For effective dialogue clarify your needs, boundaries, and requests beforehand. Setting boundaries is telling someone what you're going to do in order to meet or protect needs for yourself or others. Whereas with requests, even if you have preferences, you still hold open curiosity about strategies to collaborate with others in meeting needs. Read on for more.
What's my intention? What needs am I trying to meet? What do I want the other person to know or understand? How can I say it in a way they are most likely to hear? These are four questions we can use in preparation for an important conversation. Read on for more on this, plus four accompanying practices.
The less blame and criticism, the easier it is for others to hear us. From this perspective, it’s in our best interest to come from curiosity and care. This way differences can bring us together and help us know one another. The more mutual understanding, the easier it is to work together and find creative solutions. Read on for more on this, with a story about how a black man inspired 200 members of the KKK to leave the organization.
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.
Our world trains us to think in terms of providing for everyone’s needs because they deserve it, earned it, or they possess the resources -- it's fair, socially just, supports equality or because people have rights. Instead, can we step outside this worldview to look at providing for everyone’s needs because those needs exist -- can we hold this basic reverence for life? Are we able to have a needs-based dialogue when such a reframe could alienate those who live in the worldview of earn/deserve?
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.
Conversation can become more satisfying with depth. Depth is occurs when connection unfolds towards a depth of intimacy, presence, attunement, sensing -- and silent attentive connection where another is attentively seen and heard. Inviting this level of sharing in conversation relies on at least three major elements: attentive silence, the desire to connect and be known, and focus on present moment experience. Learn more about this way of engaging.
Have you ever gotten a fishing line all tangled up? You got so frustrated you just started yanking on the different loops of line, which of course made the knots and tangles even tighter and more difficult to untangle. Wouldn’t it be great if you could notice the minute you were starting to tangle things up in a discussion with your loved one?