Posts tagged: conflict resolution

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: AL GORE OF LISTENING TURNS

By , November 28, 2008 1:58 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

To “catch up” with this cycle, please read, from the e-newsletter archives Passive Listening Week 1: Can Listening Turns Save The World and Week Two: Does Passive Listening Work?  Anyone can also access the e-newsletter archives from the Free Resources submenu at Creative Edge Focusing.

Our Own Nobel Peace Project
 
I could spend this third week on Instant “Ahah!” #3 reminding you again to go through the instructions with your significant others and set up the “structures” necessary (a place to sit, a timer, a mutually-agreed upon “signal” word, like “popcorn”) so they will be in place if needed when argument starts. And I will ask you again to email any experiences you are having trying Passive Listening Turns to the CEF e-support group or to me.
 
But, I am going to spend today instead talking about what it would be like to start a “campaign” to get Passive Listening turns, or some other aspect of Listening/Focusing, incorporated into every household, every situation, in the world.
 
Al Gore, and the millions inspired to work with him, are doing this around the issue of Global Warming. Al Gore took it upon himself to take action, to respond to what he perceived as a life-or-death, urgent issue for all human beings.
 
That is how I feel about Listening/Focusing, especially as they can be used for conflict resolution, between individuals, lovers, parents, parent and child, in schools, in cities and communities, in governments, in national and international conflicts. And Passive Listening Turns is the most simple, small-step in that direction that I have come up with.
 
Brainstorm With Me To Find “The One Small Step”
 
Do you think spreading Passive Listening Turns is a good first step, if there were to be a campaign to bring listening/focusing, and the “creation of the new” that can come when people can speak from felt-sensing, to everyone, every situation, worldwide? Do you have a better idea? I’m open!
 
Can you imagine participating in such a campaign? What “one-small-step” might you be willing to do, or willing to encourage your friends, neighbors, colleagues, elected officials, school systems, doctors and nurses, etc., to do or to spread?
 
I’d like to imagine a bumper sticker campaign: “Listen, Don’t Lecture,” “Speaking, Not Arguing,”  “Popcorn!” Get Out The Listening Timer!”, “Passive Listening = Active Solutions” – got better ideas?!!! Certainly, I can use help!
 
A bookmark-sized handout that obstetricians, pediatricians, counselors, teachers could hand out, outlining the procedure (maybe with a magnet for sticking on the fridge!)
 
Maybe “Passive Listening Turns” isn’t the right name for the process. What would be better? “Timed Turn-Taking”? I can’t do this alone, but it would be fun to brain storm it! I know we would come up with something hugely creative.
 
So, for this week, besides setting up the structure and trying the Passive Listening Turns procedure if an opportunity arises, I’d welcome any consideration of the Passive Listening Turn “campaign,” how we might do our own Nobel Peace Prize effort to get Listening/Focusing Conflict Resolution known. Email Dr. McGuire with your ideas and reactions. Thank you!

The Basic Procedure
 
Here are the subheadings from the exercise which lay out the basic steps of this very simple procedure:
 
Agree on a signal during a peaceful time
Set a timer and take a seat
Use the timer to keep turns exactly even
Yell at a blank wall, if needed
Just keep going
Caution: Professional help needed?
Online support for conflict resolution
 
And those are the basics of this very simple procedure, which can be taught to anyone in five minutes. Find the entire exercise in your Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual or quickly online here, Passive Listening Turns.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSING IN THE WORLD: INTERPERSONAL, GROUP, COMMUNITY, AND ORGANIZATIONAL MODELS FOR CREATIVITY AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

By , November 24, 2008 5:10 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual 

Focusing Out In The World: Interpersonal, Group, Community, AND Organizational models
 
There is an explosion of interest within those practicing Focusing as an inner problem solving technique toward bringing Focusing, and its companion, Listening, out into the world. How does Gendlin’s Focusing look when it moves from a largely internal practice to an interpersonal, group, community, organizational model?
 
This e-newsletter addresses some models developing directly out of Focusing and Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit, www.focusing.org, as well as other models that integrate well with and are enriched by a Focusing-Oriented perspective.
 
CREATIVE EDGE ORGANIZATIONS: ENGAGING THE “FELT SENSE” OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO OVERCOME APATHY, INCREASE CREATIVITY
 
Central to my own Creative Edge Focusing ™ model for innovation, Creative Edge Organizations, is the awareness that, through the careful integration of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening at all levels, every individual can be engaged at the Creative Edge of their personal passion while contributing to the overall goals of the organization. Read all about it 
 
EMPOWERMENT ORGANIZATION: THE “ONE SMALL THING”
 
“Motivation = Engagement : Apathy Is The Enemy!
 
Central to the Creative Edge Focusing ™ model is finding the “One Small Thing” which will allow every individual to take that first step toward involvement in civil action or corporate “buy in.” Find several examples from business and social action and try the “One Small Thing” exercise.
 
INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING: GREETING ANGER WITH EMPATHY
 
“If you view an angry person as a hurting person, you are well on the way toward an empathic, or Listening, way of dealing with interpersonal conflict.  When a person is screaming with anger, she is saying “I perceive you as treading on one of my essential needs, and I am hurting”. 
 
If, through Focused Listening, you are able to help the person to a more direct expression of her vulnerability and need, it is likely that your own defensive reaction will change to what is called “relational empathy”:  even though you are in conflict with the person because she is keeping you from getting your basic needs met, you will be able to see it as it looks to her, to acknowledge the legitimacy of her need, and to care deeply for her in that. 
 
Then a resolution of the conflict can arise as an attempt to find a way in which both of you can get your needs met, rather than as a defensive competition to see who can “win” or be proven “right”—
 
So begins  my own Chapter on Interpersonal Focusing in the Focusing In Community manual, available as an immediate download in English and Spanish, and as part of the multi-media Self-Help Package at Creative Edge Focusing(TM). 
 
You can also find the Interpersonal Focusing Chapter as a free download, using links at the top of the page of the linked blog.
 
Also, for a thorough introduction to internal and external conflict resolution, see my section on Conflict Resolution at the Creative Edge Focusing website.
 
INTERACTIVE FOCUSING: THE DOUBLE EMPATHIC “GOLDEN MOMENT”
 
“What is the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing?
Most simply said, the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing is to allow you to touch into your direct experience in the presence of another person and through your direct experience in the safe, empathic, accepting and compassionate environment which you create together to become aware of and to share your inner truths thereby building bonds of intimacy.”
 
So states Janet Klein’s introduction to the website for the self-help skill called Interactive Focusing, created by Janet and Mary McGuire.
 
See the website for free downloads of manuals for using their protocol.
 
ROSENBERG’S CENTER FOR NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION
 
On the Focusing Discussion List of The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org  (subscribe under category “Felt Community,” then “Discussion Lists”, and access the recent archives), there has been an outpouring of collaborative thinking about the “crossing” between Focusing and Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication methods. Many Focusers have also been involved with Rosenburg’s model since the 1970’s and 80’s, and they are writing passionately about their experiences of contrast, comparison, and complementarity between the two models.
 
