What can you do to move towards connection when you you sense reactivity, defense, withdrawal or conflict arising? You can make a connection request, check the congruence between your body language and your words, and get curious about the impact of your actions. When you've tried everything you could also acknowledge that something is off, and choose to come back together when both parties have had time to reflect. Read on for more.
When asking for respect it helps to first get clear about your interpretations of other's behavior. You can do this by asking about the other's intentions before believing your thoughts. You can also make a clear request for what specifically you want to see happen instead. Read on for more.
When you want to be heard, first check if your listener is available. This honors yourself, and the other person’s choice about listening. You need to be clear about wanting a particular quality of listening, and that you are willing to wait if that isn’t available in the moment. Read on for how to ask for listening in a way that can build trust that your request isn't a demand.
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.
The impulse to say "I love you" is an opportunity to check-in both with our level of presence (eg. are we saying it by rote?) and also with what we really mean in that moment (eg. what are the needs and real purpose deep beneath the word "love"?). This can invite us to explore a deeper, more heartfelt way of communicating and being...
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.
Connection requests focus on the quality of connection between people instead of on any particular strategy or solution. While the core motivation for a connection request may be connection with the other person, varied internal states and needs may help guide us toward different types of connection requests. Self-connection and understanding of our motivation in making a connection request can therefore greatly support our capacity for discovering and articulating what specifically we want from the other person that we believe may contribute to connection.
Jori and Jim Manske offer a process they call "The Zero Step," encompassing the characteristics of warmth toward self and other, care for the vitality of both yourself and other(s), wonder/interest, vulnerability and empathy, which leads directly to connection requests and an openness to outcome.