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All allusions to clients, case histories, or coaching scenarios in these columns have been altered so they no longer resemble any person, living, dead, or just hanging out at the mall.
If we were to meet our exact double at a party, would the two of us get along? Would we exchange phone numbers, make plans to get together, or maybe even set up our clone with one of our single friends? On a superficial level, one would think that the two of us would get along great. After all, we have so much in common. However, according to a number of ancient and modern sources, this would not be the case at all. Instead of hitting it off, chances are if we were placed in such a setting with our genetic duplicate we would probably get nervous and spill our drink in his/her lap and run the other way. Not only wouldn't we get along with our virtual twin, we would probably be filled with a degree of anger, jealously, and perhaps a little bit of heartburn as well.
Why the discord? Why the lack of harmony? Why does our replicate from a parallel universe have to leave the party early and change clothes? Let's ask ourselves another question. If we treated other people the way we treated ourselves, what would be the consequences of such behavior? Having asked this question to a number of people over the years, I have received responses ranging from being the recipient of restraining orders at best, to being subjected to extended prison sentences at worse.
What is the reason for this animosity? The answer lies in rapport, or lack thereof. Rapport, in addition to being yet another word borrowed from the French in which various letters aren't pronounced, is the ability to create harmony and accord in our relationships. Most literature on the subject focuses on how to create rapport with others, i.e., our spouses, our bosses, and/or our ski instructors. We will explore those topics in future columns. However, I want to focus on the sorely neglected topic of developing rapport with ourselves.
The first step in achieving self-rapport is to take the congruency test. But one word of caution is in order. No cheating is allowed. Do not make the same mistake that Woody Allen made at NYU and look into the soul of the person sitting next to you for the answers.
The Congruency Test
Do we say one thing and do another on a regular basis?
Do we think one way and act in a diametrically opposed fashion regularly?
Do we have taco sauce dripping down our chin?
If you answered yes to one of these questions, then you may want to increase your congruency quotient and you could be in need of a stain remover.
Here is the recipe to master self-rapport, create internal harmony, and avoid static cling.
Congruent Speech and Tonality
Have you ever seen someone say yes but the rest of his/her body communicates no? I've interviewed people who kept spouting out how much they wanted the job while they kept shaking their head no at the same rate and speed as a metronome on Red Bull. Take a look in the mirror when you speak and make sure you are not betraying yourself with your body language. By the same token, you may be using exciting words that are spewing out enthusiasm and high energy but your tonality might be banal and could be projecting a lethargic, lackluster message. Try recording yourself and listen closely to the tape or MP3/WAV file for tonality that matches the content of your speech.
We may have conflicting thoughts swimming around in our heads that are leading us to incongruence. Some messages might be doing freestyle in our brains and pushing us to move forward. Other neural activity is in backstroke mode and is encouraging us to live in the past or play the victim role. Train your thoughts to jump into the water at the sound of the gun and swim in the same positive and future-oriented direction.
Action is the bottom line of achieving self-rapport. We have to ask ourselves if we are taking daily steps to promote and/or maintain our dreams and goals. If not, maybe now is the time to start. Or maybe five minutes from now, but certainly not longer than it takes to learn how to eat Mexican food neatly.
If we had no financial or time constraints, would we be living the same life that we are currently involved in? For example, you may be a successful investment banker but deep down you know you aren't fulfilling your true professional goal of opening up a world class Viking restaurant. This incongruence can lead to a general sense of malaise, a feeling of quiet desperation, or even a temptation to skip your next ski lesson. Be clear about your personal and professional goals and take daily steps to attain and/or maintain them. If you aren't being true to your deepest hopes, dreams and aspirations, remember the old saying that keeps circulating in some of the world's finest fortune cookies. It's better to fail at a lifestyle that you want to live than to succeed at an existence that you disdain. Please tip your waiter. Or as one of my uncles used to say, "quit talking philosophy and pass me those Nordic chicken crisps."
Our goal is to develop enough self-rapport so that we can interface in a user-friendly manner with our own souls. After mastering a congruent way of being, a chance meeting with our double just might find us enjoying the friendship. With a high level of self-rapport, we could have a fighting chance of going out to the movies with our alter-ego, or even survive a night of bowling together without getting into a brawl. Once this level has been reached, the next step is to develop rapport with those around us. But not before we create the ideal atmosphere and decor that best accompanies Viking cuisine.
In addition to his personal coaching practice, Ben Goldfarb has led corporate trainings at Philips Medical Systems, Israel Aircraft Industry, and Marvell Semiconductor. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. For more information, send an e-mail to email@example.com, visit the PSC website at www.pdshiftcoaching.com, or call 972-(0)2-641-6673 to arrange a complimentary phone consultation.
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