Time for a talk? Create a good warm up.

You are fed up. This is been on your mind for a while. You need to tell the other person. Its not fair. They are a problem. You’ve been meaning to do this but they’d never listen…

Those thoughts and feelings are your warm up. A warm up like that needs some attention. The other party is not likely to listen. When the time comes to talk you need better warm up. The six steps will create a good warm up for a productive conversation. “It is all in the warm up.”

Create a Topic

What is the title of this conversation? One that is of interest to both parties. Create a topic that is constructive. Do this well before you approach the other person. This will determine everything from here on.

Begin with the impulse for the talk, e.g. “Your careless behaviour over the years has made me resentful and bitter and it is time you changed.”

Remove blame: “I think you are careless and I resent that and I’d like you to change.” Notice the subtle difference with the words: “I think…”

Remove resentment: Resentment is something you have allowed to build up, own it. “I think you are careless and I have found this difficult to raise with you, and I’d like you to change.”

Convert judgmental words, and be specific about outcomes: “I think the jobs can be done more efficiently.”

Make it collaborative: “I think we can do this more efficiently.”

Topic: “How we can do some things more efficiently”

Make a Request

How you do that also creates a warm up. More on that soon.

How do I respond, can I say anything?

When learning to dialogue people often ask how to respond to their partner after they have listened to their first “send”. What do I say, can I say anything? 

Response is central to relating. Is everything a response to the previous thing? Perhaps, but I like to distinguish the words of the initiator of the dialogue, the protagonist, from the response by the person who is listening, the receiver, who I encourage to think of themselves as an auxiliary. In responding as an auxiliary, we are not asking for anything. Of course the sender (or protagonist) might listen and mirror the response, but as a responder it is useful to keep the mind-set of an auxiliary, then the response is a form of mirroring in that the protagonist can see how they impact on the other person.

A response will reveal to the protagonist who how they are received. A response may also reveal something about the listener. Self disclosure as it is known in counselling jargon. As long as the auxiliary stance is maintained it can be useful, as long as its not all ‘Me, me, me.’ Good self disclosure on the part of the listener means the protagonist will know they are speaking with a person.  A response that is well done will have the protagonist nodding, relaxing, learning about themselves and ready to open up more about themselves. They will not feel alone and trust will build. A full response will enliven the dance, create a rich space between the two, filled with meaning.

To encourage this when they ask: What do I say, can I say anything? I offer something like this:

What was most exciting to you in what you just heard.
What touched you most deeply.
One thing I have learned about you.
What I found valuable in what I heard.

A generally semantic journey

I have enjoyed some of the writing and audio from Al Turtle a relationship therapist. I get an RSS feed of his updates and today found a link to his favourite books. Great idea!

I found an ebook of A. E. Van Vogt’s The World of Null-A, non-Aristotelian logic in SF form. I see that this is not a one-off in Al’s list! He is into General Semantics – intrigued I went off on a search trail.

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Encounter, Buber & Moreno

From:

Marineau, R. F. (1989). Jacob Levy Moreno, 1889-1974: Father of Psychodrama, Sociometry, and group psychotherapy. United Kingdom: Routledge.

The third idea is the notion of ‘meeting’. of ‘encounter’. Moreno has argued that Martin Buber, who wrote an article in the magazine Der Neue Daimon (see page 56) in 1919. was influenced by his own concept of ‘Begegnung’ (encounter) of 1914. It would be very interesting to establish the exact nature of the relationship between the two authors and clarify the extent of their mutual influence. There seems to be no historical basis for putting too much emphasis on direct influences. Buber’s thinking developed gradually, but can be traced back to his own childhood. His contribution to the journal Daimon was minimal. But Moreno and Buber did have common friends and relations in the persons of Max Brod and Franz Werfel.

The two men also had a lot of other things in common. Both read Socrates, Dante, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. Both acknowledged the primacy of the original ‘encounter’: Moreno says that at the beginning was action and the group. while Buber says that at the beginning was the relationship. Both stress the necessity to alter the form taken by culture to arrive at a more ‘fruitful chaos’. Both also stress the importance of ‘experiencing’ reality as a means of change rather than just talking about it. Both were highly emotional people, giving prime importance to the body: Buber, still smarting from the loss of his friend and companion Landauer forty-five years after his murder, told Carl Rogers: ‘Now once more. I was compelled to imagine this killing, not only visually, but with my body.’ Moreno, equally sensitive to bodily experience, developed the concept of tele.

See also the post that confirms that Buber was influenced by Moreno.

Varieties of Encounter

On the back burner I have a study / paper I want to do: Varieties of Encounter, today I was delighted to read a snippet from Elizabeth Synnot’s Thesis. The delight is there too because I want to bring forth dialogue, encounter in the training for the CITP

A SOCIODRAMATIST AT WORK
Producing Genuine and Reciprocal Relating
to
Create a Leadership Renaissance

September 2005

A quote follows from her thesis available on the ANZPA site

Continue reading “Varieties of Encounter”