What’s your Contact Perception?

In 2005 I attended an executive leadership forum (put on by Spencer, Shenk, Capers (SSCA) where the essence of it was based on the work of Dr. Taibi Kahler and his Process Communication Model (good overview of PCM here as it’s used in astronaut selection).

One of the key precursors set forth by SSCA (in order to understand how we each process communications) was something called “contact perception.” The easiest way to think about it is that the way you think, your experiences, your personality type and your knowledge does, obviously, provide you with the lens on how you view and think about everything. It colors your communications to the extent that the forum ultimately helped each participant understand our own individual perceptions and how they impact our worldviews and ultimately how we communicate with others as leaders.

I’ve been reflecting on PCM while involved in strategic level discussions, developments and direction-setting with clients. It’s amazing how difficult it is to get people in synch with one another, to understand motivations, direction and then discover the optimal method for us to communicate with one another and get on the same page.

Next I’ve been thinking about my friends, Craig and Patricia Neal, who offer a variety of deep, thought leading seminars, workshops and meetings and specifically around something they offer which I’ve experienced several times: The Art of Convening (AoC).

This method of authentic, respectful, meaningful communications brings an emotional, human face to the left-brain analytical information provided by PCM. AoC helps one to understand, for example, how to move away from what I’m certain we’ve all experienced in business meetings: the person that shouts the loudest, has real or perceived power, or is the best persuader wins…vs. the best idea or truth.  Without understanding human perception and how to give credence to alternative views — and a respectful venue and context so they can emerge — the end result is that power wins.

What does all of this have to do with my blog, Connecting the Dots, and why should you care? The internet has accelerated access to the masses’ contact perceptions and ways for us all to collect, comingle and interact on social sites, in blogs and virtual worlds. You’ve got to be aware of people’s contact perceptions AND that authentic, meaningful, respectful communications (i.e., no bullshit) MUST be how you approach what you develop, market, sell or, quite frankly, create with any value you provide to the world.

Power is shifting rapidly as virtually everything that has been “spun”, “messaged”, “PR’ed”, and “driven” in the past is being dragged out of the shadows and into the light by emergent demand-side media like blogging, podcasting, vlogging; comparison web sites that call out obvious spin or bad offerings; social software sites where like-minded people can connect; and thus virtually anything can be found-out or pointed-out.

It’s always been time to be real. The kicker is that with today’s internet connectivity and enabling “truth” tools, you no longer have the choice to be lacking in reality, substance or genuineness.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.