Do you believe that attempting to reason with unreasonable people is an exercise in futility? Or is it an opportunity to create love?
Dr. Joseph Shannon, a seasoned psychologist, presented our symposium with an impressive set of methods for communicating with especially challenging individuals. Effective communications require a blend of reasoning (head) and compassion (heart).
In heated discussions, are you able to clear your resistance to love and interact from a place of openness and non-judgment?
Use this idea as a measure of whether you are open and closed in your spirit: If you leave a conversation feeling more angry, lost and unheard, you may be blocking your senses and using your ego to preserve your power.
Here are Dr. Shannon’s 5 key strategies to help manage uncomfortable conversations with compassion and grace.
- Listen. Feeling heard promotes emotional healing more than anything else. It sends the message to others that you honor them. Use soft eyes and a relaxed posture to let the other person know you are present.
- Focus. By asking someone his or her feelings in a tough moment has a calming effect. It creates the opportunity for him/her to de-escalate and slow down their racing mind and confusing emotions. ”Can you tell me how you are feeling right now?”
- Identify. What core beliefs are being triggered? When listening carefully, you will notice that the person repeats certain words. These key words contain strong indicators of insecurities below the surface: “I am not good enough.” “I am entitled.” “I feel abandoned.”
- Seek. Can you look for the strengths of the other? Take the opportunity to remind someone of his or her ability to cope/find humor/breathe in tough times. Strengths help them find their center and take an emotional break. Then link their strengths to how they can deal with the situation at hand. “You are a great listener. If your heart could tell you something, what is it saying?”
- Understand. Humans are essentially built to respond positively and reasonably when core emotional pieces are in place. We desire to:
- feel understood and appreciated
- be given the benefit of the doubt and treated equally
- have freedom to decide