Connecting on Crucial Conversations

Pink heart flowersJoseph Grenny wrote a wonderful book called “Crucial Conversations”, and I agree with the authors who state that the ability to have those tough, and at times highly charged conversations, is one of the most important skills anyone can have both personally and professionally.

Having charged conversations has been an area I have worked on through the years and will continue to work on….forever=-) It does not come naturally to me which is why I appreciate books like “Crucial Conversations”.

Their definition of a Crucial Conversation is one where the “Opinions differ and Emotions and Stakes are high”. If you find yourself on the brink of a Crucial Conversation personally or professionally, their first success strategy is to “Start with Heart”. My interpretation of that is to take a moment to breathe, breathe into your own body and connect with that loving part of yourself, so you can come from love about yourself as well as come from love towards the other.

Think about what you appreciate about this person and what you are grateful for with regards to this relationship.

This is not always easy to do, but if you can take a moment to breath and connect with your heart and their heart before having the conversation, it most likely will go at least a little better than if you didn’t.

Laverty Life Links: Notice if you have a Crucial Conversation personally or professionally and if so, take a moment to “Start with Heart”. Notice how the conversation goes perhaps differently than if hadn’t connected with your heart first.

 

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More Magnificent Men in Mauve

I was out and about on Valentine’s Day and the men were out in red on a five to one ratio=-) I think men can be the most romantic, sweet and lovely people, and I have been so lucky to have attracted wonderful partners.  I have often thought that if I ever wrote a book, I would dedicate it to the four boyfriends I have had. I may or may not ever write a book, so this is dedicated to former boyfriends—T, M, D and N….

I heard some people lamenting the other day about Valentine’s Day and how they didn’t have a “special partner” for the weekend celebrations.  I happen to be single as well, yet I feel so filled up with love from all the people and experiences in my life.  As the years go on, I have a sense of the love coming through friends, family, nature or spiritual forces, and it all means the world to me.  I feel as loved, special and beautiful as a single person, as I did when I was with one of my boyfriends. 

I know in part that I feel this way today because of the love I received from these four special people who loved me no matter what, told me I was beautiful, held me when I was scared or sad, and through their love, healed the wounds that were deep inside.  

Their unconditional love has meant the world to me…they are the reason why I can be the mom that I am, the friend that I am and do the work that I do today.  I share this in part bc I simply was inspired by all the sweet men out there in red yesterday. As well, some women have shared that they haven’t been with men who are loving and kind.  We are all worth that kind of healing and precious love–to give and receive it. There really are no words to express what I am trying to say, but this is the best I’ve got=-) Thinking of you today t, m, d and n…..

Laverty Life Link: Who has been special in your life–filling you with the kind of love that stays in your heart and soul through the years? Consider letting them know how much they have meant to you. 

Think of the people you have shared that kind of love with and be grateful that you have had the capacity to do so. It is truly a gift to give and receive that deep soul centered love. 

It Mattered to This One….

Some of you may have heard the story of the little girl and the starfish….she was throwing the starfish in one by one along the ocean. Someone came up to her and said, “there are 1000’s of these starfish, how could it possibly make a difference to throw in a few”. She looked up brightly and said, as she threw one in, “well it mattered to this one!”. 

This is an amazing story of making a difference in her corner of the world….I love that. Not many of us are Oprah or Tony Robbins and impacting thousands of people each day, but each of us can make a difference in our small corner of the world. I live by that to the best of my ability every day.

I wanted to share a story of someone who made a difference in my life.  When my parents were going through a divorce when I was 8, a woman/mom named Marilyn rented an extra bedroom at my dad’s house while she needed medical help in the area.  She had an authentic care for children and a deep belief in God.  She spent a lot of time with me–talking with me, asking me questions, playing the “Ungame” with me and simply being there in a way that was very, very special and important at that time in my life.

After all these years, we still keep in touch, and I was asking her some questions about her perspective of me when I was little and what was going on. I began to realize more and more how much of a difference she made in my life, and she was only there 6 short months.  I started crying as I shared how important she was to me and my future growth.  I was working out while chatting, so if you ever see someone bawling at the LA Fitness, it might be me, depending on the day=-)

Laverty’s Life Link:  How can you make a loving difference in your corner of the world?  Think about who has made a difference in your life with their loving touch, their friendly smile or their helping hand and share with them how important they are to you. That will for sure make a difference in their life…and the circle of caring continues.

