20 January 2006

Communication practices for work, love, and liberation

"Imagine a personal discipline for learning communication and cooperation skills, using the routines and errands of everyday life as our classroom. It's all free because it's outside the money system entirely. But it can help us make a living, avoid trouble, improve personal relationships, and work together for a better world. In an age of arrogant and abusive institutions, we can learn skills to take back more control of our lives.

For example, many people have difficulty asking for help (asking for what they need), especially when they need it most. But they can learn by practicing first in easy cases, like asking for street directions -- while focusing on ease, style, or technique more than on the information they seek. They can practice hundreds of times if necessary for mastery. If they have issues about asking for help or deserving it (due to past experiences obscuring current realities), they can start working on them here. Later, as they advance to increasingly important requests (such as seeking assistance on the job), they build competence to ask effectively and strengthen relationships even in critical or intense situations.

This practice works like martial-art training, but for skills we use all the time in everyday life. While it can be competitive, it's usually about cooperation -- not winners and losers, but larger outcomes we build together. "

Read more -- and join the email list -- at Communication Practices for work, love, and liberation.

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