How to create your ideal emotional climate at home

How to create your ideal emotional climate at home

Do you envy those families who seem to be harmonious all the time and wonder how you can also create your ideal emotional climate at home? Well, this begins with agreeing what are the feelings that are important to everyone in the family! This can be a relaxed and enriching experience involving your children by creating your family emotional charter together! After all, when you have their buy-in, it is more likely they will follow the rules!

Family Emotional Charter

I first learnt about the emotional charter from Dr. Marc Brackett and simply love the idea! So, why do you need a family emotional charter?

  • Do you want to teach your child on the importance of feelings and respect towards one another’s feelings?
  • Do you wonder if you are meeting your child’s emotional needs?
  • Or, do you wish your child could understand how you feel?
  • Is there a high level of tension or arguments that break out at home?
  • Do you wish to create your ideal emotional climate at home?

Purpose of the Family Emotional Charter

In a Family Emotional Charter, the family come together to brainstorm and construct their own family charter. The purpose of the charter is to create the ideal emotional climate that the family wishes to experience together. Once constructed, the charter would help the family to:

  • Identify the key feelings that are important to them to experience as a family
  • Guide the behaviours as the family becomes mindful of choosing the behaviours or words that will help them to uphold the family charter
  • Empowers one to call out an unacceptable behaviour by pointing the feeling in the Family Charter that’s been violated or compromised, and gives opportunity to resolve any conflict
  • Hence, creating your ideal emotional climate!

How to Create your Family Emotional Charter

So, last weekend, I finally got down to getting everyone come together to create our family emotional charter! I have modified Dr. Marc’s charter to a simpler version that I find more practical for my family. So here it is!

  1. Each family member reflects and writes down the top 3-4 feelings they love to experience together as a family
  2. We then come together to write them on a visual board (the boys took the lead to write them out for us!)
  3. Everyone gets to clarify the meaning of the word on the board, or if the word is indeed a feeling word. However, no one is allowed to ask why the feeling is important to have for that person! This is key as all feelings are important.
  4. Everyone then discuss and vote on the top 3 feelings that are most important to experience as a family. We all can share our views, but ultimately this has to be an unanimous vote!
  5. The children then design the charter to include the agreed feelings in to the charter.
  6. Each family member signs and commits to uphold the charter!
  7. We also discuss how we would enforce the charter if someone is not adhering to it.

It’s been a week since we did the Family Emotional Charter and I have to say it has been working out pretty well so far! There seems to be lesser or shorter episodes of conflicts, especially between the boys!

Support Local: Honest & Gentle

Support Local: honest & gentle

Honest & Gentle
honest & gentle

The Story Behind honest & gentle

Since late childhood, I experienced dry, sensitive and eczematous skin. I understand how uncomfortable that can be, and would like to help others like myself feel comfortable in their own skin.

That inspired me to design natural skincare that are both gentle and moisturising for sensitive skin.

At the same time, I have always wanted to help others through my work. One night, an idea sparked in me — I could use fair-trade (or honest) ingredients, so communities in need could benefit and draw a sustainable income.

2020 had been a tough year for me, with my first breakup and the death of my uncle. However, these events very much inspired my work at honest & gentle. Likewise, I hope you see your personal trials as opportunities for growth as there is always something good for every bad that happens.

honest & gentle

Support the Community

Your every purchase will help the local women in Africa. Each item contains their handcrafted organic, unrefined shea butter, which our supplier pays a premium for. They work hand-in-hand with the local Ghanaian women to channel these proceeds go to their education, healthcare and the rebuilding of their communities.

I jumped with excitement at the thought of that and having the flexibility to do volunteer work (which I had been doing and recently took up new roles), so I decided to leave my corporate job to pursue this. And that was how honest & gentle birthed.

At honest & gentle, we pledge to use only carrier oils that are cold-pressed. Not only would the oil’s nutrients be retained as much as possible, they also pose a lower risk of skin irritation as compared to other extraction methods like heat refinery, expeller pressing and solvent extraction.

