TMM121 Conscious Communication With Pamela Pannifex.

As leaders in life it’s essential to ensure we evolve and recognise patterns and behaviours that may hold us back from harmony. I firmly believe communication is the critical pathway for clarity, calm and connection and that’s why I have asked Pamela Panifex from Sunshine Holistic Counselling to join me on this episode of The Mojo Maker show and podcast.. 

With a master’s degree in psychotherapy and almost three decades in the field developing her approach, Pamela has created a truly unique practice, specialising in relationships, marriage counselling and individual therapy.

Pamela is a fully qualified naturopath and understands that ‘healthy’ and ‘productive’ relationships, whether it’s personal, or business go hand in hand. Her mission, like mine, is to ensure the ‘right’ knowledge empowers people to thrive and perhaps most importantly, to help them self discover and grow.

We came together to discuss the important aspect of evolving communication, since communication is so often responsible for ‘unhealthy’ relationships that given the right tools, could so easily be navigated away from chaos to calm. . 

In this episode we run through

  1. how to communicate from a place of peace and harmony
  2. the importance of not shutting communication barriers down
  3. ways to move into a better space for equal alignment
  4. the awareness of your authentic truth and how it is best for all. 

+ Practicing those

+ Rookie errors

– How to recover the speed bumps when you are learning these new skills

– Common mistakes that disempower by well-meaning partnerships

– When both of you are learning how to assert your truth

Framed around the 3 Styles of communication:

  1. Passive
  2. Aggressive
  3. Assertive

The first two are more commonly used and why we use them, may be greatly influenced by learnt behaviours from our family, how we were disciplined and what was expected of us as a child. 

The third style requires self awareness and is perhaps the most difficult to articulate –  as so often being in ‘truth’ can be perceived as selfish or aggressive  – wherein it is absolutely not the case. In fact assertive communication delivered with a grounded approach is the most valuable style of communication for both personal and commercial world. 

When we let people know what we believe, where we stand and what is important to us from a place of centred honesty it empowers them to own their own response, contribution and connection to that for a reciprocal partnership or natural and calm recognition of when the alignment is not really there at all. 

First up – we are often taught to sell or tell rather than just advise and empower  – when we stand in truth and provide clear frameworks it benefits all parties. The delivery and receipt of that information is where the awareness needs to come into play. 

So let’s look at these styles in more detail.

‘Conscious’ Communication Style 1  – Passive – trying to keep the peace

The intention is lovely, it comes from a good place and in a relationship, it’s all about I lose, you win. This approach is commonly taken, because as humans we are not going into relationships, deliberately trying to communicate in counterproductive ways.

As lovely as it sounds, this approach can lead to real problems. Patterns can emerge that make us feel like we don’t really have a voice. 

Over time this can lead to self doubt, lack of confidence or lack of responsibility. Passive communication is a ‘rookie’ error and we often communicate this way because we are trying to keep the peace, we are trying to avoid conflict and we have somebody else’s best  intentions in mind.

Unfortunately, we haven’t stopped to ask ourselves ‘how does that work for me’, or ‘how is this helping my relationship?’  

‘Conscious’ Communication Style 2 – Aggressive – driven to and by conflict

Aggressive communication is the flip side to passive. It’s the I win, you lose scenario.

This approach is taken when agenda’s get prioritized and one person’s needs are put over the other. We find ourselves communicating from polar opposites, without realising that we have to remove our ego and perhaps old patterns. 

Sometimes we communicate this way because we want our voice to be heard, but we don’t really know what we think about the situation, what we want, or need, or how it makes us feel.

Acknowledging these feelings are difficult and challenging and we so often avoid dealing with them, which only leads to unhealthy relationships that don’t thrive and grow. 

So, where does this leave us?

Conscious Communication Style 3 –  Assertive – facilitating growth and honesty

Ok, so we have just seen how the first two styles of communication can be damaging to our relationships. We now need to discover a new approach and with that perhaps discover a little bit more about ourselves.  First attune to self 

Then you can attune to the recipient

If we use a passive or aggressive communication approach, we are often ‘burying our heads in the sand’ and avoiding challenging questions that we need to ask ourselves. Pamala refers to these questions as the four quadrants:

  1. What do I think?
  2. What do I feel?
  3. What do I want?
  4. What do I need?

When there is space between people in a relationship, then it is most important to reach inside ourselves ‘gather the data’ that is pertinent to the issue based on the four quadrants and offer it into the space. 

The more data we can provide about ourselves, the better we connect as humans. This assertive approach is based on self awareness. It makes us present, accountable, aware and as often we refer to this as how we ‘show up’. Great relationships can not be built if nobody shows up!

Allow yourself the space to ponder the four quadrants. 

1 What do I think? 

2 What do I feel?

3 What do I want?

4 What do I need?

Understand your patterns so that you can evolve into the best version: 

Recognise your consistent, or most likely chain of communication patterns, whether it’s passive or aggressive, or a bit of both. Most importantly don’t beat yourself up if you fall back into old habits, acknowledge it and move on. That’s okay. 

Through bumps we build good relationships

Remember: Mental reframing. Communication is not conflict  – it is an opportunity for growth

  • You don’t need to have all of the answers
  • Don’t close communication barriers down as this is a form passive behaviour
  • Work together to close the space between you
  • It’s ok to have different opinions, deal with difference in a positive way
  • Speak the truth and learn more about each other

If you are not aware of your authentic truth,  then you are missing an opportunity to develop a closer relationship to the people around you every time. 

Don’t come out of the gates too quickly – slowly work on your own discovery before you rush out. The first part of this is accepting the truth when things are out of alignment. Then creating a safe place for the truth to be shared and aired without getting into a battle of wills and avoidance.

For more info of how Pamela can help guide you through asserting your truth, helping you to discover unproductive patterns or build on relationships click here

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Nikki Fogden-Moore Clients Corporate and Speaking