Conscious Communication Tools and Strategies
Over my professional career I have worked with organizations in many different sectors, including corporate, nonprofit, and faith-based. Universally, every group describes communication as something needing improvement. In addition, it is my observation that the most common shortcoming that derails otherwise successful individuals is in the realms of communication and relationships.
After studying and practicing Marshall Rosenberg’s “Nonviolent Communication,” Gay and Katie Hendricks’ “Conscious Loving” and “Conscious Living,” and being exposed to practices such as “circling,” “transparent communication,” and “authentic relating” I began creating programs that applied these teachings and practices to organizations.
Not surprisingly, when people gain a new context for relating to one another, grounded in taking full responsibility for the impact they have on others, many communication and relationship issues dissolve quickly. For those willing to take an honest self-inventory, there is an opening to relate to others in a whole different way. What people often find is they were contributing much more to problems than they realized.
While it can be hard at first to take an honest look in the mirror, the experience ultimately becomes tremendously empowering. The same awareness that allows us to see how we are personally contributing to the problem is the awareness that allows us to be part of the solution.
Equipped with expanded self-awareness, we are also able to be stronger leaders, empowering others to also see where they could create more effective and fulfilling relationships with peers, employees, and supervisors.
I coach individuals and groups in conscious, healthy ways to relate to one another. Programs include tools and practices in deep listening and connecting that allow participants to explore differences in a safe environment where no one is made wrong and all are honored.
Seeing Conflict as a Creativity Challenge
No one has to lose. But everyone has to change.
As human beings, our needs and our values are very similar. We are just trying to get them met in different ways. And that’s what we fight over… instead of seeing how our disparate perspectives could be part of the solution. Is there a way to incorporate a third way? How can we find common values?
I coach teams in conflict transformation, whereby we see conflict as a creativity challenge. Conflict transformation takes conflict resolution much further. We become interested in more than just solving the immediate problem, and expand our view to how we can grow from the conflict, and how we can improve the relationship with other people involved in the conflict. Thus, conflict becomes something that strengthens us individually and collectively.
About Gregory Toole
Gregory started his career in the computer industry as a software developer. After completing an MBA at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, he worked in Business Development and Marketing for several Silicon Valley tech companies.
After many years in the tech industry, Gregory became interested in how work life could be more fulfilling and personally meaningful. To that end he explored many different spiritual philosophies, ultimately earning a master’s in Consciousness Studies from Holmes Institute. The program at Holmes Institute was designed to look at the world from many different disciplines, including Science, Education, Leadership, Spirituality, Philosophy, and Psychology.
After graduating from Holmes Institute, Gregory worked with many spiritual communities sharing his knowledge and experience of organizations. Soon the area of conscious communication and relationship became more than just a natural talent and curiosity, expanding into a focus and specialty.
Gregory founded Somseva, a Centers for Spiritual Living affiliated community dedicated to supporting people in seeing their oneness and connectedness with others. Somseva inspires authentic, compassionate relationships through spiritual education, tools, and practice that promote peacemaking and conscious action.
After four years of leading Somseva, Gregory has expanded his focus “full circle” to bring conscious relating and communication, and conflict transformation to business organizations. He is inspired not only by how these tools and practices could make people more effective in working with others, but also by the potential for making their work more fulfilling and meaningful.