There seems to be agreement that, while Gendlin’s Focusers have been the masters of articulating the inner landscape for the last 30 years, Rosenberg and his followers have been masters of articulating the interpersonal communication styles which either alienate us from each other or maximize true “meeting” and understanding.
 
Here is a quote from The Center For Non-Violent Communication website:
 
“The Center for Nonviolent Communication
A global organization helping people connect compassionately with themselves and one another through Nonviolent Communication language, created by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

What is Nonviolent Communication?
Imagine connecting with the human spirit, in each person, in any situation.
Imagine interacting with others in a way that allows everyone’s needs to be equally valued.
Imagine creating organizations and life-serving systems responsive to our needs and the needs of our environment.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps connect us with what is alive in ourselves and in others moment-to-moment, with what we or others could do to make life more wonderful, and with an awareness of what gets in the way of natural giving and receiving.
NVC language strengthens our ability to inspire compassion from others and respond compassionately to others and ourselves. NVC guides us to reframe how we express ourselves, how we hear others and resolve conflicts by focusing our consciousness on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting.
Nonviolent Communication Language: It awakens empathy and honesty, and is sometimes described as “the language of the heart.”
 
You will find many instructional materials and resources at the website, including lists of words capturing Feelings and Needs. Print out these two lists to expand your communication capacity greatly!
 
To join the Focusing and NVC collaboration group, sign up for a free Google account, log in, and then request to join the Online NVC and Focusing group .
 
COLLABORATIVE EDGE DECISION MAKING: QUICK, EFFICIENT MEETINGS
 
My own method for Collaborative Decision Making Meetings uses structures which prohibit interruptions, moderate turn-taking, and encourage Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing to resolve interpersonal conflict and group-level polarization. Leadership tasks are rotated so that all group members learn to run efficient, creative meetings. Here is a description from The Creative Edge Focusing website:
 
Coordinated Collaboration: The Best of Consensus and Hierarchy 
 
“Here are some Task-Roles  and Impasse Resolution Procedures , for use when a group has a limited time to make decisions. This model can also be used, as Coordinated Collaboration, as a way of gathering information and input, in work groups where there is a boss, a Project Manager, or a Coordinator who will make the final decisions.

As with all the Applied Methods of Creative Edge Focusing ™, the procedures create quiet, protected moments where participants can pay attention to the “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, and create innovative ideas and solutions.
The tasks can be rotated in a “shared leadership” model, where appropriate, each person on the team learning the various skills. Or, for instance, on the Board of a Corporation or Non-Profit Organization, the formal Chairperson might serve as the agenda keeper more regularly.”
 
Find the entire Collaborative Edge protocol for immediate use in decision making groups, and download a longer article explaining the model, with handouts for groups in English  and in Spanish .
 
DYNAMIC FACILITATION
 
Rosa Zubizaretta, www.diapraxis.com , combines her knowledge of Listening and Focusing with Jim Rough’s Dynamic Facilitation and other models for encouraging group participants to contribute from their Creative Edge with trust in the “self-organizing” capacity of groups. Her website is packed with Resources for a variety of transformational methods both for “At Work” and “In The Community.”
 
In facilitating creativity and conflict resolution in groups and organizations, the DF facilitator uses a form of active listening to draw out every group participant, encouraging speaking from the “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” as well as fully expressing emotions and divergent thinking. Miraculously, when participants are enabled to express themselves fully and really listen to each other, convergent solutions eventually arise.
 
Here is a quote from her introduction to the role and skills of the DF facilitator:
 
“WHAT WE MEAN BY “REALLY LISTENING”
 
In Dynamic Facilitation, the main role of the facilitator is to listen deeply, and to create a space where each participant can be deeply heard. To do so, he or she takes a very active and consistent role in supporting the emotional safety, unique perspective, and creative contribution of each participant.
 
As mentioned earlier, the facilitator is NOT leading the group through any prescribed series of steps. Instead, he or she is very involved on the “micro-level,” providing empathy, respect, and support for each participant’s contribution.”
 
You can find many links to resources and  Rosa’s  free manual for the DF procedure, in English and Spanish.
 
OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY AND SPIRIT IN GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS
 
Motivation, Passion, Creativity, “Buy In,” Esprit De Corps
 
Open-Space Technology, http://www.openspaceworld.com , is another modality which encourages maximum possibility and responsibility for each participant in group problem solving and creativity/innovation situations. Learn all about the approach at this extensive website. It combines well with Focusing in that each person is encouraged to act out of their alive, present “felt sense” of their creativity.  Here is a quote from the website: 
 
OPENING SPACE FOR PEACE AND HIGH PERFORMANCE
 
Rarely, if ever, have the Peoples of this planet had greater need for Peace and High Performance. Peace so that we may freely pursue the fulfillment of our potential. And High Performance for ourselves and our organizations so that our pursuit may be accomplished with energy and finesse.
 
The twenty year natural experiment with Open Space Technology has demonstrated that both Peace and High Performance are attainable. Hugely conflicted groups have found ways to respectfully deal with each other as they discovered workable solutions for their issues. Complex projects have been brought to fruition in breathtakingly short times, a clear example of High Performance.
 
Many people have viewed the results as counterintuitive, unbelievable, even magic. The results continue, however, in thousands of instances and 135 countries. But the “magic” is not Open Space Technology, but rather the force that underlies it — the power of self organization. You are invited to explore that primal power for purposes of peace making and enabling High Performance.”
 
And thanks to Simon for a quote from Harrison Owen (attributed as the developer of OST):
 
“We know that when Spirit is present in a group of people, wonderful things can happen. We also know that when Spirit is somehow absent or flagging, no amount of money in the bank, technology in the backroom, or executive talent on the roster makes much difference – nothing really seems to go right.
 
Of course there are times when precise statements about the quality and
nature of Spirit are important, but in the work-a-day world, it is usually
sufficient to acknowledge the presence of Spirit, by whatever name. Call it
what you like – team spirit, esprit de corps, Great Spirit of the Cosmos – sooner or later they all connect. I think. But the critical thing is to acknowledge Spirit  when we meet, and somehow summon it again when it is absent.”
 
Read the whole article.
 
FOCUSING, CREATIVITY, AND PERSON-CENTERED DEMOCRACY IN GROUP SETTINGS
 
Francesca Castaldi has written an article which grew out her experience at the first Movement At The Edge Event and other experiences about how the “felt-sense” of each participant can be kept alive in creating “person-centered democracy” in group settings. She states:
 
” Most professional gatherings are organized around content and leave little creativity for process-structure. Professional conferences also tend to foster our caution in presenting new ideas: we privilege what we know well and what we have tested with our experience, knowing that our reputation is at stake and a solid knowing “needs” to be upheld. Often it is only well-recognized celebrities in the profession who can afford the risk of presenting their work-in-process–the edge of their knowing, the exciting new hints and ideas that they are nurturing.
 
