Conscious Communication™ doesn't happen in a vacuum. In order to have difficult conversations and come out the other side with resolution, more respect, and a sense of being heard, a Safe Space® System must be created.
There are eight elements of the Miick Safe Space® System, and each one stands alone. At the same time, each one integrates with the others to make a potent guide for effective dialogue, feedback, coaching, and conflict resolution.
Let's review the first four elements of the Miick Safe Space® System for Conscious Communication™:
1) Track data, and be aware of meaning making.
Data is simply non-debatable. It's the information we can see, hear, touch, and experience. For example, if the data shows that Steve has been late to work for each of the last three days, there are different ways to approach this.
Meaning making: Steve doesn't care about work. He is having real problems in his life.
If I simply make some sweeping statement about Steve, I will be less successful in my coaching, my management, and in modeling effective leadership. For example, to call Steve out as always being late will likely result in an argument or at least a hassle.
Data-based approach: "Steve, I am aware you've been late the last three days to work. What needs to change to not have this behavior happen again?"
2) My truth, my experience.
Each of us is unique, and because of our unique background, education, faith, and life experience, each of us is likely to have a different experience when listening, seeing, feeling, or watching an event. The differences may vary from only slightly different to extremely different.
Another way differences show up is in experience. Your truth about the difficulty or challenge with work after three years of experience may be very different than someone in their first day of work. Think about a different frame of reference, a different size "lens" to view the world. Simply ask, "How is your experience different than mine? What is your experience with this?"
Based on my experience (in life), I carry different truths than someone with different experiences. My truth, my life experience creates or least impacts the meaning making I hold about any given situation. All the more potent then to track data and share my truth of THAT data.
How can I own my own stories without creating a fight or conflict? These are some examples of what can be said to gain clarity instead of conflict or a fight:
"The story I make up is ______. Am I close?"
"My experience is ________. What's yours?"
"What's your experience of __________?"
Lastly, what's our truth or our experience? As a company, as a team, we'll get more richness in our decisions, actions, and growth by having, hearing, and honoring different truths then to the best of our ability holding all as potential truth.
And know that truths can be true until they're not:
"Six months ago, we couldn't actually trust what was said."
"I trust what is being said, based on data (and supported by our purpose and values)."
3) Intention and impact
Did what I intend to have happen, happen? What did happen as an outcome of my actions? If there is a miss on the intention and the impact:
1. If there’s a miss with what I intended and the impact created, acknowledge the “miss."
2. Back up; try again.
3. A very powerful action is to DEFINE my intention at the outset, to myself and to others.
Actually say, “My intention here is ___________.” Then check in and reinforce to determine if your intention was effective or not.
4) Inside out, outside in
Based on my intention and the impact I want to create, I choose one of two options.
I share my inside thoughts vocally or with explicit non-verbal actions externally to the person or to the group with whom I am interacting.
1. Being aware that I am dominating a conversation, I choose to silence myself.
2. Being aware that I am cutting someone else off, interrupting someone’s comment, I can wait five to 10 seconds before speaking.
3. Being aware of consistent patterns:
- If one specific person speaks, another specific person speaks to maintain an order.
- Pay attention to see if you can break your own habits. Yes.
- Does one particular person rarely if ever speak? If so, ask to hear their voice! The person’s inside voice when heard will impact the group. Let it! Work to hear that unheard person.
- Do people have to raise their hands to get their voice heard? If so, slow down the pace or name the person. Consider using favorite phrases like "I am aware we haven't heard from ______ since we began" or "Let's hear from those who haven't spoken yet."
Safe Space® for Conscious Communication™ can make our relationships more successful both in business and in life. Schedule 30 minutes with Miick to get the basics on how these elements work in real life applications.