Also, we celebrate handmade here – each product is carefully crafted by hand. Being a small-batch boutique, we focus on quality rather than quantity.

At honest & gentle, we adopt a holistic approach to well-being. Besides skincare tips, you can also access materials related to mental health on our shop.

Learn more and shop at www.honestgentle.com.

How to live 2021 with more intentions

How to live 2021 with more intentions

how to live with intentions

As we end January in a blink of eyes, are you wondering how to live 2021 with more intentions?

My 2021 intention is to live each day with more intentions. This is a journey I began about a year ago and progressing steadily. To me, this is beyond just setting intentions. It is a way of being, a way of living, a way of enjoying life.

Why Bother?

Why? Because, Life is too short everyone!

And, what is a life without intentions?

If you feel your life lacks the fire you wish you have, it could be that you have not create your life with intentions.

Yes, a life with intentions…..will guide you to think, feel, and act in control, congruency and alignment.

And, this is what makes you happy. Simple enough?

How I Use Intentions to Live with Intentions

Quite a mouthful, I know. I hope this will amplify the effect of this word INTENTION. It is a powerful word and can create powerful actions and outcomes. That is, if you are intentional in creating and living your intentions. =)

So, below are 3 ways I am attempting to live with more intentions.

1. Intentional in my Communications

Communicate with Intentions

I begin each conversation by asking myself what my intention is in the communications. Am I listening actively? Am I speaking with kindness? Will my words help or hurt? As much as possible, I try to control my emotions and say words that either empower or heal. Because, what is the point of speaking to hurt someone?

2. Intentional in My Relationships

Create relationships with intentions

I started to review the relationships in my life and ask myself a few key questions:

  • What does each relationship mean to me? Identifying the key relationships that mean the most to me is important, as well as relationships that I can see is worth nurturing and which I can foresee bloom into meaningful relationships.
  • For the key relationships, what do I want to achieve out of the relationship?
  • By setting my intentions in the relationship, I also show up more intentionally in my interactions with the person.
  • By being intentional in selecting relationships that I want to nurture and nourish, I set personal boundaries and spend my time on things and relationships that matter to me.

3. Last But Not Least, Create Daily Morning Intentions

Daily Intentions

Setting and living by my daily intentions is one of the most powerful tool that has kept me grounded during the pandemic. A simple 2-3 minutes reflection of my meetings and to-do list for the day and creating a intention on how I want to show up for the day is all it takes.

For instance, if I know my schedule for the day is going to be jam-packed, I’d set an intention that “My intention today is to stay focused” or “I am calm” to help me manage my day. When things seem challenging during the day, I’d use my intentions to remind myself of how I should show up. This helps me to respond in a mindful manner.

Why your child doesn’t think or act rationally?

Why your child doesn’t think or act rationally?

Why can't my child be more rational???
Why can’t my child be more rational???

Do you often wonder why your child don’t think or act rationally?

Do you feel frustrated that you don’t understand why your child don’t listen even after you told them multiple times?

Does your child have frequent emotional meltdown or unable to express their feelings?

Why does your child not seem to absorb what their teachers are saying?

Why does your teenager do such “immature” thing?

Wish your child can “think” what’s the right thing to do?

How is it other people’s kids seem so much easier to parent?

The Upstairs and Downstairs Brain

I really love how Dr. Siegel explains our brain development using simple metaphors of the upstairs and downstairs inside a house. 

(1) Our brain develops from downstairs to upstairs. 

(2) Our downstairs brain comprises brain stem and the limbic region, which are located in the lower pars of the brain. The downstairs brain is responsible for basic functions (like breathing & blinking), for fight and flight reactions, and strong emotions (anger, fear) and movement (like flinching from pain or surprise).  This is WELL-DEVELOPED even at birth.

(3) Our upstairs brain comprises the cerebral cortex including he middle pre-frontal cortex. The upstairs brain is responsible for thinking, imagining, planning and this is where we use this part of the brain for sound decision making and planning, control over emotions and body, empathy, morality, etc.

(4) For our child (and us!) to function optimally, we want our upstairs and downstairs brain to integrate well.