We as a community of Focusers have developed the ability to follow the edge of our knowing, to let it emerge in the actual moment and be responsive to our living: we have learned to support a subtle process of explicating that which is still incipient, tentative at first, still forming, and still vulnerable to overwriting by stronger impulses and habits.
 
Recognizing the power of the Focusing process and of Focusing partnership for protecting this incipient process of creation and explication can help us make room for Focusing in larger meetings and gatherings.
 
An understanding of the creative/creating process involved in any project can further help us see the place of Focusing in professional gatherings. Below I present what I consider essential phases in the realization of any project, and the ways in which our use or understanding of the Focusing process can help us in choosing process-structures that best support such phases.”
 
Read the whole article .
 
MEETING AT THE EDGE: FOCUSING AND BODY-WORK/MOVEMENT EVENT, Sept 22-26, 2009   Boldern Center, Maennedorf, near Zurich, Switzerland.
 
This will be the second MAE event. The first was celebrated as a model for collaboration, community building, and warm sharing among those interested in the intersection, or “crossing,” of Focusing with Body-Work and Movement. 
 
Here is the MAE website’s description of the structure of this workshop:
 
“Workshop structure

Our main objective in this residential workshop is to create an environment that is explorative, creative, and collaborative.  Rather than privileging presentations of already well established techniques, attitudes, concepts, or methods we are wanting to foster an encounter that supports the exploration of what is at the edge of your knowing, rich in fecundity and possibilities even when tentative and subtle.
  
The atmosphere of deep listening and open support that we will create as a group of diverse professionals generates its own creative energy.  We have found that when the program of the workshop is set well ahead of time, this creative energy does not have a chance to bring its fruits, as it remains “squished” into an already set structure and at most can leak out in breaks between presentations.

We intend to give central stage to the excitement and inspiration that takes place at the moment of our actual meeting and that is fully responsive to our living.  We have thus created a process-structure that can support a full spectrum of interactions and be responsive to the different needs we may have as individuals in our professional journeys.

We invite you to nurture a sense of a project-something meaningful to you in your work-before coming to Boldern, noticing what in you wants to be shared in the setting we are providing.  By not formally sending in a presentation proposal you will be able to be responsive to the transformation that may occur before our meeting, and then sense freshly into the whole as we meet.”
 
Follow the link to the website for all information and an introduction to the special format and “culture” of these events.

I hope the above methods contribute to a dialogue on “How can we structure groups and organizations such that each individual can stay connected with their internal passion and creativity while collaborating toward a common goal?”

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

PASSIVE LISTENING TURNS: Quakers, 12-Steps, Sacred Circles

By , November 22, 2008 4:17 pm

Free Downloads right here:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Instant “Ahah!”s #3: Passive Listening Turns: Stop Argument.
Does Passive Listening Work? —
Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director Week Two

Does Passive Listening Work?

Did you have a chance to try Passive Listening turns this week? If so, what was your experience? Please email me.
If you just joined this e-course, see last week’s Instant “Ahah!” #3: Passive Listening Turns Save the World? for an introduction and example of this exercise.

Do you think that everyone could learn this simple protocol starting as children, in school? Do you think it would work, e.g., that, not allowed to interrupt each other, people would “hear” something different that would soften their opposing positions?

Reminds me of the Gestalt Two-Chair procedure where, even for intrapsychic conflict resolution, one has uninterrupted turns for each side, expecting a “softening.”

And, of course, the Quakers have used a no-interruption sharing circle for decision making and conflict resolution for decades.

And, purportedly, at least some Native American tribes used a similar Sacred Circle for conflict resolution and decision making, going around and around the circle for days if needed.

And almost every women’s group I have joined uses this Sharing Circle as a meeting format, each person having an uninterrupted turn.

And, of course, all 12-step meetings have this “no-cross talk” structure.

Why? Because without interruption:

(a) the speaker can refer to the fresh Creative Edge, the bodily-felt sense and create new, fresh words and images out of this “intuitive feel” of the whole situation

(b) the listener can really “hear” what the other is saying, instead of concentrating on grabbing a turn to have their say.

Remember, you want to review Instant “Ahah!” #3 Passive Listening Turns with your significant others when there is no argument, and find a timer, a place, and a neutral signal, like “popcorn,” that everyone will recognize means “sit down, start the timer, and take turns.”

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

PASSIVE LISTENING: STOP ARGUMENTS, RESOLVE CONFLICT, SAVE THE WORLD

By , November 16, 2008 1:47 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

“Passive Listening: Just Being Quiet, Not Interrupting!

This is going to be extremely basic. And, maybe, extremely difficult!! All you are going to do is exchange equal, timed, passive listening turns with the other person, instead of arguing. Passive listening means you don’t say a thing, just let the other person speak without interruption. You don’t even have to try to use Pure Reflection, as in “Ahah” #2, Active Listening.

But, it can also be the most extremely powerful and successful intervention you can make in your relationships, so, please, give it a try. Through the Self-Help Package or Phone Coaching/Consulting available at Services and Programs of CEF, you will learn even more powerful Focused Listening skills which go way beyond passive listening.

But for now, you are just going to practice Passive Listening – being quiet, listening, not interrupting. Try to imagine what the whole world could be like if everyone knew just this one, simple self-help skill!” Stop for a moment to read the rest of the exercise from your Mini-Manual (download from link above) or the Passive Listening download on CEF Website.

The Basic Procedure

Here are the subheadings from the exercise in the download which lay out the basic steps of this very simple procedure:

Agree on a signal during a peaceful time
Set a timer and take a seat
Use the timer to keep turns exactly even
Yell at a blank wall, if needed
Just keep going
Caution: Professional help needed?
Online support for conflict resolution

And those are the basics of this very simple procedure, which can be taught to anyone in five minutes. Download the actual exercise, Passive Listening.

Is It Really That Easy?

Probably not. No, it will not be 100% effective. However, to be a “statistically significant” help, it would only have to work 60% of the time. And, after thirty years experience with it, that seems extremely likely.

And, I have not found anything else, short of professional counseling or mediation (and often, even then, I think this more powerful), which has a chance to become such a widespread “cure” for conflict.

Why does it work?

When people can speak without being interrupted, and without fear of interruption, they automatically become able to speak from their “intuitive feel” of the issue or situation, The Creative Edge, not the already-known logical arguments that cycle around and around without changing. It is from The Creative Edge, this “intuitive knowing” of the whole situation, that new ideas and action steps can arise.

And, when people share from The Creative Edge, and listen to each other, they become vulnerable, authentic, honest. They say what they really want and need. They become “lovable” and move the other person to compassion and a wish to find a solution. So, even “passive listening” creates the capacity for love and understanding.

Passive Listening Become A Cultural Norm? Example: Two People Arguing In A Store

Two people are arguing loudly in a store, screaming back and forth at each other. Their child is standing nearby, forgotten in their fury. Let’s imagine, in our new world where everyone, and I mean everyone, knows about taking passive listening turns for conflict resolution – just like everyone knows about reading and writing, or standing in line, or how to use an implement for eating.

