If you understood that almost all of your behaviour was compelled without your conscious control would you want to do the work required to change? Only 10% of all of our behaviour emerges out of conscious choice. Of the remaining 90%, most of which is biological housekeeping mediated by the brain, there are the situations and relationships that can be referred to as ‘what happens to us’. Much of our lives are the product of unconsciously mediated procedures; behaviours that we act out without awareness including how we relate to others and even what we attract in terms of situations that often are not what we expect or want.
We are creatures of habit and our lives are the result of deeply engrained tendencies toward behaviours that reflect a particular unconscious state of mind. These tendencies can also be referred to as patterns of behaviour. Unlearning old patterns can only come through interrupting these unconsciously mediated procedures through questioning and awareness;
1. What is going on and how do I feel?
2. Is this the experience I am looking for?
3. If not how can I refocus my awareness on a new set of positive resources?
Placing attention on positive resources and the vigilant practice of laying down new brain maps will lead to constructive outcomes. All of us tend to act out unconsciously and wouldn’t do many of the things we do if we knew better. Through dedication and practice, a new set of ideas to guide our relationships can eventually become implicit ‘rules for choice.’
The following ideas represent a different way to look at interpersonal situations and more effective ways of being in relationship with others. Through practice they will yield greater Interpersonal Intelligence and free up our energy for creative purposes.
Rules for Choice
1. Ask if there is a Better Way – Take time for a second look around before plotting a course.
2. Practice the 3 R’s – Recognition, Respect & Responsibility – Treat the other person the way you want to be treated.
3. Would You Rather Be Right or Get What You Want – Sometimes you’re better off to be wrong.
4. Manage the Space Invaders – Know your boundaries and recalibrate invasive people.
5. Truth or Consequences – What you got came from what you thought.
6. Avoid Foreclosure – Listen completely before jumping to conclusions.
7. Create Agreement – Merging me into We.
8. Lead with Emotion – The lost art of sharing your heart.
If you are interested in change, you can read more in my book Oceans Beyond: In Search of the Enlightened Organization available at Amazon.com/Lloyd Tosoff.