I feel so gratified and joyful because my coaching client in San Diego received some feedback about a weakness that he had, and is really committed to changing. This was a breakthrough for me as well, because I realized that I serve my clients and everyone I know by being vulnerable and honest.
I am so grateful for my skills in using Nonviolent Communication because without them, the situation could have been ugly. My client (I will call him Bill in order to honor confidentiality) was grateful for my input. Even after using the NVC Model for 25 years, I still feel uncomfortable about sharing with anyone what I feel uncomfortable about. My inclination is to focus on the positive and hope that things will change. Then walls build up between us and when we do talk, it is often more intense than if I had come to the person sooner.
I realized that I need to shift my attitude when conflict arises. I shared this idea in a conflict resolution class I taught 20 years ago. “What if when we encounter conflict, we say to ourselves enthusiastically and joyfully, ‘Oh boy, conflict.” Now I know that our brain is much more efficient when we can appreciate whatever circumstance we are in. So this kind of attitude helps our minds be more flexible and joyful, thereby taking off the charge that is often there when we speak to another about conflict.
I am hopeful that from this day forward, when I encounter a problem or a conflict, I can develop the habit of saying, “Oh, boy, a conflict.” I will celebrate the situation as an opportunity to grow and be all that God wants me to be. With my spiritual foundation in having a strong relationship with Jesus, I can rely on him to help me through the process. Whatever spiritual path you are on, I hope that you will be able to call upon a higher power to help you to have this attitude as well as to get through it.
Bill and I had the difficult conversation last night. It was only difficult for about ten minutes–while I was sharing and when he responded defensively. But when I pointed out that he was being defensive, almost immediately he saw this was not working for him. I could see a visible change in his demeanor when he said, “You are right. I need to take responsibility. I do want to change. This is an area that I have not mastered.” We left the meeting with so much joy, gratitude and love between us. I have had two other difficult things to share with Bill, and both times he has admitted his shortcoming and I have seen him make changes.
This morning I checked in with him about how he was doing. He said that he was so grateful that I was honest with him, and he sees clearly that the issue we discussed is one that he has struggled with for years, and he is ready to change the pattern. I have great confidence that he is going to make quantum leaps, because the problem he had was not following through consistently with what he said he would do.
I have learned that keeping agreements simplifies my life immensely. The energy it takes to clean up the messes caused by broken agreements makes my life so complicated and inspires so many more details to deal with. Keeping agreements builds trust and social capital with others. Having social capital makes my life much more consistent and dependable. The more people in my life with whom I have mutual trust, the more I can call upon them when I am in trouble. Just knowing this helps me to feel more secure, and my brain works better so that I can stay out of trouble.
How fulfilling and satisfying it is for me to have this job of being a simplified living coach where I have the privilege of watching people grow and flourish right before my eyes. I look forward to celebrating more and more with Bill as he makes what are sometimes quantum leaps to fulfilling his purpose in life. I appreciate you, Bill!