So, a sales person or other staff of the store, or simply a bystander, another citizen, can simply say, “Oh, let me help you use Passive Listening Turns.” Mind you, this has become a cultural norm, just like driving on the right or left side of the street. Maybe there are even special rooms in public places where people can retreat for Passive Listening Turns. Maybe there are even specially trained mediators around, like there might be police or traffic cops.

So, because it is a norm they have been brought up with since childhood, the arguing people stop in their tracks and say, “Oh. Thanks. We had forgotten ourselves. And take their seats in the “safe place” set aside for such conflict processing (like everywhere there are bathrooms, baby changing tables, benches to rest, bus kiosks, first aid stations). And set the timer kept available.

So, they flip a coin to see who goes first, five minute or ten minute equal turns.

She starts. She is furious, not looking at him, sighing, turning from side to side, would really like to be still engaged in that furious tangle of yelling back and forth. She decides she needs to “yell at the wall” for a while, let some steam off before she can get any deeper into what is going on (but, remember, this kind of conflict processing is a “habit” in the culture, practiced since childhood, so she knows how to do it, what to expect, what to look for inside, eventually, the “hook” between them)

So, she yells at the wall for about three minutes, using swear words, saying all the worst she thinks about him and his behavior: “You selfish b______. I work so hard and you do nothing. I’m not letting you spend my money on that s____. I am furious. I am so tired of this and of you”, etc.

But, without response, pretty soon this energy runs out, runs down, and she begins to cry: “I’m just so tired. I’m so tired of our never getting ahead. I’m worried that your work is slowing down. I just can’t do it any more, carry all these burdens.” Her five minutes (or ten, whatever they negotiated) is up.

His turn begins (he is not so mad any more, having heard her words, seen her tears, seen her tiredness instead of just her anger): “I can’t go without something special. I just need to spend $10 once and a while on something that is just for fun. I can’t stand the drudgery, everything always the same. I wanted these sports cards because, for a few minutes, I could be happy looking at them—-I’m scared about my job, about the work slowing down — I don’t like it that you are making more money than me. I don’t like it that you treat me like a little boy getting an allowance— it makes me furious and ashamed.”

Not a total solution yet, but a “softening” on each side. It may take more turns. It may take more sessions. It may take professional help at some point. But, in this moment, the “horns locked” energy between them has been broken. Hopefully, they now have some “free emotional space” to care for their child, to not let the rage wash over there as well.

As long as they are not allowed (and have been trained from childhood how not to allow themselves) to get physically violent, or to shout back and forth, the angry assault will lose its fuel, and something new, a more Creative Edge, will arise in each of them, a more compassionate “touching,” more sympathy for each other. More willingness to look for solutions.

Please try out the protocol with your significant others this week. When there is not an argument happening, come to mutually understand the rules, find a safe spot, get a timer, and establish a “signal,” like “popcorn” that anyone (including your children) to remind you that a bad pattern of “assault” or “argument” is starting, and it is time to try Passive Listening Turns. Then, you can begin to be prepared when an actual argument arises. 

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

LISTENING/FOCUSING SKILLS: STARTING A SELF-HELP PRACTICE GROUP

By , November 5, 2008 7:31 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

This month: From Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, p. 7, #2.Active Listening: Short-Circuiting An Angry Confrontation.

Starting A Simple Listening/Focusing Practice Group

So, we have reframed “anger” as “upsetness” and suggested that an “upset” person will respond to empathic, active listening rather than attack-back.

And, last week, I suggested lots of first steps to practice Active Listening so it will be ready-to-hand when a confrontation arises.

This week, I am going to give another nudge toward starting your own Active Listening, or Focused Listening, practice group.

Reading the Focused Listening description at the link, you will find definition and examples of the Four Basic Types of Response:

Pure Reflection: setting aside judgments and advice and just trying to say back the words of the other, with attention to also reflecting the “feeling tone.” Three times more Pure Reflection than anything else!

Asking For More: if the person stops speaking, you can “ask for more” about words/images that seemed to carry more implicit meaning

Focusing Invitations: once in a while, you can also suggest that the speaker stop talking for a moment, go quietly inside, and “sense into” the “intuitive feel,” the “something more” implicit in their words.

Personal Sharings: once in a while, in longer turns, you can, with the speaker’s permission share an intuition or experience or idea of your own, but always immediately returning to Pure Reflection to let the speaker say how your sharing fit or didn’t fit their experiencing, and letting the Speaker go on with explicating their own experiencing.

Below I am copying pages from the Focusing In Community manual which tell you:
(a) How to find a Partner or a Core Group to start practicing with
(b) How to structure a ten-week Listening/Focusing Practice Group.

These suggestions are just a hint of all the examples, demonstrations, and instructions in the manual and on the CDs and DVDs in Self-Help Package. But I am giving them to show you that it is not difficult to start your own practice group, and that the manual will show you how, step-by-step.

You can also download the entire manual Chapter Three, The Listening/Focusing Exchange, in English or Spanish, from the links at the top of that blog, if you haven’t yet, and read many examples of Listening Responses, and of how Focusing by the speaker while talking enriches problem solving.

Finding a Core Group
(From Focusing In Community manual, Chapter Three)

“If you are not reading the manual as part of a classroom or colleague group, here are some suggestions on how to find an initial person or two with whom to read the book and practice the skills involved:

(a) First, choose the people with whom you feel most able to be yourself, most comfortable, most accepted when you are talking about your feelings. At the beginning, you might want to share the book and practice just with your closest friend; then, after a while, each of you might choose to invite one more person, and so on. Four to six people are an ideal size beginning group.

(b) Some people are best approached by offering them the book to read and telling them what you liked about it, what was important to you. But it’s usually best to avoid too much discussion of theory. It’s too easy to argue down a theory. Usually, instead of a lot of discussion, we like to say to someone, “Come on. Let’s try it for a few minutes. I’ll listen to your (using reflection of feelings) for a while, then you can listen to me.”

(c) There might also arise a time when you realize that you are naturally using reflection of feelings as a friend is sharing feelings with you. It might then be appropriate at the end to say something like, “You know how we are with each other when one of us is hurting, how we just try to listen and not be judgmental. Well, I’m learning a lot about how to do that even more effectively, and I’d like to share it with you.”

(d) Lastly, if there are two of you who have practiced Listening and Focusing together, then you can introduce other people to it by demonstrating with them watching.

Once you have started your small group using Chapter Three, the level of intimacy and mutual concern that arises during Listening/Focusing turns will begin to flow out into other aspects of your lives together. You may find your little core group growing as another couple hears that you can help with interpersonal problems and asks for help. Or you may decide to share the idea with interested persons in your church or synagogue group, in a professional organization, or in any number of ways.”

Instructions for Small Group Practice (The Listening Exchange)
(From Focusing In Community manual, Chapter Three ):

Step 1 :Round-Robin Practice: Start with a small group of people (four to six).

