Finding your power in seemingly powerless situations doesn't mean denying what happened, your feelings, your needs, nor the behavior of others that didn't meet needs. It does mean reexamining those situations with the intention to compassionately look for your contribution and for clues to your hidden perceptual biases. Read on to learn about about finding these clues, and more.
Misunderstandings can be painful. We can easily avoid this by checking what the other person understood from what we said, and ask the other person to do the same. Doing this is especially important when it comes to planning, shared decision-making, and when emotions are strong. Also, the more someone knows you, the more they think they already know what you mean -- which can get in the way of really hearing you. Here are a variety of ways to approach this simple strategy.
Beginner Skill Level •
Trainer Tip •
Read time: 1-2 minutes
Trainer Tip: People’s choice of words may be difficult to hear. In fact, we may feel downright aggravated by them. Whether we enjoy these statements or not, we can begin to recognize that behind each statement is a desire to meet needs, either by saying please or thank you. In this way, we are more likely to feel compassion because we have connected to their humanness. Listen for the please or thank you in your conversations today.
A challenge is an expansion of making a clear, positive doable request — and, when given, the person feels deeply seen by the challenger. A challenge isn't just about getting someone to take action on something important to them; it's a fierce form of empathy that supports people in connecting with their life force, and integrates it into their lives with action. A real challenge is tied to the receiver's goals, passions and dreams -- and expands their potential.
Shared vulnerability can build more intimacy, mutuality, being seen and heard, empathy, or community. Inviting shared vulnerability means earning another’s trust that you can consistently offer attentive, curious, and compassionate listening. Here are four strategies to invite shared vulnerability.
If we are in the dominant group, intervening to prevent violence or an "ouch" is a way to ally with marginalized folks. We can intervene to meet their needs, rather than our own. In other words, we can intervene without putting our experience at center stage. To that end, here are six ways to ask if an intervention is welcome.
Effective and connected dialogue requires significant self-awareness, mindfulness, and skill. You can focus on any of these six areas that most often escape your awareness: anchoring and staying grounded; boundaries; thoughts and beliefs; stuckness or attachment; feelings and needs; and requests. Read on for a list of questions to help you focus on how to do that.
When Anita's sister reveals that the Ku Klux Klan broke into her home and dragged her out into a field towards a burning cross, Anita's commitment to nonviolence is challenged. Here, Miki highlights practices and lessons from her story of inner struggle -- including an insight about how, even in extreme polarization, our freedom and healing is wrapped up in others' freedom and healing.
In general, criticism is a reactive response discomfort. When someone criticizes, they are not yet able or willing take responsibility for their needs. All criticism is a tragic expression of feelings and unmet needs. When you meet that criticism skillfully you not only care for yourself, you can facilitate clarity, and constructive communication, about what the other person is truly asking for.