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  #1  
Old 01-04-12, 07:48 PM
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strategy4me strategy4me is offline
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Default Interpersonal Awareness

How does one develop interpersonal awareness?

How do you do it? For example, via tai chi, qi gong, etc.

Are there exercises that promote this?
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  #2  
Old 01-05-12, 02:51 AM
pampam pampam is offline
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Hi Strategy4me

I think this is a interesting question and the methods are, i am sure, many.

Interpersonal awareness(an understanding of whats going on in the relationship between individuals) is an important component of the more broadly and hard to define term "wisdom". I think some of the old greeks used this formula for wisdom; wisdom=experience + reflection.

This, for me, could also be applied when it comes to developing interpersonal awareness. You meet with people yourself or observe interactions; this gives you experience. Afterwards you reflect on the dynamics and elements in play(the reflection part). After a while you will get a more intuitive understanding on whats going om between induviduals and start to tap into the nature of human interactions.

The experience part of the formula, at least for me, represents a challenge. Often when people communicate they tend to go into old habits and this, often, does not mean being really focused on whats going on. For me meditation has bin a great device for overcoming this problem since it is a kind of mental training that builds the awareness and focus "muscle"(at least this is one aspect of it) and helps you being more dettached. I am still a newbie on the field, but even with just a year or two with daily zen-training my focus and awareness has increased, also on the field of interpersonal dynamics. This is, by the way, just one of many benefits from meditating, a rewarding activity for everyone who wants to be more in controll of themselves, more balanced and more aware in general(pretty valuable qualities for a strategist).

Hope this is helpfull in some way

pampam
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Old 01-05-12, 10:49 AM
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strategy4me strategy4me is offline
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Hi pampam,

Thanks for your post, it was informative and exactly what I was thinking about. This is all new to me so I'm trying to figure out how to go about it.

In the intro to Thomas Cleary's AOW, he writes about how important it is to understand human nature(psychology) and to develop a "special sensitivity and responsiveness to master living situation".

He suggest reading the I Ching and Tao-te-Ching. Are these books practice manuals for meditation and exercises to develop mental training? I was thinking about taking Tai Chi or Qi Gong, but not sure if this is the right approach.

The subject of strategy is soooo fascinating. Taoism, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong are such broad subjects that it is confusing and hard to figure out what is needed to develop a mental training program for myself.


Hey pampam, if you don't mind my asking, what exactly do you do in your daily zen-training? Do you take a class, read a book, martial arts, or what kind of meditation? Please forgive my ignorance, as I said above this is all new to me (and fascinating).
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Old 01-06-12, 02:55 AM
pampam pampam is offline
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I am glad my post was helpfull

The tao-te-ching is, for me, more of a spiritual/wisdom guide in general. It touches on the subject of meditation, but I wouldnt suggest it as a how-to manual. That said, it is a truly eye-opening book; definetly one of my favorites. Working to understand it and ally oneself with it is indeed a goal in itself. I have just read the annotated version by Derek Lin a couple of times, and found it very helpfull. As for the I-ching i havent read or studied it, but from what I understand it is worth to tackle !

As for advice on meditation and other similar excercises I dont see myself fit to guide others, taken into account that I am a beginner myself. The following is just my experiences so far, and I am sure they have flaws compared to the insights of a real "master". So please, find out for yourself, raher than trusting me.

Regarding my zen-excersise, it is pretty simple: i just do zen meditation every morning and try to be aware of my breath and dont rush unesseserily(walk slow, be aware etc) the rest of the day(which is not very easy:P). This, I have found, gives energy and focus to develop oneself in many other but related ways(less ego, more moral, wisdom, awareness, social skills etc)(it is also helpfull for getting in touch with the principles in the tao-te-ching). As for a nut and bolts manual for meditation I am sure you can find a manual by googling "zazen" to get you started right a way; its a pretty simple excersise yet pretty "hard" to master. For litterature I would suggest "zen mind beginners mind" and "being peace"(thich naht hanh i think has written the latter). But, this is just litterature, and zen-meditation isnt really a excersise that depends on understanding of written words. Give it a try with no expectations; be persistent wiith daily sittings over some time(a month for example). If you like it, buy a book, or even better; get in contact with someone in your area who has more experience(a buddhist zen-monastery for example, without having any first hand experience with it).