“Listening/Focusing Turns: Go around in a circle, one person focusing in and saying something from what she is feeling (an important issue in her life or just how she is feeling right then about being there, doing this sharing), the person to the right of her saying back what she says, the Focuser checking these words inside and saying what comes next, the Listener reflecting that. Go back and forth in this way about three times. If the Focuser seems to have run out of things to say in less than three steps, the Listener can try asking her to “say more” about some part of it that seemed important.

AT THIS EARLY STAGE, STICK WHITH “PURE REFLECTIONS” AND “ASKING FOR MORE”

It’s important not to move on to Focusing Invitations and Personal Sharings until everyone is well-practiced at just hearing what the other is saying and at just holding on to a feeling sense and checking words reflected against it.

Feedback: At the end of the turn (about five minutes), first the Focuser, and then the Listener, say a little about how the experience felt, what felt good, what wasn’t quite right. Other people in the group can comment or give suggestions from the readings, but avoid getting into too much discussion or argument about what happened. The point is to practice, not to get distracted into intellectual conversation (which is all too easy!).

Continue around the circle until everyone has had a turn at both roles. Your group can repeat Step One as often as you like or until you feel ready to move on to Step Two. Step One takes about one-and-one-half hours with four to six people. I would suggest doing it at least three or four times.

Step 2 : Dyads

Pair off in twos and spread out to exchange fifteen minute turns, using just Pure Reflection and Asking For More when the person seems to have run out of things to say. Try out using a Focusing Invitation. Come back together as a group and discuss how it went, where you had trouble, what new things you learned. Consult readings, or memory of things read, for answers to questions. Repeat as often as wanted or needed.

Step 3: Triads

Alternatively, pair off in threes. This is an ideal learning structure, since the third person can act as an observer. Split up the time equally, allowing 10 minute between turns for feedback. Each person takes a turn as Listener, Focuser, and observer. The observer also keeps time, giving a five-minute warning before the end of a turn.

At the end of a turn, each person gives short feedback, First the Focuser says how the turn was for him/her – what was helpful, what could have been different. Then the Listener says how it was to be the Listener – good feelings from following the others journey, anxiety about remembering, etc. Then, the observer gives feedback, using Table 3.4., Feedback Sheet For Listening Turns, as a guide.

Step 4: Focusing Partnerships

When you feel ready or interested, pair off in twos who will get together sometime during the week to exchange one-half hour turns. In these turns, Listeners can try out Focusing Invitations and Personal Sharings as well as Pure Reflection and Asking For More, but always with the emphasis on helping the Focuser to stay with her “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, and make words for it. The Focuser needs to be sure to go back to Pure Reflection for several steps after each Personal Sharing or Focusing Invitations. At the end of each Turn, have 5 minutes for feedback, first from the Focuser to the Listener, then from the Listener to the Focuser.

Step 5: Focusing Group Meetings

When you come together to do Listening/Focusing turns in a small group (set aside two hours), split up the time so that each person will have an equal amount for a listening turn, with five to ten minutes additional in between each turn, for feedback and comments from others besides the two. Take turns keeping time, ending people’s turns on schedule, warning them a minute or two before the end, and moving on to the next turn after limited discussion. Chapter 7.2 gives a format for a group meeting.

Don’t get side-tracked into a lot of discussion with no time for doing. Know that a person can stop at the end of her turn, even if she has been working on heavy feelings. During turns, allow no input from others in the group. At the end of each turn, anyone in the group can say what they saw, ask questions, or offer warm support for the work done.

Option: If there are more than four people, or if each person wants a longer turn, you may decide to split into triads and share turns within these, again dividing time equally and making sure that each person who wants to gets a chance both at listening and being listened to. The third person can serve as an observer, giving feedback at the end of the turns. The following page gives a feedback sheet which you can use as a guide when you are observing listening turns (Table 3.4).” 

You really can start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Practice Group!

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

LISTENING/FOCUSING: WAYS TO PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING

By , October 27, 2008 2:48 pm

Free Downloads below:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Each four weeks, we practice one Instant “Ahah!,”, one Relaxation Exercise, and one Getting A Felt Sense Exercise. Our purpose: Helping you incorporate Listening and Focusing into your everyday life.
This month: From Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, p. 7, #2.Active Listening: Short-Circuiting An Angry Confrontation.

Several ideas for practicing Active Listening so you will have the skill ready when an angry confrontation comes your way:

1. You can go to Robert Frick’s Do Focusing website’s  area on Becoming A Better Listener and go through his step-by-step teaching program. You can try out his Focusing Program while you are there! Neither is perfect, but they are interesting first steps, computerized ways to practice and learn.

2. Download the instructions from Focused Listening  section at our website and free download of Chapter Three, Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange found in links at top of that blog, and find a friend, colleague, or family member to try practicing with. Take turns, one as the Intuitive Focuser, one as the Focused Listener. This is not a big deal! Just find someone you feel comfortable with, someone, perhaps, has “intuitively” been a good listener.

3. You can go to The Focusing Institute Partnership Program to find a Listening/Focusing Trainer near you and purchase a few beginning sessions. You can also look for a class or workshop near you.

4. You can email Agnes Rodriguez for inexpensive phone coaching in English or Spanish and Ruth Hirsch for phone classes.In Europe, you can email Franc Chamberlain in Ireland and visit Barbara Rolsma’s website in English and Dutch.You can find other Certified Focusing Professionals internationally at The Focusing Institute teacher search.

5. You can purchase our Self-Help Package and immediately download the manual in English or Spanish, CDs and DVD with demonstration sessions you can watch mailed immediately. The DVD has four demonstration Listening/Focusing sessions you can watch, giving you an excellent grip on the actual skills.

6. You can also purchase an Introductory or three-session package of Listening/Focusing sessions with me under Coaching/Training Sessions, although there are many teachers less expensive than me!

7. You can join the Creative Edge e-support group from the icon on our home page and ask to practice using Reflection to someone’s Focusing turn printed there. I’ll give feedback

Bottom line: please take the plunge and try out Pure Reflection with someone you know, a computer program, a Trainer, just someone!

Radical Idea: Greet Anger With Empathy!!!!

Please Read The Examples Again

Get out your Mini-Manual and follow along with me or open Instant “Ahah!” #2, Active Listening on the CEF website …In each of the demonstrations, somebody is really, really upset, and they are taking it out on somebody else. In fact, they come across as really, really angry.

When someone comes at you with anger, it is a natural response to feel attacked and to defend yourself, to fight back without a moment’s thought.

However, it may help to reframe this anger as “upsetness.” The person is feeling attacked or undermined or frustrated in some way, so they are attacking back. We can break this cycle of attack and defense if we can reframe the anger as “upsetness” and, stepping aside from reacting, simply reflect in an active listening way: “Wow! You are really upset!” “Wow! Something is really bothering you.” “Wow! Something I’m doing is upsetting you.” And, you can add, “Would you like to tell me more about that?”, but, if that doesn’t allow the person to calm down, just keep reflecting (maybe we can think of it as “deflecting” as well…trying to get the anger off of yourself so that you feel less threatened, less need to react with attack yourself).

