Peter Murphy recently interviewed communication expert John Barker. John is a professional coach and author with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts and Sciences. He even served in the White House where he worked with the White House Communications Agency.
They discussed communication and uncovered some valuable insights
that people can immediately apply to make measurable improvements
in their lives.
1 Nowadays more and more people are learning how to let go of
limiting feelings to improve the quality of their lives. When it
comes to communicating effectively with other people what are the
main barriers to effective and purposeful communication, and how
can we let go of these limitations?
The barriers vary from person to person, however, the most common
one I encounter in working with people is the desire to change
others to fit our expectations. There are many paths to the same
destination; if we release our desires we open up an infinite
number of possibilities. So long as we agree on the destination
we want - the feeling we want - "the how" doesn't matter.
Any time we feel we want to change someone or something, this is
a time when we can recognize and release our desire for control.
The other part of this, is that very often we are re-living past
conversations. If we have had a conflict with someone in the
past; if we hold onto that feeling we bring it to the new
conversation. We brace our self for dealing with the inevitable
confrontation and we don't really hear what is being said in the
moment. This is why it is so important and valuable to be able
to release things as they come up.
2 Very often in life we know what to say and yet get tongue tied
and fail to follow through when the pressure is on. What is the
answer to this common challenge?
We become tongue-tied or freeze up due to our attachment to the
outcome. There IS no pressure, only attachment to feelings and
outcomes. By releasing on our attachment to the outcome and
welcoming the experience as it occurs, we free ourselves to
experience the moment effortlessly. This experience allows us to
perform at our best.
And, if a person does feel anxiety, stress or self-consciousness
in a situation like this, trying to make the feeling go away only
makes it stronger. I often use the analogy of a big brother
picking on a younger sibling. Why does he do this? To get a
reaction. The bigger and better the reaction, the more we
encourage it. But if we welcome what is going on, he gives up.
It is not as much fun as getting the reaction! And, he goes away.
The same is true of the feelings we want to go away. If we
welcome them and allow them to be, it is amazing how quickly that
feeling will dissolve and be replaced with a feeling of peace and
calm. And, sometimes we can even smile or laugh at ourselves
about it because it is such a relief to just allow ourselves to
be how we are.
3 Dealing with difficult people can really stretch our patience
and verbal flexibility. What are your top tips for handling these
Release! Release! Release!
It is important to remain aware of, and release, our desire for
security, approval and control as these feelings arise in our
consciousness. It can also be important to recognize the other
person's need for security, approval and control as well.
Understanding allows compassion.
I know I've wasted a lot of energy in my life trying to change
other people! It's an impossible job, really. And, it is
amazing how often, when we stop resisting how people are, they
just magically seem to make those changes we wanted in the first
4 In the mad rush to get ahead very often the most important
people in our lives don?t always get our full attention. How can
we make sure we really listen and value the little time we do
have with family and friends?
This is a real key question for many of us. I think many of us
focus on allowing new things into our life; more money, more
romance, more fun, more friends. But I think it's equally
important for us to recognize what we allow into our life that
prevents us from having the time we desire for the people we
Ultimately, each of us must look at our motivations for engaging
in the "mad rush to get ahead". We each learn models of being in
order to create results and we conform to them out of our desire
for approval. But, I think we all know people who work hard and
never get ahead. So is working hard the answer?
Having anything you desire truly is effortless, when you release
it. For me, releasing creates so many opportunities and
alternatives. When I let go, I let go of lack and limitation.
In its place abundance appears.
My favorite quote from Lester Levenson is "Any complexity in life
is the ego trying to undo the simplicity of reality." Lack is a
creation, a mental concept. Whether that lack be time, money,
love, or whatever. Lack is a problem we have created, like all
5 In the workplace how we express ourselves has a major impact on
how we are perceived by our peers. How can we communicate in a
way that creates a favorable impression that reflects our
contribution to the business?
If our ultimate goal is "Happiness without sorrow", then I think
we first need to release on our desire for creating that
"favorable impression". At best, that is only a guess regarding
what the other person might want. And, it creates a limitation
for us that restricts our energy, our best ideas, and the real
contribution we can be to the business.
Early in my career, seeking to be a "people pleaser" was one of
my biggest blocks. Learning to let go of wanting my peer's
approval has freed me to put forth my ideas - both "good" and
"bad". And, sometimes those "bad" ideas serve to ignite great
ones. It also lead me out of situations and work that were not
necessarily the best match for who I am.
Second, releasing on our desire for control and security allows
us to stay open to the ideas and input of others. When we do
this, we expand our consciousness to include not just our own
thoughts, but we also gain incredible leverage from the ideas of
others. Even people who challenge us can become allies,
especially when we recognize why they challenge us. These
challenges are a real asset when we recognize they are
highlighting our blocks to real growth.
On this note, sometimes our greatest contribution to a business
can be our ability to make others feel comfortable by creating an
environment they can thrive in. Some people might call a person
able to do this a leader. So often, the workplace is a breeding
ground for fear, competition and insecurities. If this ever
brings out the best in people, it is short-term. Sooner or later,
people burn out in these conditions. Releasing these limiting
feelings increases productivity and positive results throughout a
business in countless ways.
Thank you very much John for taking the time to answer my
questions today. You offered some great insights and novel ways
of dealing with challenging people situations.
You are very welcome Peter. I hope the readers find what I
had to say of interest.
Peter Murphy has a free resource all about releasing for greater success and happ?ness at: