As I start this new day I take a few moments just to think, contemplate, meditate, pray and take time to allow my thoughts to settle.
It is my cave (or quiet) time, where nothing matters apart from stillness of the heart and mind. I can sit and watch the world go by without participating in its busy-ness. Sometimes I think about the work I must do, but, the most important thing I do is to just sit and in quiet contemplation just allow myself to listen.
Contemplation, meditation and prayer, to me, are much more about spending time listening than about the process or method or in the case of prayer, speaking or asking for things. When we sit and listen we discover many things about ourselves. Some are good some are not so good, but it is always for us to be encouraged about something or challenged to work on other things or even just to be a peace for a short time in our busy world.
Whether you are a Christian, as I am, or have another faith or even no faith at all, let me encourage you to practice the art of just “being”, sitting for a few moments everyday in quietness just to listen. You will be amazed at what you will discover.
Here are a few points about communication for you to reflect on. Ask yourself “how well do I measure up on these?” then ask someone else to use the same statements to measure you.
- Be open to communication
- Input and output are required
- be concise not verbose
- Ask the question: “are words required?”
- Body language and vocal tone matter
- Let your actions support your words and your words support your actions
- Honesty is required, but delivery requires tact and skill
- Not all knowledge is for sharing
- Know how to keep confidences
- Know your subject
- Know yourself
- Develop a soft heart and a thick skin
- be prepared for disagreement
- Ask questions
- seek to be questioned
- Think before you speak
- Think before you answer
- Value diversity
- be cautious of those who always say “yes”
- What you don’t say is just as important as what you do say
- How you say it is just as important as what you say
- Use the language of those you wish to communicate with
- Value differences of opinion
- Honour the other
- Listen, listen well, listen generously
- distill your thought to deliver the message as clearly as you can
- Conflict is not always bad and agreement is not always good
These are just a few point to help with basic communication. If you are a leader you need to be able to communicate well and this does not mean just issuing commands, it will require practiced skill. Get training to help or find a good mentor to give you honest evaluation of your ability. Do not assume that you communicate well or that others know what you are about.
This is a very large subject and this is just a scratch at the surface of it
I am a guitarist and I play various styles of music from folk to rock to classical. I write my own music too, again in various genres.
(here is an example “Here In This Place” I played all the guitars and the mandolin, sang and looped the drums. Also, I am a singer/song writer you can find more about me at Dunedinmusic.com or buy my music at Amplifier.co.nz ).
If I were to just rely on a single guitar which would I choose, and would I be able to play all the music I like.
As I was thinking about this this mirrors life in many ways. so here are some parallels from the humble guitar.
1. There is more than one type of guitar.
You need to choose the write guitar for the purpose and sound you wish to achieve. The right tools will always make your tasks easier.
2. Make sure the guitar has the right number of strings.
Generally a guitar has 6 or 12 strings but some have 7 and bass guitars have usually 4, 5 or 6. Again the sound that you will make will depend on the number of strings your guitar has.
3. The guitar has to have all of the right components.
A guitar has a number of strings, a head to keep it tuned, a long neck, a body, a bridge to anchor the strings, but without a player the guitar will remain silent.
4.Guitars need the right amount of stress and tension to make a good tone.
We need the right amount of tension and stress in us to shine as a guitar needs tension and stress for it to make music. Too little and the guitar will not sound and too much and the guitar will break.
5. Keep it tuned and replace the stings from time to time.
Nothing worse than the sound of a badly tuned guitar or lifeless flat strings. Have a maintenance programme for yourself and your skills.
6. Unless it is played it will not make a sound.
Use your skills and abilities often.
7. The shape or type of guitar does not determine whether it produces good music, the player does.
Practice, practice, practice.
Paul S Allen
A reflection on the first TEDxDunedin event held December 4, 2009.
The thought processes I find myself having when attending events like this, seem to wander from what the speakers are actually saying to the implications of what they are saying. I found the process of the TEDxDunedin event to be a dialogue rather than just speakers talking to a crowd. This dialogue is more about a meeting of minds rather than sharing of words.
Some bullet points from the night…
Phil Osbourne (University of Otago) “The Power of Free”
- “Customers happy with value don’t complain about the price.”
- “What are you going to do when your competitors go free/style?”
- Most important “The future is not about business as usual”
Matt Ayres (Polson Higgs)
- “What happens when your model of service is under threat?”
- “Your most valuable asset for the future is your insight into the problem your organisation exists to fix”
- “The future is inside the people you serve”
- “Fundamental for all organizations… it is about serving people better”
Jason Leong (The Distiller/Pocketsmith)
Growing up great, this was about the thought that business start ups are like “orphans” and that a model of incubation where a group of start up businesses are in an environment where they “Contribute – Collaborate – Share” is important.
Daniel Belton (Good Company Arts)
Daniels presentation was of interest to me as the video of dance that he showed caused me to think about the convergence of two seemingly opposite views, the rigid and the fluid.
The rigid and the fluid need each other to work in harmony; in fact one without the other is structure without life or chaos. As Itay Talgam has said in another TED video “You need process and content to make good music” Process is the structure, whether in business or other activity, and content is what makes it “human” or alive.
A quote from Daniel “[it is] Important that we don’t just “look” but we “see”.”
There was also a video from a neurological specialist talking about her experience when she had a stroke, describing the differences between left and right hemisphere thinking, the left hemisphere being structural the right being experiential. The encouragement from the speaker (Jill Bolte-Taylor)1. was to spend more time on the right hemisphere to spend more time in the metaphysical and creative side.
This video matched well with all the people presenting tonight as the only way to move on is to change the way we think, and to do that we need to be creative in all areas of life and business.
To achieve great new things we cannot do what has already been done.
The world is changing around us whether we like it or not. How we respond to change will determine how we will cope and how we will fit in the future.
Please check out the TEDxDunedin site.
This was a great event and look forward to continuing the dialogue.
Paul S Allen
1. The video by Jill Bolte-Taylor