly:

  • Realize—and accept—the fact that no one way of approaching relationships, communication, or conflict is the “right way”. That there is no consensus agreement or reality except that which you form with the Other. They are simply different styles…therefore take this on as an organizing principle and act accordingly: 
  • Give the other person the freedom to be however they want; to be self expressed free from attempts to control them or suppress them
  • Give yourself the freedom to be fully self-expressed—to be your authentic self
  • In the event that one person’s behavior upsets the other, the person who is upset makes a clear request to alter the offending behavior
    • If they accept the request, you now have an agreement
    • If they decline the request, you now know what to expect from them and have more understanding of each other’s approach to the world
    • Forge an agreement with the other that this is the way you will approach relationships and conflict

 

Simple.

It gives both parties maximum freedom to be themselves. It treats both parties like adults who are responsible for their own experience—and can express their needs. Everything is on the table and at face value. There is no second-guessing. There is no ambiguity. There are no guessing games or “game playing”.

And really, holding someone accountable to agreements they have not made—in the form of your unstated expectations—is simply unjust. It is also supremely arrogant, in that it assumes that “well, everybody knows that you should…” which can be translated at a deeper level of its assumption is “my way of doing relationships is the global standard”. 

Incredibly arrogant.

Your way of doing it may be more effective—and may even be more enjoyable for both parties if accepted by and engaged in by both parties—but it is not the only way to do it, and in the absence of an explicit consensus or agreement reality, you must create one.

As I said, it is simple. However, it is not easy.   

There are several things you must do and develop efficacy with for this approach to work and work well for both parties.  There is also a very effective way to communicate through those upsets before making your request (the last bullet point above). We’ll get to that in a few minutes.

First, here is what you must do:

Take on the recommended philosophical grounding and approach outlined in the bullet points above. 

Take responsibility. Don’t do it for them, or for the other person. Do it for yourself—as your esteem for yourself will expand and grow each time you accept responsibility. Your sense of self expands. It also has the effect of allowing people who are emotionally mature enough to follow suit and take responsibility for their part in it—rather than polarizing, blaming each other, and digging your heels in—to the detriment of the relationship and/or for the thin gruel of short-term ego inflation (as opposed to healthy egoic expansion, which occurs, again, by taking responsibility). 

Engage in as many other practices as possible to build true and healthy esteem for the self.  It is your immune system for your emotional life.

Make a firm decision to practice and exercise your facility with self.  At a bare minimum, know that even if your interpretations of what is occurring are mostly accurate, they are at least incomplete. Always look to include more information in your world-view. Expand your perspective.

More advanced practices to exercise your internal facility would be to consider:

  • How else could the events/their actions be interpreted?
  • Where else could the person be coming from?
    • What else—besides your disempowering interpretation/projection/guess—could be their motivations? Their intent? Their outcome?
    • What could their positive intent be?
    • Step into their shoes. What could their experience of you be right now? Is it positive? Neutral? Negative? What else is going on right now for them that is straining their resources?
    • What emotion is underneath their communication—and speak directly to and validate that before getting to facts and agreements

 

Take on a responsible and conscious model for communicating your emotions, expectations, and for requesting an agreement around styles.

Continue reading
0
  6493 Hits

Evolutionary Thinking on the Evolution of Ego | Expand and Dissolve Rather than "Annihilate"

We have been sold a bill of goods around ego. One that creates internal division and conflict. One that creates internal dissonance. One that creates pain. One that, at its worst, can foster a certain degree of self-hatred. A dis-ownership of the self. A bill of goods that is 2,500 years old in terms of its story around ego, the nature of ego, and the "problem" of ego.

And there is a better way. One that can create the same intended result with a kinder, gentler more self-accepting approach that can accelerate the evolution of the ego through the radical acceptance of expanding the ego, rather than attempting the psychological and spiritual suicide of ego annihilation. 

You can also see some similar themes around ego in the business context, read this article:  Self-Esteem and the Solo-Preneur | Internal vs. External Locus of Responsibility for an even deeper cut, taken from an email I sent a client a couple years ago, read Your Self-Worth is a Settled Matter.

Ok...ready? ::: Heh.

A quote from Ken Wilber I posted spawned an in-depth, yet brief—discussion on the nature and evolution of ego, Spiral Dynamics, the Integral community, and related topics, including the difference between cognitive development and actual development ::: the difference being understanding vs emotional response and being, or stated differently ::: one’s “center of gravity”.

The style is conversational, as it was an actual conversation.

Below are excerpted comments in the thread that followed. The order of some of the comments have been changed for continuity of the discussion, and for flow. Some have been deleted for the sake of relevance. If you want to see the full, unedited thread for yourself, you can see that HERE. The edited and streamlined version is below for your reading enjoyment.

The quote that started it all :::

“The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort--you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego, which simply increases the effort of ego itself.” --Ken Wilber 

Of course, I cannot speak for Ken Wilber—nor will I attempt to.

Simultaneously, I have read and listened to most of his stuff. As a result, I can certainly imagine—to varying degrees of accuracy—what he is speaking to, so I will attempt to translate him.

AND this will be based on my own experience after 19 years of conscious work, clearing, and self-examination and evolution—AND based on my work with over 200 clients one-on-one in my Personal Evolution Program, which lasted [when I used to do that work]  about 7 months--designed to accelerate the evolution of their ego ::: to widen their embrace. To increase their ease. To reduce their fear. To eliminate most of their anger. To increase their esteem for the Self.

So I may be and will be projecting/hallucinating…and it will be accurate—to varying degrees. Your mileage may vary.

So…what is “ego”? Most in popular spiritual and psychological circles will say we must transcend our ego, or worse ::: “annihilate it”. Is this healthy? Is this ecological? Does it suit the ecology of the environment we exist in?

The ecology of the self?

Is “ego what motivates us” as Pi asserts? Perhaps sometimes, yes. perhaps always—sure.

And the question for me becomes, motivates HOW? From what stage? Because, you see, we will be motivated differently from different stages, for different reasons.

For me, ego is essentially the seat of our consciousness. Where it rests and comes from. Not its Source. Its Source is the very kosmos ::: consciousness with a capital C. 

James Reidy suggested as a definition :::

Ego: n. a person's conscious and unconscious beliefs about their own identity. 

Continue reading
0
  8164 Hits