Tag Archives: conflict resolution

compassionate communication

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Have you ever stopped to think about compassionate communications?  I would imagine that most people haven’t thought it about or communicated with others compassionately.   It’s not really how most people think or do communications.  We communicate to “say” something and then move on to the next thing on our daily agenda.   Communications in many cases is “directive” communication and because there is so much directive communication coming from a variety of channels in our lives it can be ignored.

What does compassionate communication look like?

It is a 12 step process that I’ll cover in the next few blog postings.  The outline of the process is:

1. Relax
2. Stay present
3. Create inner silence
4. Increase positive emotions/thinking
5. Reflect on your deepest values
6. Access a pleasant memory
7. Observe non-verbal cues
8. Express appreciation
9. Speak slowly
10. Speak warmly
11. Speak briefly
12. Listen deeply
(This material comes from the book, “Words can change your brain: 12 conversation strategies to build trust, resolve conflict, and increase intimacy” by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

The process may seem easy and even a common sense approach to better communications and it would be if it were followed more often.

managing conflict … how do you do it?

“Its complicated, on one level. On another, it’s the same old stupid story – we aren’t enlightened. We disagree, fall in love, and hate each other, the whole spectrum of human experience. We have differences of opinion, and sometimes, we can’t resolve those differences peacefully. If a disagreement goes for long enough, and is important enough, people start to take sides. Once people start to take sides, conflict is inevitable.”
Zachary Rawlins, The Academy

Conflict – a difference of opinion?  A difference of values?

What is conflict?  Certainly conflict involves your emotions and causes something to trigger a response in your body that creates a physical change.   Some conflict is beneficial if that conflict results in creating positive outcomes.   Far too often conflict results in negative outcomes where people find themselves unable to create an inner story that is peaceful.

What do you do when you find yourself in a situation which creates conflict for you?

At first conflict may look like irritation, where you start feeling a tenseness in your body, perhaps your stomach is starting to tighten and the muscles are preparing to take an action but you don’t know what that will be.  There is a threat, yet unidentified you sense that there is something wrong.  If the pressure continues your body not only senses a threat it starts producing in quantity the hormones that are going to provoke an action.  Just one more thing and the body says, “Enough” – “get out of here or react”.

Let’s look at the five phases of managing internal conflict.

1. The initial reaction – something happens and the body wants to react.  Your first step should be to announce the feeling, the emotion you are experiencing.   Say out loud the emotion you are feeling.  “I’m scared that something is going to happen”.

2. Release the energy – After you acknowledge the emotion the next step is to discharge that energy and you can do that by taking in a deep breath and releasing it.  Focus on relaxing and continue to do deep breathing until that wave of emotions has subsided.

3. Get back under control – Downshift your energy/emotions so that you can get the nerves and energy under your control rather than being under the control of your emotional center.

4. Refocus – This is when you can ask yourself the question, “What needs to be done next?”   When you have regained control and released the emotions shift the internal conversation to a cognitive one and look for a positive action.

5. Action – Take an action, this may be re-engaging with the situation and bringing a sense of logic and control to your whole body.

With practice these five steps can be done in a matter of seconds.   When you are in control of your emotions in a conflict you are in control.

How does conflict start? Take a look.

What could have been done differently?

core values

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do. ” Freya Stark

What are core values?   These are values that are important to you or the organization you work for.  These are deep-seated values that you identify with as necessary components of you or you work.   Some people value honesty, integrity,  trust,  intelligence, or a strong work ethic.   No matter what they are if they are in alignment with who you are the more satisfied you’ll be.   Your identity is wrapped up in your core values.  It is what you believe in.

How well do you know your core values?    I have found that looking at a list of over 300 values that most people find it difficult to winnow the list down to just a few values, just 3 or 4 values that are the most important to them.   With too many values it is easy to get lose focus on what is really important and identify with values that are tangential to the real you.

Why is it important to have just a few values?    You can certainly have many values that are important and without a focus on a few it leads to less intense focus on the values that are the most important.    There are probably just three to five core values that you can develop with sufficient intensity to make substantial improvements on.

Identify your values

1. Take a look at a list of values and quickly choose 10 values that you identify with

2.  Narrow the list of 10 values down to 5

3. Now choose the 3 values that you strongly identify with

What can you do to strengthen your values?

Take a look at Zappos values and how they apply those values in the work environment.

How are you living out your values?

If you are interested in finding your core values Taylor Protocols offers an assessment that will identify your strengths in four areas.    The information is useful in finding the right career and how to resolve conflicts with others.    When you know what values are being challenged in yourself you can develop strategies to reduce that conflict.

Take some time and get to know your core values today.

Alignment

“Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose. Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary. Outer purpose concerns doing and it is secondary. Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that. You share that purpose with every other person on the planet – because it is the purpose of humanity. Your inner purpose is an essential part of the purpose of the whole, the universe and its emerging intelligence. Your outer purpose can change over time. It varies greatly from person to person. Finding and living in alignment with the inner purpose is the foundation for fulfilling your outer purpose. It is the basis for true success. Without that alignment, you can still achieve certain things through effort, struggle, determination, and sheer hard work or cunning. But there is no joy in such endeavor, and it invariably ends in some form of suffering.”  Eckhart Tolle

As a coach who works a wide variety of people it is important that the client knows “who” they are.   In many cases they have an idea of who they are that has been shaped by external influences and over time their belief about “who” they are is merely a mask of their real self.    People take assessments to help define better who they are (MBTI, DISC, …) and while those assessments provide value they are often reflections of what other people have declared them to be.   Even 360 degree assessment fail to provide the truth about “who” a person really is.  

 

What happens when people don’t know “who” they are is that they fight against themselves in many cases in terms of career choice, conflicts, learning styles, and working with others.   If people knew “who” they were naturally they would experience greater career, relational, and personal success and fulfillment.   The very things people are looking for are obscured by not knowing who they are.

Jim Collins the author of “Good to Great” writes,  “You can’t manufacture passion or “motivate” people to feel passionate. You can only discover what ignites your passion and the passions of those around you.”     Research indicates that only about 28% of people in their work love what they do.    That means that 72% of the workforce is doing work they don’t really like to do.  Companies spend billions of dollars training and trying to get people to fit their roles and can’t.   When people are not in alignment with “who” they are and what they do they will attempt to mold the job to their core values and ultimately the both the employee and organization suffer.  

For organizations getting the right people in the right seat would make a huge contribution to the bottom line and increase employee satisfaction.    Imagine if you knew what your core values were so that you could find a job that aligns with your strengths and abilities.    Taylor Protocols is one such company that knows how to get the right people in the right seat.     Their “Core Value Index” reliably shows what matters most to people and when they know their core values they are able to:

1. Find out what career is a good fit.

2. Find out how to manage conflict.

3. Find out what creates conflict in their life.

4. Find out their best learning style.

5. Find out how they can make their biggest contribution.

When people are in alignment with “who” they are their level of fulfillment increases, their productivity increase and life gets better.   That is what many people want, a better life and yet they struggle with daily fighting against “who” they truly are.    The CVI is something that can be purchased and the results can be used to fashion a purpose filled life.   It is worth the few dollars to find out what really works in your life.   It is far cheaper than therapy or counseling that often takes place after one has fought against their natural values for years.

Do you know “who” you are?    Are you living with your “values” or against them?

Here’s a short clip about the value of the CVI.