This is why our child doesn’t think or act rationally!

I was shocked when I found out that our upstairs brain only begin to develop at the age of around 8-10 years old and does not fully develop until 18-22 years old! In fact, some recent research showed that some people’s upstairs brain does not develop until age of 30 years old!

But, I guess this fact makes a lot of sense after I know, particularly when it comes to making sense of children or teenager’s behaviours. And, perhaps even my behaviours when I was young! So, the next time you judge a child’s behaviour, bear in mind this fact that their brain is simply not fully developed yet to perform all the higher cognitive functions!

What does this mean for parenting our child?

Now that we learn and accept this fact, we know even more importantly that we play a super important role in parenting. We are the BEST role model for our children, and we can improve our own communication and decision making skills especially in front of our children so that they can in turn learn from the best teacher in the world!

Keen to explore more new skills to be an even better teacher to your child? Check out my upcoming Emotion Coaching workshop for Parents!

Hopeful for a better 2021

Hopeful for a better 2021

Hello Friends,

Happy 2021 and hope you are like me – hopeful for a better 2021! I’d like to begin my first journal of the year with a quick reflection of how my 2020 ended with so much mixed emotions.

The year ended for me with an extremely heavy heart as a very dear family member, my brother in law, passed on after battling for months in the ICU.  I am sure he now finds the peace and freedom he deserves.  Perhaps, my brother in law was finding us a way to get together beyond the covid-19 restrictions of 5 person rule. It was his way for all of us to come together to celebrate his life. Indeed, he had lived a life worth celebrating.

Otherwise, it was actually a nice, cool month to spend Christmas in town. It had been a long time since we last were in Singapore during this time of the year. Due to the covid-19 restrictions, we ended up with more parties to accommodate the group size. I am thankful for all the gatherings and dinner parties I had with my family and friends, and feel so blessed and fortunate for everything we’ve got, because things could be worse.

At the Mind Studio…

At The Mind Studio, it was a super busy year end as I prepared my business plan, brainstormed new ideas and developed new marketing strategies for 2021. Things have slipped due to the unexpected events but I am still grateful with how things have turned out.

A quick glimpse to what’s going on since the end of 2020 to the beginning of 2021 so far!

Ending 2020 with a group workshop on “Mindful Breathing to Manage Stress”

ending 2020 with hope!

What a meaningful way to end 2020 with a group workshop for a team of clinic nurses to guide them through how to perceive stress and use mindful breathing in a high-paced, stressful environment!

Beginning 2021 Hopeful with a Purpose

I am so proud and pleased to begin the new year leading this Mind & Yoga workshop for mothers on “Rediscovering and Living Your Purpose in 2021”! In collaboration with Myca @camphealthstyle, my dear friend and yoga instructor, we hosted Day 1 of our 4-day workshop on the first Sunday of 2021! Day 1 was about rediscovering our purpose! Looking forward to the future sessions as we explore how we visualize our ideal self in 2021 and set achievable goals that we will commit to!

My biggest takeaway on this project so far is the difficulty to get mothers to commit time for themselves! Every mother we spoke to agree with our concept and that it is important for their own well-being. But it was a huge challenge for them to set aside time or find suitable caretaking arrangements for their child..in fact, some even feels “guilty” if they had to leave their family to come to this personal development workshop. I guess it will take more time and effort to push through a change in every mother’s mindset and priority! For now, I am enjoying and growing through the entire process…

Upcoming Up at The Mind Studio

Monthly Newsletter

As part of my goal to provide meaningful content to you, I am specially working on curating a monthly newsletter targeting for both “the Young-at-Heart” and “Emotion Coach Parents”!  Watch out for my email on 31 January 2021!

Emotion Coach Your Child: Group Program for Parents

hopeful to be an emotion coach parent in 2021?
Why Emotion Coaching?

