Insights & Inquiries from Leslie Lawton, Marketing & Communications Co-Chair of Conscious Capitalism Bay Area.
HigherPurpose17 took place a month ago. Are you taking what you learned to heart?
We’ve been hearing from the people who attended the conference on February 28 and it’s clear that many of you are already experiencing positive changes. We’d love to hear more about that. Feel free to add your stories and experiences in the comments section below.
Frankly, I was blown away throughout the day. Being in the trenches with our team, I knew how much hard work went into creating an experience that so fully served and inspired our attendees. The speakers and panelists shared so much from their depth of experience, and they spoke so truthfully. The practicums just touched on the principles that guide our movement, and yet they were so powerful.
Anna McGrath led the session on Conscious Leadership. And I’d like to walk out on the ledge and share an experience that has been part of my life every day since. This practicum was the highlight of the day for me. Anna is a co-founder of Conscious Capitalism Bay Area and a principal in WonderWorks Consulting. One of her clients, Anne Watson, is Human Resources Director of Wikia, the world’s largest entertainment fan site.
They talked about Presence, with a capital P.
How to be grounded, fully engaged, non-reactive and responsive in any situation. Now this is something I struggle with, and I know I’m not alone in this. I want to have a sense of ease, flow, and creativity, especially in business situations. And yet this is not my natural state.
Anna and Anne talked about how to really tune in to a conversation, how to understand and remember what’s being communicated. As opposed to listening for your turn to speak. Sound familiar?
Deep listening happens when you’re present.
There’s a higher level of communication that’s possible when you feel fully alive and connected. But how is that even possible? Especially if you’re aiming to be present most of the time. Anna knows a lot about human behavior and gave us a powerful tool to use. It shows you when and why you’re not present and how to get back there.
So where are you if you’re not present? On the Drama Triangle. This may be a familiar approach to you. I had run across it before, but I’d forgotten about it.
Here’s how Anna describes the experience, and how it takes us out of being fully present. Something happens. In a meeting, a conversation, an interview, on a call. You get thrown off, either due to your own psychology or someone else’s. You move into one of the points of the triangle: Villain, Victim or Hero.
The Victim. Just think of the times you’ve felt criticized, misunderstood. Or maybe you even go through life feeling helpless and powerless. We all have times when we feel like less than the whole and beautiful people we are.
The Villain (or Persecutor). Somebody does something you don’t like, and you feel tempted to strike out verbally. You’re not going to let them get away with that. You can teach them how to do things right. It’s that guy who cuts you off in traffic, right?
The Hero (or Rescuer). You leap in to save somebody or a situation that absolutely requires rescuing, even though most people can take care of themselves. This is a very common interaction, one that is often praised in terms of care and selflessness.
We all move around into these different roles, depending on the circumstances. When you find yourself on the Drama Triangle, you’re probably feeling anxious and fearful. You’re not in your body; your breath is shallow; and you’re about as far from present as you can get.
So how do you shift back into presence?
It might take some reflection, depending on the situation, but Anna and Anne discussed some ideas and exercises that are also quite simple. One of them is belly breathing, breathing into your lower abdomen for about a minute. You can make the shift right there, in your meeting, on your call. The situation might also call for deep reflection. Begin with asking yourself what you want most? What is it you want to commit to?