Thinking is the most developed element of experience in the business world, as it is the one we pay the most attention to in schools and universities. People tend to be more aware of what they are thinking than what they are feeling, observing, or wanting. Yet even so, there can be thoughts that are outside the awareness domain, particularly if these thoughts are in some way threatening to us. The things I donít want to think about are still rattling around my head, just outside my immediate awareness. They tend to be fodder for dreams, which is why dreams are often called the royal road to the unconscious. But dreams are difficult to interpret accurately. In the end it is easier to weaken your rigidity or defenses and be willing to face the thoughts that are impacting your experience.
The point is very clear. Unconscious thoughts can affect the experience of human beings. An unconscious thought, feeling, or want can be a very powerful determinant of our experience, and because it is unconscious, be outside of our capacity to decide.
On the other hand, awareness of feelings can be difficult for some people. As some physicians have instructued, a way to repress feelings is to close down the diaphragm, that area in the center of the body, just below the rip cage. This stop the feeling from traveling upward into the chest and into the awareness. When a person is repressing feelings in this way, their diaphragm is sore, but usually that sensation is out of awareness until you poke the diaphragm. One consequence of this is that repressed, strong feelings put force on the closed diaphragm, which causes the spine to subtly torque, which in turn leads to lower back pain. The guessing game is how much of lower back pain in the society is caused by repressed feelings or bad emotional management. Thus, the need for a more open society for the expressions of ideas, thinking and feelings.
The effect in organizations of repressed feelings is also debilitating. Even when individuals are aware of their feelings, the organization frequently does not allow disclosure of them. Decisions and plans should be based on sound analysis of facts and logic, not emotions, feelings and intuition goes the ideology of organizational repression. The super leader know that this is totally false. Feelings are a key part of our experience, which in turn shapes what we see, think and do. People talk about logic and analysis. Good for us, it should be like that. But sometimes what we actually do is based as much on our feelings as on anything else. By not talking about them all we do is keep them out of our awareness dimension, where they canít be discussed and dealt as part of our decision system.
The super leader learns how to finely integrate actions, thinking, feelings and physiology as part of human behavior. The end result of this achievement is a better and more profound understanding of the imperative of human conduct.
Copyright 2001 QBS, Inc.