Sign up now and join me in this small group, experiential emotion coaching program for parents! Through this workshop, you will discover insightful perspectives and explore practical techniques to be your child’s emotion coach. With practice, you will become your child’s emotion coach effortlessly…

Hopeful for a Better 2021

As I end 2020 and begin the new year, I also found out that my elder son, Jayden’s feet has grown to the same size as mine! What a hopeful sign that there will be more growth and success in 2021! =)

hopeful for 2021

Wishing all of you happiness & joy throughout 2021. Let’s stay hopeful for 2021 and work towards our dreams together!

Follow my inspirations on Instagram @themindstudio.sg

How to Set Goals You will be Committed to in 2021?

How to Set Goals You will be Committed to in 2021?

As we count down to the end of 2020, it is also time of the year where we start to set our 2021 goals. And, do you start wondering why some people seem to achieve phenomenal success yet you can’t seem to hit your goals? Well, it is not just about setting a SMART goal! In this blog, I am sharing a goal setting framework to guide you how to set goals you will be committed to in 2021!

Set Goals You will be Committed

01. 2020 REFLECTION

While 2020 has been one of the craziest year in our lifetime so far, what can we learn from and be grateful for? Ask yourself these questions, which will help steer you into 2021…

What are top 3-5 things you are grateful for in 2020?
Recall 3 successes or progress, no matter how small, in 2020?
How have you taken care of yourself in 2020?
Can you think of the main challenges you struggle with and what have you learnt?

02. Evaluate Your Key Roles in Life

a. What’s Important to you about each of your role?

We all play many different roles in our life, and learn to juggle each role. What are the key roles you play, and what are the values of each role to you? For each role, take some time to ask your inner self,

“What’s important of the role to me, and what’s the highest positive intention of that?”

These values will provide the motivation to fuel your end goals, so it’s important you complete this!

b. Rate your performance in 2020

Yes, similar to how we evaluate our work performance, why wouldn’t we evaluate our performance in life??? No need to be overly critical though, this rating is meant to help you gauge how much focus you need to put in 2021!

Next, ask yourself “Is this an area you want to focus on for 2021?”

If yes, do put a * beside this, and ask yourself how important it is (from a scale 1 to 10, 10 being most important you work on this aspect of your life in 2021).

03. Who do You want to Become?

Take a few minutes to visualize who you want to be come in 2021. Based on your evaluation in step 2, now visualize how you want each role you play to look like in 2021. How does that look like, feel like, sound like?

A few months ago, I wrote a blog on this similar topic. This may be helpful for you in the exercise, so read this post!

Dare to Dream

04. Craft SMART goals initiated by YOU

For each key role you have, set your SMART goal that you are accountable for. SMART goal is a common concept in the goal setting exercise, and if you need some help on this, check out this post.

Once you have your goals, it is super important to check the following two things. If not done, they may end up to be the reasons why you kill your goal later on!

▪  Ensure your SMART goal is aligned to who you want to be and your values of the roles in your life (refer to step 2 & 3). You want to be congruent in your goals to your values.

▪  Check if your SMART goal involves or impact other people in your lives. And if so, put an * next to it and remind yourself to speak to the person.

05. Resources

For each goal, spend a few minutes to identify the resources you already have (skills, attitude, books, people, etc) access to which will help you achieve your goal. These will make your life much easier!

Also, spend a few minutes to identify the resources you still need to achieve your goals. These are things you want to take note so they don’t become a surprise latter in the process of working on your goals! You may even have to start planning how you can get these help you need.

06. Take the FIRST Step!

Take the First Step

For each goal, identify what’s the first step you can take in the next few days. Don’t be overly ambitious to plan every step you need to take at this point.

The key is to identify at least 1 small step you can take in the next few days that will get you going and taking that FIRST STEP!!!

Slay Your 2021 Goals!

I hope this provides a step by step guide to help you set & slay your 2021 goals! It starts with goals you will commit to!


And, for those of you who are feeling a little lost in this long process, let me be your guide in helping you slay your 2021 goals. Contact me now, there is no need to wait!

3 ways to express your gratitude

3 ways to express your gratitude

Do you have a gratitude practice in your routine? What are the ways you go about to express your gratitude? In this week’s post, I will share my gratitude practice journey and 3 ways you can express your gratitude!