The person who is angry, who is upset, is knocked off balance. As you know yourself, this kind of angry response doesn’t feel good. It is not centered, but a reaction to the helplessness of feeling attacked or frustrated. So, by reflecting the person’s words, you can help the person to get grounded again, to get centered.

Read the instructions and the examples and try to keep this immediate response of Active Listening in your back pocket, for emergency confrontations.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

LISTENING/FOCUSING SKILLS: GREETING ANGER WITH EMPATHY

By , October 17, 2008 11:24 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

This month: From Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, p. 7, #2.Active Listening: Short-Circuiting An Angry Confrontation.

Radical Idea: Greet Anger With Empathy!!!!

As I’ve gone through the week, I’ve realized how radical this idea and how worth saying again: “An angry person is a hurting person. Try responding with empathic understanding (Active Listening) instead of attacking back.”

I guess I have become an expert on anger, hurt, and empathy because I am a person who can become really, really angry when I feel betrayed or otherwise blindsided by those that I trust. I’ve come to some understanding about this “personality style” by studying the Enneagram. Of the nine styles, I am an 8: The Challenger, The Boss. “How does an 8 Enneagram cross the river? She jumps in and starts swimming upstream.”

8s are great managers and bosses, but they can also scare people with their anger, assertiveness, bluntness. As an 8, I don’t really know how to “play games,” to be indirect. Give me directness, even anger, anytime! Let me know where you are coming from. Don’t hide or seem to go behind my back. You can imagine the vicious cycle for 8 bosses: they get angry because others are being indirect, seeming to hide, going behind their back — and their anger leads the others to become more indirect, more hidden.

Anyway, from a lifetime of experience, I can tell you that the angry 8 is just a hurting child underneath. While the 8 can look terribly strong and take on any battle, this strong front takes a toll. Like anyone else, the angry 8 responds to empathic understanding (see Enneagram links to find your own personality style).

Read through the examples in Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual #2: Active Listening again. What if the husband had attacked back when his wife came at him with anger: “Shut up! You can’t imagine what my day has been like.” Now, two people with their hackles up, attack and attack back (until one of them can respond with empathy: “Okay, I get it. You’re saying you had a really bad day and are needing some empathy and understanding.”(you can download complete chapters on the Interpersonal Focusing Protocol here, from the links at top of page, English and Spanish.

Practice Active Listening In Non-Stressful Situations

Of course, in order to respond with Active Listening in an emergency, you’ll want to practice it in less stressful situations until it can become an automatic response. You can do this through our Self-Help Manual and Demonstration DVD. And you can also learned Active (or Empathic or Focused) Listening as part of a Listening/Focusing Level l class. See Resources for teachers below

Self Help Package

To really learn about Reflection, read Focused Listening at Creative Edge Focusing (TM). To begin practice in a serious way, purchase The Self Help Package, a manual,CDs, and a DVD with four Listening/Focusing Sessions you can study. The manual will help you to find at least one other, and, hopefully, a small group with whom you can start a Focusing Community, supporting each other as you practice Listening and Focusing.

E-Support Group

If you haven’t, also use the sidebar icon at Creative Edge Focusing to join the e-support group so you can share your experiences, ask questions, and participate in demonstrations.  

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSING INSTANT “AHAH!” #2: Active Listening — Short-circuit an angry confrontation

By , October 9, 2008 11:54 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

This month: From Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, p. 7, #2.

Active Listening: Short-Circuiting An Angry Confrontation. (You can find it here in English and in Spanish at links at top of this blog)

When someone comes at you with anger, it is a natural response to feel attacked and to defend yourself, to fight back without a moment’s thought.

However, it may help to reframe this anger as “upsetness.” The person is feeling attacked or undermined or frustrated in some way, so they are attacking back. We can break this cycle of attack and defense if we can reframe the anger as “upsetness” and, stepping aside from reacting, simply reflect in an active listening way: “Wow! You are really upset!” “Wow! Something is really bothering you.” “Wow! Something I’m doing is upsetting you.”

And, you can add, “Would you like to tell me more about that?”, but, if that doesn’t allow the person to calm down, just keep reflecting (maybe we can think of it as “deflecting” as well — trying to get the anger off of yourself so that you feel less threatened, less need to react with attack yourself).

The person who is angry, who is upset, is knocked off balance. As you know yourself, this kind of angry response doesn’t feel good. It is not centered, but a reaction to the helplessness of feeling attacked or frustrated. So, by reflecting the person’s words, you can help the person to get grounded again, to get centered.

Read the instructions and the examples and try to keep this immediate response of Active Listening in your back pocket, for emergency confrontations.

Active Listening: Short-circuit angry confrontations

Reflect, Don’t React

Someone comes at you, seemingly out of the blue, absolutely furious. You are stunned and want to fight back. Instead, you can diffuse the other person’s anger by simply responding in an Active Listening way:

“Wow, something is really upsetting you —”
“You’re saying you are absolutely furious that I forgot to show up for lunch”
“You are really upset because you are not getting the service you expected”
“You are really mad that you’ve had to go through four other departments just to reach me”
“It really bothers you when you have to go through all those mechanical phone responses just to get to a human being”

Yes, this is the behavior which I wish customer service representatives had all been taught so that, when I call them, furious, they would just respond,” I’m sorry that you are so upset. Tell me more about what is bothering you so we can fix it,” instead of adopting that rigid, “I’m just following the rules,” “We never make mistakes,” “There’s really not anything I can do for you” attitude that just makes me more and more angry!

Bottom Line: deflect and diffuse anger by simply responding with empathy: “Boy, I can see how this is hard for you,” “I’m really hearing how frustrating this has been for you.”

Reflect the Words — and the Feeling Tone —

As opposed to Passive Listening, where you simply give your silent attention to the other, at the most saying “Ummmhmmm” or “Ah, hah!” or “Wow!”, in Active Listening, you set aside all your typical responses (advice, argument, opinions, problem-solving, judgments) and simply try to say back what the other person is saying, with an emphasis on the feeling tone, if you pick up any:

Example One: Customer

Customer: “I’ve just had to wade through 16 phone messages to get to you, and I was cut off and had to start all over. It’s taken me ten minutes already.”
Customer Service: ” Wow! I’m so sorry! You’ve already been through ten minutes of frustration, and I’m the first person you’ve gotten to talk to.”
Customer: “Why can’t there just be a simple way to talk to a human being?!! I hate these phone messages!!”
Customer Service: “It is so frustrating to you to have to go through this waiting and confusion everywhere you go.”
Customer: “Damn right! Okay, let’s get on with it. This is the problem. I changed my mailing address for my bills, and they are still going to the wrong address, and then I end up getting late fees.”
Customer Service: “Okay, let me take a look at your account right now and see what we can do.”

Example Two: Spouse

Wife: “How could you have forgotten that we had a dinner engagement at 6PM with the Smiths???!!!!!!!!
Husband: “Wow! You are really angry. I must have slipped up somewhere. You’re saying I forgot a dinner engagement with the Smiths?”
Wife: “Yes, you idiot! It was at 6PM, and I’ve been trying to reach you on your cell phone. How humiliating!!!!! Where were you?!!!!!”
Husband: “So you’ve been trying to reach me ever since 6PM, and it’s been embarrassing for you, having to make excuses to the Smiths. And you’re wondering where I was.”
Wife: “How could you not answer your cell phone!!!! That is what they are for, emergencies like this one!!!!!
Husband: “So, to you, this really was an emergency, and no way to get through to me. You’re wondering why I didn’t answer my cell phone and where was I anyway!!!!!!”
Wife: “Yes, that is exactly right! So, where were you?”
Husband: “Okay, I am so sorry. Let’s try to figure out how this happened. I got held up at an emergency meeting with my boss, and I couldn’t answer my cell phone. He would have gotten even madder at me — I guess I was so upset by this confrontation with him that I just absolutely forgot about the Smiths — I should have had the dinner in my Palm Pilot, but I guess I didn’t hear that either — I was just driving and thinking about what to do with the work situation. What can I do to make this better now? Do you want me to call the Smiths and make another plan?”
Wife: “Oh, that’s okay. It’s over now. Why don’t you tell me what happened at work while I find you something to eat — ”

Example Three: Child

Child: “I hate school, and I’m never going again. Teachers are all idiots!!!!”
Parent: “Wow, something is really upsetting you today. Sounds like a teacher did something stupid that bothered you”
Child: “No, it didn’t bother me!!!! I’m not going to get bothered by fools like that. I don’t care what they think!!!!! I’m just not going anymore!!!!!!”
Parent: “So, it didn’t bother you. You’re not going to be bothered by fools like that. You don’t even care what they think. And, right now, you’re saying you are never going again.”
Child: (tears of hurt coming) “She said I’ll never be a writer — that I don’t even know punctuation (crying).”
Parent: “So your teacher said, ‘You’ll never be a writer — you can’t even do punctuation,” and that is really hurting you. Writing is very important to you.’
Child: (more tears) “There is more to writing than punctuation — what I’m saying is way more important — I’m pouring my heart out.”
Parent: “So, for you, writing is not about punctuation but about what you are saying, that you can really pour your heart out. That’s what’s important.”
Child: “Yes (fewer tears) — that’s what matters to me. Next time, will you help me with the punctuation so that she can’t make fun of me?”

Believe it or not, this diffusion of anger, usually to hurt, will happen. And what have you got to lose by trying? There really isn’t any other miracle way in these situations!

Perhaps the idea of just “reflecting” the other person seems silly to you, like a parrot. However, when you are on the receiving end, just hearing your own words back without judgment or “fixing,” you will be amazed at what a rare blessing and relief it is just to be heard.

The Focused Listening Core Skill of the PRISMS/S Focusing Process is more than just reflecting. Through Phone Coaching or classes with Creative Edge Consultants or trainers of The Focusing Institute, or through the manual, CD, and DVD of our Self-Help Package, you will learn many nuances:

how to “ask for more” about words with “neon lights” around them,
how to use Focusing Invitations to help the speaker sit quietly and “sense into” the “feel of it all,”
facilitating a Paradigm Shift,
and how, sometimes, you can offer your own Personal Sharings (advice, information, own similar experiences), as long as you go back to Active Listening, reflecting the impact of your words on the other person.

However, always, simple Active Listening, saying back, reflecting the words of the other, remains the core – the one, simple, most powerful thing you can do to increase communication with another person, while, at the same time, helping them to find their own solutions to their problems.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTEREST AREA: POSITIVE PARENTING — LISTENING TO YOUR CHILD, YOUR PARTNER, AND YOUR SELF

By , July 8, 2008 11:15 pm

Interest Areas: Positive Parenting Initiative – First Ten Steps

Core Concepts

  • In order to raise children for today’s world, parents must “mentor” their children for independent and flexible problem solving and decision making. Children need guides, mentors : Yoda of Star Wars, not authoritarian police man.
  • Children have natural access to the “intuitive sensing” central to Intuitive Focusing. This inner guide leads to independent decision making, having a “conscience,” and having a satisfying life which fulfills one’s unique “blueprint,” specific talents and aspirations. Positive Parenting helps children maintain and develop this “inner guide.” Using Focused Listening, parents learn to help children find their own solutions to problems.
  • Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are the enemy of developing this inner sensing, this conscience and guide for independent decision making. They exactly teach children to dissociate from their bodies, from their “felt experiencing” or “intuitive feel.”
  • Educating parents for child rearing is not enough; parents must heal their own “Inner Children” before they can radically alter their behavior toward their children. The PRISMS/S Problem Solving Process, with Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, is needed for change at the level of Paradigms, cognitive/ emotional/behavioral “schemata” that determine behavior, emotions, and thinking. The kaleidoscope has to turn!
  • Parents can learn to use Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing in their own relationship. The Creative Edge Pyramid includes applications of PRISMS/S at many levels. Parents can help each other with Inner Child healing through Focusing Partnership turns. They can also use Interpersonal Focusing to resolve conflicts between themselves in terms of parenting styles.
  • Parenting support groups are absolutely essential. Parents sharing with other parents can help them weather crises in their marriages or single parenthood. The essence of support groups is (a) you are not alone. You are not the only one experiencing these things (b) you are all experts. Using the resources among you, you can solve problems, move mountains. Focusing Groups and Focusing Communities provide self-help, peer counseling models for support groups.

Four Applications of Listening/Focusing to Parenting

The Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be applied to parenting in four different ways, two primarily for your children, and two primarily for yourselves as parents. I call this Inner/Outer Parenting:

Directly with your children:
You can teach your child to use Intuitive Focusing for personal growth, creativity, and problem-solving
You can use Focused Listening skills as a way of responding to your child which avoids argument and leads to deeper communication, understanding, and problem-solving

Directly with yourself and your parenting partner :
You, and your parenting partner, can use Focusing and Focusing Partnership turns to discover patterns from your own childhoods that are clouding clear seeing of your own children
You and your parenting partner can use Interpersonal Focusing turns to resolve issues causing conflict between you in terms of parenting styles.

Basic to the Core Creativity Cultura de Creatividad philosophy is the belief that every person has a unique, inborn blueprint ready to unfold, if the proper facilitative environment is provided (Carl Rogers, On Becoming A Person). Parents are needed to be mentors, facilitators, guides to this unfolding, rather than authoritarian policemen.

