Amy Nutt asked:
I recently went to see the play Copenhagen, by Michael Frayn. This Tony Award-winning play stages the meeting between two Nobel laureates to discuss their role in the development of the atomic bomb. They brilliantly reveal how their actions and interactions with others were driven by their beliefs about the world.
While some communication training is geared to achieve a higher level of skills, “quantum leaps” in the way people communicate require an examination of beliefs. A person’s beliefs about themselves, other people and the world drive their choices in the way they interact with others. For example, consider the following three statements:
I believe that when I walk into a room:
a. No one will notice.
b. I add to the energy of the room.
c. I change the room with my presence.
Whether a person believes statement “a”, “b” or “c” will influence the manner in which they enter a room. What they believe will also affect how others perceive them because of the non-verbal cues that result from their beliefs.
In quantum physics, the adaptability and energy of an electron enables it to enter any number of situations. In communication, beliefs about flexibility and energy can achieve quantum results. The belief that “flexibility is important” will support the skills that enable a person to adapt to different situations.
Believing that one can present different levels of energy renders the ability to infuse the right energy into other people and groups to effect change. One can literally connect and influence the “orbits” of others.
These beliefs can be supported by an even deeper understanding that each person is multi-faceted, has many “identities” and presents a different facade in different environments. When interacting with other people, what you see and hear is only “the tip of the iceberg”. Underneath the surface is a complex, fascinating mixture of experiences and memories, generated through the filters of their belief systems.
Quantum physics studies things and properties that are not visible to the naked eye. Similarly, communication can’t be “seen”. Only the results are evident, after the event has taken place, just as the presence of an electron is only known by the revelation of a beam of light.