Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Buts, tries and don’ts

Did you pick up on my little play there? Butt, tris and delts? I’m hilarious.

Anyhoo… I used to work for this leadership company that was very very big on not saying “but” “try” and anything with a “not” in it; don’t, can’t, won’t, shouldn’t…you get the gist.

To try just means you won’t do it. will you call me later? yeah, I’ll try to give you a ring. well, we all know it won’t happen. Its either, yes I’ll do it. Or no. Stop trying and just do.

Having a ‘but’ in a sentence completely takes away from your previous line. I love you, but… I wanted to hangout, but… I “tried” to call you, but…  So basically, that but is telling you that what was said before it, wasn’t really true. (maybe in some cases.)

They did 2 1/2 day “retreats” where a group of grown adults from all over the country, were whisked off into the middle of the Nevada desert, away from all normal distractions to fully focus on the class.

The 1st class was the toughest. They screamed and yelled like drill sergeants. Wouldn’t crack a smile no matter what was done. Putting everyone in uncomfortable circumstances to essentially break them. Some would walk out and demand a drive home, but most stayed till the end, getting past the uncomfortable situations we were constantly put in.

As freaky as it sounds, I learned and grew a lot that weekend. They instructed us not to make any life changing decisions for 2 1/2 weeks after because everyone’s thoughts and ideas were always abuzz. That’s where I broke a 2 inch thick board in half with my hand. Yessir’ee I did.

The 2nd class was a lot more relaxed and the most fun. It was more about trust and self awareness and not giving into fear. Fear can consume us in our personal and professional life and they took us through ways to combat that.
me at 20…

That’s where you might hear me say, ‘come down here. its safe down here’ and not have anyone but one person get the saying. Its where I had the ability to walk on a hot bed of coals, and be told I’m the slowest person they’d ever seen walk on it; and not feel an ounce of pain.

The mind is amazing to control.

Then the 3rd class was all about communication. Each class is an entire weekend long. They were done over a couple months time, but the last one was the worst for me. Communication. There’s so many ways to communicate. With the body only, in a made up language, with a look. All these different ways were explored and taught to help where you might lack. Finding that rapport with a person. Only, I was paired with a guy who creeped me out and later turned a bit stalker on me.

But this class is where I bent rebar with my hands. Where I learned how to get someone to trust me in a conversation with just my body language and where its possible saying “not” can keep someone from doing something you want them to do.

There’s a reason why I say to people, ‘take this the right way’ vs ‘don’t take this the wrong way.’ Which way are you more apt to follow? Generally, the moment I say ‘the right way’ they’ll chuckle, but I have their full attention. Say it the ‘wrong way’ and they’ll be more likely to…take it the wrong way.

I can get deeper in this if anyone’s interested, unless I’ve completely bored you. Cause that is possible. It was an interesting company, cooky but interesting. I learned a whole heck of a lot that I still apply today, 10 years later, believe it or not.

Do this for me. A little experiment if you will. The next time someone’s talking to you face to face, watch their body language. If they’re sitting forward with their elbows on their knees, mimic them. If they lean back and cross their arms, give it a minute and do the same. Subtly copy the position they’re in and see what they do. If they relax, appear more comfortable or talk to you more. BUT make sure they aren’t aware of what you’re doing.

..and let me know what happens. :)

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LeAnna said...

Does that mean the next time Q and I are engrossed in conversation I have to pick my nose?

Because I won't.

JUUUUUSSST kidding. Sorta. I don't have too many face-to-face conversations these days. But say that I did, with another real-live adult, what will happen if I do it? I don't like surprises.

Tabitha Mahoney said...

Doing it to M tonight. haha I'll text you a full report lol.

Lisa @ honibun@blogspot said...

Hi there, I am a firm believer in body language and how it tells a story and adds to the communication process.

I was taught the mimic thing at varsity and it is something I use often in my work!!!

Thanks for a great post!!

Stephanie said...

This is really interesting! I love what you said about having a "but" in your sentence completely takes away from what you were saying. SO TRUE!

The Heart Of A Woman said...

I need to participate in the task that focuses on fear. It sounds great!

Natalie said...

"'take this the right way’ vs ‘don’t take this the wrong way.’" I'm starting to like that sound of that.

Laura Elizabeth said...

What a smart and interesting post! My dad used to teach business classes at uni and would go into great detail about body language as he thought it was really important. When I was younger, he used to pass that onto me. I've always thought it was fascinating.

And I LOVE "take this the right way". Definitely going to have to borrow that turn of phrase :)

Megan said...

We have to take a class on body language to work in the ER...weird, huh?! But that way we know if someone is getting worked up or angry! Haha! We also learn how to take them dooooown. Okay, not really, but we do learn how to get out of a choke hold.

Ross said...

I love to watch other peoples body language. Although when the tables are turned I'm sure there are all kinds of things I could learn from my own body language! Great post!

Katie said...

Sounds like I could have skipped an entire semester of one grad school class by going to these three weekends :)

debjones:) said...

Awww! The memories! LB2 was pretty amazing - especially spending it with my very awesome friend! =)


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