Hope this helps

pampam
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Old 01-06-12, 08:03 PM
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I like your perspective, pampam. How true we must focus on our inner peace first before we can realize that it has a lot to do with how other people are more peaceful around us too.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-12, 01:17 PM
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Indeed In my humble opinion I think it is imperative for strategy in general, regardless of the objective. Without inner peace and calm it is not very easy to get even close to a clear understanding of whats going on around you. The result from lack of understanding is that your calculations will be based on uncorrect or biased information and therefore fail. Also, without inner calm, you are more likely to execute your strategy or tactics prematurely or be baited into action by your enemy because you lack patience and therefor are more inclined to be rash.

The chess legend Bobby Fischer said that "tactics flow from a superior position". In a "mind perspective" the superior position is, in my opinion, inner calm or peace. Such a state of mind is not weakened by needs or desire and therefor it can choose which projects it wants to undertake with care. A calm and satisfied person doesnt need to sieze the first opportunity that presents itself. He/her can wait and choose only those projects that are suitable taken into account the resources at hand and in that way secure victory even before the battle starts(i.e by making the enemy aware of the fact that he has no chance of winning a "war" and offering him a way out without fighting).
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Old 01-27-12, 06:33 PM
The Sheepdog The Sheepdog is offline
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One thing that helps one to develop their interpersonal awareness, IMO, is to become a noticer of people and their actions. Make a concerted effort to notice people, pay attention to their every move and word. Develop the ability to hear things that no one else hears. Not in a mystical way, but pay attention and actually "listen" to what people are saying. More often than not, people hear but don't actually listen, take in, and process the information they heard.

Watch people and what they do. Don't just see or view their movements, but actually watch them and see if you can determine why they did what they did. It's amazing what one can learn by truly "seeing and listening" to what is done and said. After doing that for a while, you will have "experienced" things you normally wouldn't have and can now build upon those experiences. The more information that you take in and correctly process -- the more awareness you will develop. It is my opinion that awareness levels can be greatly developed. Not only will you develop interpersonal awareness, but you will gain perspective. Try it! You won't be disappointed.
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Old 01-28-12, 04:31 AM
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With experience and concerted effort as my friend Sheepdog mentioned, you have a pretty good BS detector. However I have to also mention that often the other person doesn't know what to do himself, so to seek knowledge from him on what he'll do next might be a futile if not a harmful endeavor. If in doubt, focus on yourself first, such as staying along the path of Tao and buliding inner strength. Opportunities will come along again but only when you are ready.
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  #9  
Old 01-28-12, 09:41 AM
The Sheepdog The Sheepdog is offline
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You are absolutely correct, Sonshi! In situations like these involved in this thread, a quote keeps coming to mind:

"The unexamined life is not worth living" -- Socrates

Another quote that I often think of is this:

“My life - my personality, my habits, even my speech - is a combination of the books I choose to read, the people I choose to listen to, and the thoughts I choose to tolerate in my mind.” -- Andy Andrews

Interpersonal awareness starts within one's self. Once you work on perfecting yourself, the rest falls into place. Enjoy the journey -- it takes a lifetime.
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  #10  
Old 01-28-12, 04:25 PM
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Hi,

I was just reading the Japan Times on-line and found this...

Quote:
MICHAEL HOFFMAN Excerpts:

"...To indulge in misery you need wealth, infrastructure. Cubans have neither. They can't afford to be depressed."


"...Maybe the relentless pursuit of economic growth precludes happiness. Happiness is the price you pay, rather than the prize you claim, for prosperity. That seems to be the inference journalist Makiko Saito draws from her travels in Cuba, which she describes in the weekly magazine Aera..."

Please Read the Whole Article Here:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/print/fd20120122bj.html

Sometimes all we need is a different perspective : )
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  #11  
Old 01-29-12, 12:24 PM
The Sheepdog The Sheepdog is offline
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Hello Atreides,

I agree with the need for a new perspective. Here is one that goes along with that:

“In desperate times, much more than anything else, folks need perspective. For perspective brings calm. Calm leads to clear thinking. Clear thinking yields new ideas. And ideas produce the bloom...of an answer. Keep your head and heart clear. Perspective can just as easily be lost as it can be found.” -- Andy Andrews

Perspective as it relates to interpersonal awareness. I have been reading a lot lately about perspective. A little change of perspective can go a long way.
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Old 01-29-12, 08:54 PM
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Sheepdog, how true. A good example given by the book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" was how a person's view of misbehaving kids and their father not doing anything about it changed after the father told this person that their mother just died of cancer. Rowdy kids? Stressful indeed but at least they are healthy. If they were very sick, what you wouldn't give for your kids to laugh out loud again! Look at things as close to truth as possible and rejoice.
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