for fear of repeating myself…

groundhogday

“I might have told you this before…”

I say that quite often.  Or something similar.  Usually I’m about to tell a story.  A story that makes a point, or enhances a previously made point. Or maybe it’s a story to support or refute the point you just made.

I know the story. I’ve said it before. I just can’t recall whether I told you. Or someone else. Or if it’s just a story I tell myself. One of those ‘in head practice’ stories. Or, one of those conversations where only I’m present. Me talking to me.

Usually I go ahead anyway.  Mostly people are polite.  Sometimes they say, “I know, you’ve said before.”

I’ve been on the receiving end too. Someone tells me a story. One they’ve told me before. Maybe twice before. Or five times. They tell it with gusto. Like it’s new. Sometimes the context is different. Mostly it’s not.

It’s as if we like our stories. Like a good book, we’re happy to read them several times. The story is what matters. The person we’re telling, not so much. The context and relevance, not so much. If those things mattered equally, we might remember. But no. The story comes out again. The story is what matters. It’s as if actually we’re telling ourselves. We telling and listening. The other person is incidental in this transaction.

What about our life story? Is that a story we tell ourselves? Over and over? Is that a story we share with others? Over and over?

Is that a good book?

 

bubbly evolution?

image

There’s a new phenomenon in our world.

The smartphone bubble. It’s a personal space where we get lost. Lost in our own system of connection.

Walking along the streets you can see these people lost in their private bubble.

There are several subtly different forms. The ‘blind communicator’. Here the smartphone ‘bubblist’ meanders in their texting posture, head bent, eyes down, thumbs dancing over the screen. They are oblivious to anyone around them. To the human being walkers dodging them on the pavement, the human being drivers avoiding them as they step into the road in their zombie like torpor – they are communicating through text, and the person 200 miles away matters more than you, stepping aside for their benefit right here, right now.

Then there is the ‘desperate not to miss outer’. These individuals are addicted to their social media stream of ‘news’. These are often one handed bubblists. They use their dominant thumb in an upward or downward stroking motion, browsing their newsfeed; a constantly rolling list of images, messages, videos and news items that, until that moment, they were completely unaware of. But now, this stream of news prevents them from glancing upwards at the real human beings dodging these ‘mustn’t miss out bubblists’ meandering along the streets, through the shops and bumping and bouncing their way through busy thoroughfares.

Then there is the ‘you all need to knowster’. This form of bubblist often has their eyes open and can see the human beings coming. However they insist on sharing their telephone conversation with everyone on the bus, the train, in the restaurant or simply passing in the street. They are hands free. Their conversation deserves to be shared with us all. That’s how important they are. How ‘need to know’the topic is. Meanwhile non-bubblist human beings have to accept that their thinking, reading, private moments are to be disturbed by the ‘need to knowster’s need to share.

Whatever happened to simple respect for another human being?

Come on bubblists, look up, smile, speak, step aside. Open a door for, say hello to… a fellow human being. You once were one.

 

what is your psychological contract of self?

psychological_contract self
Psychological contracts are often referred to in the context of the employer and the employee – what is the expectation, commitment of both?

It sometimes explores qualities of trust, honesty, respect, fairness, compassion. It will often cover the visible expectations and agreements, such as pay, hours, work, training, but more usefully might look under the waterline, beneath the visible iceberg, so to speak. Here might be give and take, inputs and outputs, responsibilities and rewards which are less clearly in play. Concepts such as control, power, innovation, recognition, commitment, respect, loyalty, tolerance and much much more.

At a meeting the other day we were discussing psychological contracts. We were to be a team, so the question posed was, ‘How did we want to be with each other?’

We were to discuss what we were looking for from other members of the team, what we were seeking from the team leader and what we would bring to the team. What our commitments would be in terms of contribution and what we were seeking in return.

As I reflected, I wondered how I could even begin to answer this, as my thoughts and feelings were initially directed inwards, at me. I wondered what my psychological contract with myself was?

Did I respect myself? Did I have compassion for myself? Did I have faith in myself? Was I in control of myself? Did I fully trust myself? Did I appreciate my own being? Did I own my own power?

What are my perceptions of myself, what do I believe about myself?

How am I getting in my own way, either unaware of, or maybe breaking, my own psychological contract even before I entered the room. Surely this is where I should start before considering any team working agreements?

What is my psychological contract of self?

the asterisked correlation

communication pace of life correction text
*correction

The growth of text talk has seen the rise of another phenomenon. That of the second text. The text that follows, moments later, containing an asterisk and a single word.

The *correction text

The sender has realised after hitting SEND that they have made a typo, or that predictive text… hasn’t.

Since when did we start communicating in a manner where, checking what we were saying after we had said it, was the norm?

Perhaps it is a reflection of the speed of our lives that we are so keen to press send, to move on, to get to the next thing that we just accept the need to be brief, to rush, the need for pace in everything. Taking our time seems unfashionable.

It has been said that as much as 90% of our communication is non verbal. Yet we have embraced the hurried text, the garbled few words typed whilst walking down the street; the hastily thrown response, punched out with a single thumb whilst holding on to the handle on the swaying bus; the abbreviated language, peppered with emoticons, which seeks to communicate fully to another human being.

Maybe we would do well to slow down here? To reflect on the emotion we are trying to convey. To stand in the shoes of the recipient, interpreting this stream of characters and letters without the advantage of seeing our faces, hearing the tone of our voice, seeing our smile…

Walk along any busy street these days and we are all nose deep in our phones, communicating constantly. I was told recently that more people in the world have access to a mobile phone than have access to a toilet. More communication than ever before. Always on. Global.

Yet perhaps the quality of that communication has suffered at the hands of the quantity?

Time perhaps to reflux?

*reflect?

LOL

we walk differently in the rain

state physiology rain
It’s drizzling.

Earlier I walked from Aldgate to Tower Hill tube in the drizzle. I had an umbrella, but noticed the way I was walking was different to the way I might have walked in the sunshine.

My eyes were turned down, seeking slip hazards, puddles, potential splash zones. My shoulders were a little hunched and my elbows tucked in, a sort of self imposed protection posture, to keep the wind and rain out. I was partially hidden under my umbrella, peeking out on occasion to avoid human collisions in busy streets. My pace was more deliberate, seeking to minimise time in the rain.

I wonder to what extent we do this when our emotional and psychological state reflects drizzly? When we are feeling a little weather worn, when we are feeling the need to protect ourselves, when we are aware of potential external ‘attacks’ on our safety and well-being? Do we also shrink a little in posture, strike out with only occasional awareness of those around us, become more sensitive to personal trip hazards, take cover from the precipitation?

How consciously aware are we of our body language, its connection to our state?

How could we learn from paying more attention and being curious?