You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks – Transformation Through Contemplative Practice Part 5

“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

Our journey has taken us from Meditation as a contemplative practice, the neuroscientific findings on meditation, to organisations that leverage mindfulness as an enabler for transformation. We reflected on the work of NTL Institute for Applied Behavioural Science, Daniel Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence and FOCUS), Chade-Meng Tan (Search Inside Myself), Joy Drake and Kathy Tyler (Frameworks Coaching Process® and The Transformation Game®) and Judith Glaser (Conversational Intelligence®)

The ability to be fully present and aware of self and others appears central to transformation.

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Each process appears to commence with bringing the participant to the present moment, a state in which the activity of the amygdala is reduced and the activity in the prefrontal cortex is heightened. In this state the participant becomes increasingly aware and MINDFUL of self – emotionally and physiologically (SELF AWARENESS). They become more conscious. They are better able to understand their emotions and the impact of their emotions on their behaviour, decisions, relationships, performance. With this awareness comes new choices, as they transition the new knowledge into their being and doing. The participant can choose to manage self differently in order to achieve a different outcome (SELF MANAGEMENT). With this new found understanding of self, individuals are better poised to be empathetic to the other (SOCIAL AWARENESS) and to seek to better manage their relationships (RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT). It is this shift in focus from self (I-centric) to other (WE-centric) that heralds the potential for transformation. 

Conversational Intelligence clearly identifies the three levels of conversation that will transport us to this transformed state of trusting interpersonal relationships, through clearly defined steps. Conversational Intelligence is founded on the neurochemistry of our conversations. Healthy conversations release “relationship building” hormones. Unhealthy conversations release “relationship destroying” hormones. By being mindful of the quality of our conversations, we can focus on releasing “relationship building” hormones e.g. oxytocin, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, that allow us to engage in conversations in which we connect, shift from power over others to power with, collaborate and cocreate. Knowing that we CAN transform opens the door of possibilities to building trusting relationships and culture transformation.

As a Time Out Specialist, I engage clients in a wide range of contemplative highly introspective practices, the Frameworks Coaching Process, Emotional Intelligence and Conversational Intelligence to facilitate the much needed transformation that is required in individuals and teams for:

  • building trusting intra and interpersonal relationships
  • building high performing high performance teams, simultaneously focussing on task and relationship
  • creating organisations in which values are lived
  • transitioning knowledge to being and doing

This concludes this blog series “We CAN teach an Old Dog New Tricks”. I do hope that you enjoyed the journey. Stay tuned as we next begin to explore the possibilities that open up when Conversational Intelligence is used as the transformational tool.

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