Over a year ago, I learnt about the concept of gratitude practice in my Positive Psychology course. I was surprised there were numerous ways we can express gratitude. So, I decided to do a 7 days gratitude practice experiment involving my husband, children and two best friends. Each day, we would write 3 things we want to express our gratitude for. And, I still remembered how we find it silly to give thanks to a cup of coffee.

Fast forward today, gratitude practice has become a routine in my life. It was challenging at first and I need to train my brain to do that search for the good, and over time, it seems so easy that I wondered how I have been so oblivious for years. And, I’ve notice how much happier I am by just doing this simple gratitude practice. It is truly amazing.

As what David Steindl-Rast, monk and known as “interfaith scholar” argues, “it is not happiness that makes us grateful” but “gratefulness that makes us happy”. If you have not seen his talk, please do!

So, these are 3 simple ways to be grateful and immediately feel happy!

1. Gratitude Jar

Write at least 1 thing you are grateful for, drop it into the jar and watch your gratitude jar fill up as the days go by! A meaningful and fun way to engage your child in practicing daily gratitude.

2. Gratitude Journal to give thanks to the little wins and people who have made it happen

In my gratitude practice, I have a journal where I jot down all the “achievements of the month”. It are the little things in my life that in the past, I would have simply moved on and perhaps didn’t even remember I completed or achieved these “stuff”. But now when I looked back on my journal, I feel proud and grateful for the people who have helped me during the journey.

3. Express Your Gratitude…Literally…Tell The Person!

It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow. This is a time that always bring me sweet memories back to the times where Jack and I were living in the US and I was grateful to have him and our best friends to spend Thanksgiving with. It is such a wonderful way for us to express our gratitude for one another.

But, do we have to wait till Thanksgiving to do so? Absolutely not. In fact, sometimes we wait too long to tell a person we are grateful for them and the meaning they bring to our lives.

I love how Brian Doyle spoke about his 365 days of Thank You initiative. While I may not be doing this for every single day, I start to tell people whom I am grateful for that I am grateful for having them in my life. There is no need to wait.

And you know what? It is not only a gift to be grateful for the things we are grateful for. It is also the greatest gift to receive when someone thanks us for being in their lives.

grateful

This is definitely one of the greatest gift I have received from my bestie in the past week. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Wishing you love & joy,

~elynn

5 things to avoid when you want to help someone

5 things to avoid when you want to help someone

5 things to avoid when you want to help someone

When we see someone needs help, it is natural we want to help. It could be with our spouse, child, sibling or colleagues at work. But, often, what we are trying to do to help, isn’t helping at all. In this post, I am going to share 5 things you should avoid using when you want to help someone.

The neighbor next door…

I was in a mall one day and needed to go to the bathroom. As I was finishing up my business, I overheard the conversation of a woman and a child in the cubicle next to me. I first heard some crackling sound from the door in the next cubicle, which I guess the child must have been playing with the door’s lock. Within a few seconds, I heard the woman shouting away “Stop it!”….followed by “Why are you always not listening? You are going to break the lock and you will be caught by the police…”

I was quite taken aback by the woman’s response. I suppose she had good intentions to teach the child not to damage public property, and the consequences of doing so. But, I also wondered how effective her communication is. I can imagine the child feeling lousy and fearful (that the police may arrest her!).

Avoid doing these if you really want to help…

5 things to avoid when helping someone

In our daily lives, we can be of a better help to people around us by improving our own communications. How often do you see a staff who has a problem and want to seek help from their manager but end up being lectured or questioned to death by the manager? Or, have you seen a parent labelling and threatening a child (just like the case of the woman and the child in the toilet)? As a friend, when we try to help our friends, how often do we try to simply reassure them?

Below are 5 things I have seen both myself and others using and which aren’t actually going to help the other person who needs help. So, let’s try to avoid these 5 things if we really want to help the other person!

1. Advising

“What I would do is…,” “Why don’t you…,” “Let me suggest…”

This is one of the most common roadblock we create in our communication! Before we reply with an advice, ask ourselves – is the person really asking for our advice?

