Ermita de Montalegre, Sant Llorenç de Montgai, Catalunya, Autumn, 2020

Imagine a 2x2 box diagram.

On the vertical axis, you see “Messages that I communicate and share” and “Messages that I consume and receive.”

On the horizontal axis, you see, “Undercuts my weaknesses and fears” and “Facilitates strengths and growth.”

The four boxes are numbered so the figure looks something like this:

As we exchange loads of messages throughout the day, it would be impossible to categorize every one of them. But, all of them land in one of these four boxes.

So, what happens when we categorize just a few of our exchanges in visual form? To get a different perspective of our inbound and outbound communication.

For example, that video we just watched on social media? Box 1 or 2?

And our written response to that video? Box 3 or 4?

Extend this to how you greet people or are greeted by people in the morning — family, colleagues at work, or the barista at the coffee shop?

How about casual conversation? In person or by text?

“Breaking news” alerts, anyone?

Some communications will straddle the line. For me, watching the documentary, The Social Dilemma, landed between Boxes 1 and 2.

As we categorize our messages, this simple model offers a current snapshot of our communication. If it differs from a future desired state of communication, there is work to do.

Many people want more exchange in Boxes 2 and 4. But, without an understanding of what is falls into Boxes 1 and 3, and why so many mechanisms are designed to hold our attention on the basis of fear, transition is hard.

And for the time being, those who wager everything on disrupting us have no incentive to help us make this jump.

Choose your collaborators carefully.

With gratitude, — Joe

Connect with Joe:

5 With Joe Performance Coaching

I coach established and experienced professionals, who feel stuck in place, to thrive in transition and bring focus to what matters most without compromising their lives.

My personal experiences winning an Olympic Gold Medal, serving as CEO of a national sports organization, and my current “Simple, Slower, and Less” lifestyle in the Catalan Pyrenees help to form accountable and transformative collaborations that see my clients create their next and most impactful chapter.