“WHAT IF people can use contemplative practices to help them succeed in life and at work? In other words, what if contemplative practices can be made beneficial both to people’s careers and to business bottom lines?” – Chade-Meng Tan
In journeying through Part 1 to Parts 2 and 3, we acknowledged Meditation as a contemplative practice and noted the similarity in the approaches used and recommended by NTL Institute for Applied Behavioural Science, Daniel Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence and FOCUS) and Chade-Meng Tan (Search Inside Myself). The ability to be fully present and aware of self and others appears central to transformation.
Highly effective and less known are The Frameworks Coaching Process and The Transformation Game, cocreated by Joy Drake and Kathy Tyler. During this transformation process, Drake and Tyler bring both Facilitator and participant fully present through meditation and maintain this highly introspective presence throughout the programme, as the awareness of participants becomes heightened to their thought and behaviour patterns and they are more conscious of the impact of their choices on self, others and outcome. Participants emerge with a commitment to authenticity by alignment of their values with their being and doing, that is supported by presence.
Recent neuroscience discoveries and 30 years of practical executive coaching and client engagement provide credence to the extensive documentation of concepts, tools and application, developed by Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) Guru, Judith Glaser. Through C-IQ, Glaser demonstrates how listening to connect and consciously managing the quality (content and structure) of our conversations, can transform our relationships with others, into trusting, high engagement and cocreative interactions. When we focus on maintaining good, healthy conversations, we stimulate the secretion of a cocktail of happy and bonding hormones comprised of oxytocin, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. Our prefrontal cortex lights up. When we demonstrate an absence of or low levels of conversational intelligence through unhealthy conversations, we trigger the secretion of cortisol, testosterone, norepinephrine, signals are sent to the amygdala that engender negative thoughts and aggressive behaviour and less than desirable outcomes.
So what does this have to do with contemplative practice? Well unless we are fully present and mindful of our conversations, our conversational rituals can drive others to display defensive thought and behaviour patterns, rather than the openness, trust and cocreation that we are seeking. Meditation is one way of reducing the activity in our amygdala and increasing the activity in the prefrontal cortex area.
If you have enjoyed the journey to date, join me in Part 5, as we pull together the concepts of Contemplative Practice, Emotional Intelligence, Conversational Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.