Building Self-Esteem Avoids Narcissism

Parents are mirrors for their children. Positive attention creates true self-esteem. Lack of attention, or negative attention, creates the wound of narcissism, the emptiness that looks like “self”-involvement. Narcissists want all the attention for themselves now – because they did not receive it in childhood MORE (Article “Parents Must Be Mirrors For Their Children”)

Setting Limits While Allowing Choices

Children raised by authoritarian parents demanding obedience do not build confidence in their own capacity to make decisions. But children raised without any limits and boundaries also do not develop the capacity to make decisions. Parents must establish clear limits while allowing choices within those limits. MORE (Article “Setting Limits While Allowing Choices”)

Inner/Outer Parenting: Listening to Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself

Everyone has a wounded child inside. You are not going to be able to change your behavior toward your children or partner, to do things differently than your own parents did, unless you heal the wounds of your own Inner Child. Using the Focusing , Focusing Partnership, and Interpersonal Focusing methods of the Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid provides self-help measures for understanding your child, your partners, and your own Inner Child MORE (Article “Positive Parenting: Listening To Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself”)

Ten Ways of Bringing Creative Edge Focusing TM into Parenting    Click the link to go to Interest Area: Positive Parenting at CEF website. Scroll down to the bottom to find the Ten First Steps for Bringing Listening/Focusing  Into Positive Parenting.

Also visit Interest Area: Creative Edge Education (especially for ADHD)

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

DIVERSITY TRAINING 3: GARDNER’S MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES MODEL

By , April 30, 2008 8:57 am

MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES: MANY WAYS TO LEARN AND PERFORM

Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences provides another rubric for recognizing the differing gifts and talents of each student and each worker, including observation of student learning preferences from the earliest age. Gardner, of Harvard University, has argued persuasively for different kinds of intelligences other than the academic intelligence usually valued in schools. His Project Zero (www.pzweb.harvard.edu  ) actively applies and researches the model in actual schools.

Gardner (Frames of Mind , 1985) defines seven “intelligences:”

linguistic
logical-mathematical
musical
bodily-kinesthetic
spatial
interpersonal
intrapersonal.

The traditional learning environment, especially beginning in fourth grade, when reading and writing become the major modality of teaching and learning, greatly favors those students who learn through linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. Children whose major learning modality is musical, spatial, and/or bodily-kinesthetic languish in such classrooms.The very gregarious child specializing in interpersonal intelligence is also wasting time, sitting quietly working alone. The strongly intrapersonal, introspective child is also not given opportunity to develop his or her special skills.

In a “multiple intelligences” classroom, students are exposed to learning opportunities through all the different “intelligences.” Different stations in the classroom approach a topic through the various modalities. Students learning through movement, music, artistic creation, interpersonal teamwork, as well as language and mathematics. They are graded on skits, portfolios, peer ratings as well as traditional test scores. They are stretched to develop all of Gardner’s “intelligences” as well as being allowed to develop their natural propensities toward certain of the “intelligences.

Like the MBTI and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Gardner’s model can be especially helpful in giving a positive definition, and teaching methods, for the active, hands-on learning style of children called ADHD. Click here to read Dr. McGuire’s article “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency:

http://cefocusing.com/pdf/2F2fDontFightThemJoinThemCommunityPlanforADHD.pdf

The multi-modality learning presentation can be extended into the college classroom and into presentations in the workplace. Everyone responds better when they are approached through music, art, movement, interperpersonal and intrapersonal modalities, as well as traditional language, logic, and math.Although preferred “intelligences” are best discovered through observation of an individual’s choices of modalities over time, an informal online paper-and-pencil measure can give you an idea of your own preferences:

http://surfaquarium.com   (free test; lots of information; consulting)
www.thomasarmstrong.com/multiple_intelligences.htm  ( many books applying MI in schools)
www.pzweb.harvard.edu  (Gardner’s school-based programs and research)

All Kinds Of Minds: A Niche For Each Student, Each Person

“The problem is not a lack of intelligence but a learning style that doesn’t fit the assignment.” Out of his experience as a pediatrician, Mel Levine defines the following systems making up learning and performance. Levine looks specifically for where a person’s strengths and weeknesses lie, rather than stopping with global “diagnoses” of learning difficulties:

Attention Control
Memory
Language
Spatial Ordering
Sequential Ordering
Motor
Higher Thinking
Social Thinking

Every child and adult will have strengths and weaknesses in the various systems.
While adults are expected to have certain areas of competence, students are expected to be good at everything and to approach learning in the same way. Instead, Levine helps students, parents, and teachers to define the strengths and weaknesses of learners, and to find a “niche” for each person which capitalizes upon his or her strengths. His books, A Mind At A Time (Simon and Schuster, 2002) and The Myth of Laziness (Simon and Schuster, 2003) have led to an actual in-school program called Schools Attuned.

www.allkindsofminds.org  (Levine’s organization)

Exercise for the week: visit the websites and take several versions of these tests, with friends and family and coworkers if possible, discussing varying personality styles discovered.

If you have a special interest in education, please consider how you might bring these ideas into that area. Gardner, Armstrong, and Levine give many concrete examples of schools and school districts using these methods.

Intuitive Focusing Turn On Multiple Intelligences

Click here for a basic description of the Intuitive Focusing process. Intuitive Focusing is a way of accessing your “right-brain,” whole-body “sensing” of any issue or situation and being able to craft new ideas, solutions, and action steps out of this Creative Edge of fresh, bodily-felt experiencing.

If you would like, do a Focusing Turn on on the various “intelligences” of yourself, your family and friends, your co-workers.
Consider whether the cultural emphasis upon the “linguistic/logical-mathematical” has handicapped you or those you know and observe.
“Sense into” the various manifestations of your “multiple intelligences” strengths and weaknesses as revealed through the tests and explorations above
Consider how you might enhance your creativity and performance by incorporating this knowledge of “multiple intelligence,” multiple modalities for learning and performing.

1. Clear a Space: Relax and come into your body by following your breathing.
2. Get A Felt Sense: Ask yourself,” How are ‘multiple intelligences’ manifested in my life? Have I been the victim or perpetrator of prejudice and stereotyping based upon misunderstanding of the multiplicity of intelligences people can manifest?Set aside any thinking and wait quietly, for at least a minute, for the “intuitive feel” of “that whole thing” to form in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area.
3. Find A Handle: Slowing look for some words or an image or gesture that exactly capture the “feel of it all.”
4. Resonate and Check: Go back and forth between any symbols that come and the “felt sense,” the “feel of it all,” until the symbols and “felt sense” fit exactly, with a sense of “Ah, yes” and some tension release.
5. Ask An Open-Ended Question: Ask a question like “Is there something I need to do about this?” or “And how do I feel about that whole thing?” or “How could I enhance my life or work with this understanding?” and, again, set aside what you already know and wait quietly, at least for a minute, for the “felt sense,” the murky, unclear Creative Edge to form in your body.
Again Resonate and Check until you find symbols (words, images, gestures) that exactly “fit” the bodily-feel.
6. Receive: Take some time to receive and integrate anything new that has come, appreciating your body for sharing its wisdom, letting new insights settle in.
Then, you can choose whether to stop or begin another round of Focusing: Asking An Open-Ended Question, Letting a Felt Sense Form, Finding a Handle, Checking and Resonating until “Ahah!”, symbols and bodily-feel come together.

About Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

Mission: bring Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and The Creative Edge Pyramid of applications from individual to interpersonal to organizational, to all audiences throughout the world.

These materials are offered purely as self-help skills. In providing them, Dr. McGuire is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 
 

Panorama Theme by Themocracy