How to avoid conflicts in communication and being violent to those we should protect and love?

#BE KIND

Conflicts in communication can become physical

This week, my youngest daughter wrote an essay about the existence of evil. In her essay, she was reflecting on the difference between evil deeds and evil people. Like her, I choose to believe that most of the time we are doing things not because we are evil, but just because we do not know any better. It’s most likely safe to say that lack of awareness is one of the reasons which creates tendencies to default or choose to do evil deeds.

The current global events have already had psycho-social impacts on people, teams, organizations and companies around the world. Social isolation and conversations moving mostly into online format keep creating frustrations and confusion. During the lockdowns and remote work we spend more time within our close circles and families. Unfortunately, in too many cases this has created an increase in conflicts and even domestic violence.

It is unacceptable that conflicts in communication turn into physical violence, and it should never be tolerated, especially at home. Verbal violence can be equally disruptive yet often more difficult to prove. Words change the world, they can encourage or hurt. Continuous verbal violence can leave scars just as bad as a physical abuse.

[bctt tweet=”Words change the world, they can encourage or hurt. Continuous verbal violence can leave scars just as bad as a physical abuse.” username=”GreenElephantOy”]

The Green Elephant has been in a meditative state this past year, giving me welcomed time to  pause and reflect on the current situation in the world. I have been asking myself: “How might we change the way we interact with others, especially those we intend to take care of and protect?” One insight of these reflections was the importance of our intentions. It is not so much about #WhatIsay or #HowIsay it. It all comes down to my own awareness, #WhyIsay it. This consciousness or mindfulness would most likely drastically change our interpersonal relationships. 

[bctt tweet=”It is not so much about #WhatIsay or #HowIsay it. It all comes down to my own awareness, #WhyIsay it.” username=”GreenElephantOy”]

Good news is that we as individuals can choose to do something about our communication right now. Whether I am communicating face-to-face or online and as a human, mother, partner, employer and future social influencer, I have chosen to make the following promises to people around me. 

The 5 Promises I make to manage conflicts and communication:

#1 I PROMISE TO BE SELF-AWARE

I need to open my eyes and be ready to do some honest self-reflection. I promise to be more aware of the way that I communicate with others by taking ownership for my actions, feelings and needs. I will look within myself and avoid projecting my fear and insecurities onto others.
If you notice me lacking self-awareness, would you ask me: “How much responsibility are you taking for your needs?”

#2 I PROMISE TO BE CURIOUS

I will be less self-centered and more interested in others. I wish to be more present and listen to understand, rather than only advise others. I will focus more on what others feel and think.
If you me becoming too self-absorbed, would you ask me : “Who are you focusing right now?”

#3 I PROMISE TO TAME MY EGO

Life shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I will laugh at myself more and step away from my Ego. I will accept responsibility and constructive criticism without becoming trapped by my Ego. Say something if you see me becoming too proud or too insecure.
If you sense me being too attached to my Ego, would you ask me: “Is this your Ego talking?”

#4 I PROMISE TO USE COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE

No one can do everything on their own. I promise to use my communication skills to capture the collective wisdom when we work together. I will not try to move mountains alone.
If you notice me trying to do too much on my own, would you ask me: “How might we work on this as a team?”

#5 I PROMISE TO AVOID ASSUMPTIONS

I often think that what is true to me is true to others. I promise to check my assumptions and to avoid turning them into projections and conflicts.
If you notice me becoming too conflictual , would you ask me: “What uncheck assumptions are you making?

Time will make habits and habits will change the world. When others help me notice, without any judgement or blame that I have forgotten my promises, they “mirror” me. The more we mirror each other with kindness, the faster these promises turn into good habits

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Ritual designer and communication coach, Anu keeps people on track with radical candor, humour, and her pragmatic “Sisu” - Finnish for determination.