At first glance, advice may not seem like a roadblock.  But, by giving advice when the other person is not seeking for one, we are actually dismissing their feelings. If the person does need a solution, let’s use open and solution focused questions to help them build confidence and skills to develop their own solutions instead!

2. Questionning

“Why did you do that?…,” “And then what did you say?…,” “Did you inform your teacher?….” “Why didn’t you tell your supervisor earlier?…”

This really reminds me of my ex-manager, who will ask many many questions whenever a staff presents a problem. Rather than focusing on solution outcome, the manager was focused on finding root cause and blame, and then providing her solution to the problem.

Such questioning ignore the feeling the other person is experiencing which can be interpreted by him/her as a lack of understanding or caring. In addition, the questioner seems to take over the problem solving rather than allowing the other person learn to problem solve.

3. Labelling

“You’re being a worrier…,” “You are such a naughty child…”, “You are a slow learner…”

This can be quite common in parenting…I used to be guilty of this too.

Many times, we tend to start our messages with these statements….We don’t mean to put the other person down, but these responses actually make the person feel foolish, inferior or wrong. In fact, such responses can have very damaging effects on their self-image and self-esteem.

4. Threatening

“If you don’t, then…,” “You’d better or…,” “Stop that, or I’ll…”

Again, we may at times use such phrases quite loosely. For instance, I grew up hearing so many parents telling their child “If you don’t study hard and get good academic grades, then you will be a failure in life…”

Such responses not only fail to motivate the other party but may also create resistance and resentment.

5. Reassuring

“Don’t worry…,” “Look on the bright side…” “Everyone goes through this…”

This is quite a common response amongst friends, isn’t it?

When we reassure someone without really listening to their problems and asking what they need, we are actually dismissing their feelings. Hence, this is not as helpful as we thought it is!

Next time before you say something…

So, next time before you reply to your friend, child, spouse, staff or colleague when they are telling you their problem…..think before you do so! Listen to them and reflect on what they are feeling and needing at that moment. Sometimes this is all they need!

How to get your child to share their problems with you?

How to get your child to share their problems with you?

Do you notice difficulty in getting your child to share their problems with you? Whether it is a problem or question or dilemma your child is experiencing, do you wish your child will be open and share with you?

The truth is, many of us sometimes forget that the way we respond to our child in our daily interactions actually pave the future as to whether our child trust us enough to come to us for advise, consultation, or a chat about their problems. If we tend to be generally dismissing, or disapproving of their emotions and responses, it is less likely our child will trust us to be able to show empathy and non-judgmental. Isn’t this what we all look for when we confide in our spouse or friends?

Creating a safe space, building that trust and rapport with our child is necessary. Just because we are parents does not mean we automatically earn our child’s trust for them to talk to us about their problems or dilemma.

My son’s dilemma

My son, who is 9 years old, recently came to me about his dilemma situation with his friend in school. So, it turned out his friend had been giving “tips” to friends who purchase food or drinks on his behalf during recess. And, my son thought it was a great way for him to earn some side income. Truth is, he is also puzzled with his friend’s behaviour (why would someone give away his money this easily?), and he didn’t feel quite right about taking the money.

So, he came to me one day and made me promise that I would not “scold” him or tell anyone after he tells me his “secret”. He shared about his friend’s behavior and asked me about my opinion about it and whether it is “wrong” to accept the tip. At that point, he shared little about his own behavior (the fact that he did accept the tip!). After I shared with him my views and my values, he just kept acknowledged and moved on with his daily activity.

It was only a week later that he came to me again, and finally revealed that he had been accepting the tips from this friend. Long story short, it took us a while before we came to terms of what value is important to us here and he decided to return the money to his friend. And I thanked him for sharing his “secret” with me.

The Hard Way…

Trust me, as parent, it wasn’t easy for me to not probe more questions when my son first came to me ..or not to impose what I expect him to do. Not to mention it will probably be less time consuming if I had just told him on first occasion the action to take.

