YOUR MIND IS AN ICEBERG by Fiorenza Rossini E fficient communication is a key skill that has to be mastered, especially for entrepreneurs. Why is it easier for one to communicate in one way? For example, haven’t you ever had this person in your life who would prefer to send you lengthy emails instead of talking to you on the phone? (maybe this person is you!) Why do we struggle to improve on some specific aspects of our communicative skills? For example, we learn that storytelling is a great technique to engage with an audience, yet it may be challenging. Also, why does everyone communicate and perceive differently a given situation? For example, how did you feel at your last family event? Did everyone feel the same? Let’s take a step back, shall we? Let’s imagine our mind is like an iceberg. THE CONSCIOUS MIND Freud described the conscious mind as all the mental processes of which we are aware: the tip of the iceberg. For example, hunger: one is fully aware of being hungry and decides to get a snack. The conscious mind is dominated by logic. The conscious mind relates to what is happening right now and what you are fully aware of. THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND The unconscious mind is the part of the iceberg that is immersed in the water, the large part of it that you don’t see, around 80% of its total size in fact. Research 47 has shown that the unconscious mind absorbs millions of bits of sensory information through the nervous system in any one second, without our consciousness being aware of it. The unconscious mind has a complete knowledge of who you are: it knows all about your experiences, past learnings and feelings. The unconscious mind sets benchmarks to many emotions, based on your past experiences, and creates new benchmarks whenever needed. Do you remember the first time you experienced anger? Well, your unconscious mind does. On that particular day, it knew you were experiencing something new, labeled it as anger and created an anger drawer (I picture my unconscious mind to be an enormous chest of drawers). Later on, any ‘anger’ labeled situation you experienced were put in the same drawer and the intensity of your feeling of anger compared to the intensity of your first anger experience. The unconscious mind comprises mental processes that ar e inaccessible to consciousness but that influence one’s judgments, feelings, or behavior. For example, you may have grown up within a family who implied you had to be the best at school, the best at sports, or just the best kid. Your family wasn’t necessarily explicitly saying so (or maybe it was); however as a kid you may have been over-rewarded for some things, which led your unconscious mind to learn that you had to be the best at everything you were doing. I had many clients whom experienced this when they were children. They don’t think about it (it is part of their unconscious mind) however it is impacting their daily adult life.