By Georgianna Donadio, PhD – In my previous reports, we have shared the importance of communication and the importance fulfilling relationships have to our health and well-being. In the first two installments of this article (Part I and Part II), we also discussed the first few steps of a transformative model of communication skills, termed Behavioral Engagement with Pure Presence, that have been developed and researched in numerous hospitals and healthcare environments across the U.S. The research began as a study on communication between doctors, nurses and patients and then encompassed a wider variety of relationships.
As this is the third and final installment on the subject, let’s do a quick review and then list the 12 steps of Pure Presence for creating fulfilling, remarkable and successful communication with others.
In the first installment, we looked at the importance of effective communication in all types of relationships. We know it is a fact that the lack of effective communication is a leading cause of divorce and the breakdown of relationships between parents and children, as well as between employees and their employers. There is no doubt that communication can make or break a relationship, but changing how we relate to one another is easier said than done.
In the second installment, we discussed distraction as a key component to unsuccessful communications. If we want to have a positive interaction with the boss or a client, we are going to give him our full attention and be fully present to what he is saying and how he is communicating to us. The same applies to all of our other relationships.
We also understand that few of us have been trained on how to communicate successfully with others, but rather “learn at the feet” of our families as small children, absorbing and recording the spoken and unspoken imprints of communication skills. This is one reason it can be so difficult to change our behaviors, but the good news is that it is possible to make such behavior changes. And now there is an easy-to-learn, clinically proven set of communication skills that can be used to truly transform your connections with others. Below is a list of the Twelve Steps of Pure Presence to use in changing the quality of communication you have with others.
Behavioral Engagement with Pure Presence is a set of behaviors and communication skills that, when used in specific combination, have been clinically proven to immediately transform the quality and outcomes of relational communications, prevent communication meltdowns, increase work satisfaction and enhance intimate relationships.
- Conscious-centered body presence: promotes focused attention and engagement, eliminates distraction. This is a key component to staying focused and centered in your conversations.
- Non-judgmental, soft eye contact: scientifically proven to stimulate trust and open emotional centers of the brain. Soft, non-judgmental eye contact stimulates oxytocin, the trust and love hormone.
- No trace camping: eliminating self- or ego-centered language and behaviors that negatively impact communications. By not leaving our mark on others, they experience an expansive sense of unconditional acceptance.
- Level-playing-field thinking: relational communication that addresses subtle control behaviors and removes the “one-up or one-down” dynamic that is destructive to good communication.
- In-the-moment self-assessment: identifying emotional and rational agendas within your communication.
- Respectful inquiry: asks rather than tells; promotes other’s sense of safety and expansion to dialogue authentically.
- Sacredness of relationship: holding other’s communication as “worthy of reverence, boundary awareness and inherent value.”
- Enhanced brain integration: behavior that invites sensory associative and cortical brain process to enhance mutual understanding and reduce miscommunication.
- Non-prejudice: eliminating unspoken mental/emotional judgment that is immediately communicated through subtle and gross body language. Sabotages rapport, trust and outcomes.
- Emotional shifting: receptivity steps that allow personal worldview, opinions and beliefs to shift emotional crux of rapport, shared agreement and “meeting of minds.”
- Intentional collaboration: intent with integrity versus manipulation or goal-setting that produces authentic dialogue and win-win outcomes.
- In-the-moment re-centering: tools to reset your thinking/focus if distraction or conflict occurs.
The various studies that have been completed on this set of steps to better communication skills have clearly proven that if you follow these 12 steps in your personal and professional communications, you will experience a transformational quality to all of your exchanges with others, creating more rewarding and satisfying relationships for yourself and those you interact with. You can learn more about Pure Presence and download a free excerpt from the book written on the subject at www.changingbehavior.org.
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