But I took the hard way as I want to understand what is going on in my child’s mind. I want my child to be open and share his problems with me. I want to use this experience as a way to connect and bond with him while teaching him the right values and behaviors.

Of course, we may not always be able to use this method and there will be times where we have to be the disciplinarian immediately. Below are 3 guiding principles I generally ascertain:

  • There is no immediate harm to self and others arising from his action or behavior
  • My child’s behavior is not breaching any laws or rules
  • There is time (i.e. no urgency in solving the problem right there and then)

5 Tips if you want your child to share their problems with you

How to get your child to share their problems with you?

If you want to be your child’s friend and share their inner world, and still be their emotion coach…then it is important to keep these 5 tips in mind…

  1. Pace with your child where they are in their world…be empathic and put yourself in their shoes. If you attempt to lead without pacing, it is not likely to work.
  2. Share your perspectives and how it links back to the family value you wish to impart with your child. This not only teaches them what’s important about the value, and also helps to develop their thinking process
  3. Allow them to share their perspectives and hold back the urge to dismiss or disapprove their views or ideas
  4. Where problem solve is needed, give your child opportunity to come up with solutions. Guide them to choose their solution and allow them to bear with the consequence if their solution does not work out.
  5. Where there is misbehavior, discipline the child while letting the child know the misbehavior that is inappropriate and the consequence for the misbehavior. Do not label the behavior as identity e.g. you are naughty so you will be punished.

Remember, if we are patient and take the child’s experience as emotional connection and bonding with them, our child will open up and share with us about their world, their challenges and problems. And, we can then use these opportunities to teach them life skills that are going to last them a life time.

How to respond respectfully in a conflict?

How to Respond Respectfully in a Conflict?

I heard of two failed marriages in the past two weeks alone, and several other arguments where only one party wins and the other loses. And, I wonder how many of these outcomes could have been avoided if we all practice how to respond respectfully, even in a conflict? Easier said, I am also guilty at times of being defensive or aggressive when my lid is flipped. But, I am committed to be a better communicator. What about you?

So, this week’s blog is a reminder of the steps we can all practice to make our communications more meaningful and effective.

respond respectfully

As mentioned in last week’s blog, the first step to take when we are upset is to respond with your problem “I” message, followed by reflective listening. So, what happens if the other person does not accept your message or also has a problem?

How to respond respectfully when the other person also has a problem…

When we realize that both person have a problem, both parties may still be experiencing the heightened emotional states. We may also have spoken or acted in an inappropriate manner. And regret it later.

Actually, it is possible to respond respectfully if we choose to. And it becomes easier with practice…

1. Acknowledge that both person’s needs are important. Ask the other person if they are willing to partner with you to find a solution to get to a win-win outcome.

2. Define both person’s needs.

3. Brainstorm solutions – Take turns to come up with potential solutions. At this point, it is important NOT TO criticize or challenge the feasibility of the solution yet.

4. Evaluation & Choose Best Solution – Only after both parties have come up with the solutions, then, evaluate and state your preferred solution and how it would meet both persons’ needs. This may be a process, and so important to agree on a solution that meets the needs of both person.

How to respond respectfully when the other person doesn’t care…

Yes, this would require more patience and influencing skills as it is values, or beliefs at odds!

1. Look for shared values – It always helps if we can restate the shared value we have with the other person. Why? Because they would be more inclined to engage in your discussion if they can see a common goal or value.

2. Model the behavior you wish to see – If possible, we want to be the model of the behavior we wish to see. This goes with parenting! When we model the behavior or value we wish the other person to have, the other person will be more likely to follow.

3. Consult

a. Get your facts first and ask if the person is willing to listen to you.

b. Share your opinions with “I” messages. Reflective Listen.

c. And, leave the final decision to the other person! Resist the temptation to hassle or use power!

The last step is often the hardest to do! And, of course there may be certain situations where we do have to use power (e.g. where law or safety is concerned).

But before you act, ask yourself this first – Is your intention to get what you want and not mind that it will hurt your relationship with that person? Or would you rather influence to get what you want and at the same time build better relationship with the person? Choose what serves you.