Happy Happy Love Day….that can be every day……

As I told Marilyn, “I know it wasn’t easy living away from your family for that time and I wouldn’t wish your medical issues on anyone, but the time you shared with me, “made a difference” to this one…

 

 

Bees mainly sting when they are scared….

My daughter was sharing her perspective about bees one night, and she said, “they only sting when they are scared”.  I was thinking about how that is so true in life.  People often “attack” or get prickly when they are scared.  I think of that and it helps me stay grounded (at times=-) I can sense that it is not “personal” and it often doesn’t have anything to do with me, but more to do with them….their own fears or projections.

When I am angry, I take time to feel and think–what am I afraid of?  Why am I getting triggered right now?  I will often write in my journal as a way to process and express myself before talking with the person. At times, I don’t need to have a conversation, because the journal process healed what needed healing.

When others are angry at me or around me, I think of them like the “bee”. How might they be afraid right now? That helps me to maintain my center and grounding as they express themselves.

Laverty Life Link:  Consider when you are the bee stinging and how that feels..and what you could do to calm down before going in for the kill=-)  Also consider when others are upset, that they are simply feeling unsafe. If you love them, consider how to help them feel safe again. Often a little loving kindness will pave the way for a better next moment.

We Teach Others How to Treat Us–The Law of Effect

The law of effect basically states that “responses that produce a satisfying effect in a particular situation become more likely to occur again in that situation, and responses that produce a discomforting effect become less likely to occur again in that situation.” (Wikipedia)

I think, write and talk a lot about the Laws of Attraction, and this was the first time I had heard of the “Law of Effect”, so I wanted to explore both what it means and how it impacts my life. I think of these laws as happening whether I know about them, or not, similar to gravity=-)

I use the phrase “we teach others how to treat us” in my coaching work and this law explains more scientifically what I mean—YEA!  To give a simple example, I am coming up against some “stuff” at the place I work out.  There was an instructor at my local club who in my opinion was abusive in her language, attitude and teaching style, and she taught A LOT of classes.  I was shocked at how mostly people just “accepted it” or tolerated it.  I, for one, have no desire to be abused verbally or otherwise, and I talked to the head of the clubs for the US on a few occasions and now the instructor is no longer teaching at the club.

They told me I was one of the only ones to complain about it, and yet I know others felt the same way I did.  I have seen this on numerous occasions, people not speaking up or standing up for themselves.  In a sense, by not saying anything, I would have been supporting the behavior, but by verbally alerting management a few times, I changed our current reality at the club=-)

Consider this law the next time something awesome is happening….and support it with affirmations and joy. When something is happening that you don’t appreciate, consider what actions you could take to decrease the likelihood of it happening in the future=-) It may require you to speak up and be brave….

Laverty Life Links: Where in your life is the Law of Effect (either positive or negative) happening, and what are you willing to do to harness the law?

Have an Argument to “Make shiny”=-)

I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a culture that supported stuffing emotions and feelings.  One of the phrases I often heard was “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it.”  In general, I have been, and still am to some extent, uncomfortable expressing the true range of my thoughts, feelings and emotions, especially to girlfriends.  I am much more comfortable with my daughter and boyfriend.

In the past, I would interact with people from different cultures who had more of a “let it all hang out and let the chips fall where they may” mindset. Years ago, this not only scared me, but I would say I thought it was “unhealthy” (all that screaming and yelling!!)  As the years go by (and I am about to turn 44, so they are going by=-), I am seeing the benefits of the other side as well…and as always am looking for the balance for myself. The balance of being loving and kind, and also fully authentic with my thoughts and feelings.

At this point, I would say my goal is to be more towards the “let it all hang out” than not.  I refer to these moments or conversations as needing to have a “come to jesus”=-) These conversations can be very tricky and can lead to two people coming closer together and at times further apart. Either way my goal is to be as authentic and loving as possible, so that the relationship is a more REAL connection.

I read an excerpt that stated that arguments, properly understood, should be engaged, not avoided, because “argument” comes from the Latin word, arguer, which means “to make clear” or “shiny” to bring light to the truth (John 14:6).  I don’t quote the Bible myself, since I don’t know it very well, but there you have it.

My goal is to find ways to make my life as shiny as possible through authentic and loving conversations–hard or otherwise-I am 100 % committed to that.

Laverty Life Link: Where is there a relationship in your life that needs a little clearing out? What are you willing to do to have an authentic, yet loving conversation with this person to discover what is next for your relationship? You might be amazed at what you find=-)  I have been…..and I am proud of myself—it has probably been one of the most challenging things I have done.