The last two years of pandemic, social distancing, and conflicting ideas about risk have created tension in the workplace like we’ve never known before. Out of this suffering, can come great growth and empowerment. Thank you for inviting me to be part of creating that new culture for your business.

I offer deep communication skill building and tools that allow each employee to experience work as a safe environment. When people feel safe, they are able to use their tools and skills; when they don’t feel safe, they withdraw, survive, and protect themselves.

Safety is a subjective, internal experience based on whether a person feels they have agency and power to create an outcome they want in any given situation. If I feel like I can handle what’s happening and get something I want out of it, I feel pretty safe. If I feel confused, overwhelmed, overpowered, threatened, or out of control, I’m going to try to survive and get out as quickly as possible. This is true for most humans.

What we often forget is that everyone has a past. I’m not just listening to you right now; I’m listening to all of my past experience about who you are, what this means, and evaluating whether or not I am safe. Everyone has unresolved stuff from their past. Most of these experiences involve other people. Many times we felt helpless and powerless. We learned how to survive, tolerate, and endure.

These are good survival skills and nothing to be ashamed of. However, we are looking to be more connected and alive. Now we are looking to behave better and create a better life for ourselves, our co-workers and clients, and the world.

Let’s learn a new skill that will help us do all this: recreation. Recreation gives you freedom. No longer are you jerked around by other people or even your own thoughts and emotions.

Check in with yourself. How are you doing? Are you calm, curious, and respectful enough to explore what the client (or coworker) is bringing up? If yes, lean in and ask a curious question

  • What’s that like for you?
  • How did you feel about that?
  • What are you noticing right now as you share that with me?

Then recreate their words, feelings, and commitments. Keep going until there is nothing the client wants to say. We are almost never listened to all the way to nothing. It is a huge gift to offer. But make sure you are resourced enough to offer that gift.

If no, if you aren’t resourced enough personally (i.e. you get triggered by what she says into reacting to that framework of reality – arguing, denying, fearing, hating, dissociated) don’t try to talk with her. You’ll both create more of the drama, suffering, or break of trust – exactly the environment you don’t want to create. So stop and resist the urge to do that.

Cues that you are triggered. You are thinking “they” thoughts. “They” didn’t do their part. “They” made me feel upset. “They” shouldn’t have voted that way. Whenever it’s “they” bring it back to you. Notice what you are feeling and thinking.

Here’s a summary of how past-based reactions can play out at work.

How do you get from past-based reactions to recreation?

You interrupt the cycle.

You give yourself the care and listening you need to anchor in your own values. You listen to the parts of yourself that are triggered and upset. You get the perspective that allows you to take responsibility for your own feelings and reactions.

Taking responsibility is very different from blaming yourself or becoming a doormat. Taking responsibility for yourself is owning 100%  that you did what you did and you didn’t do what you didn’t do. You said what you said and you didn’t say what you didn’t say. Your emotions are yours and not the responsibility of the other person.

Connecting with your own wants and needs, feelings and values is key to doing this “for real” rather than giving it lip service. Now you can recreate the other’s communication.

From there you have the freedom and knowledge to take the next steps – asking for what you want and setting boundaries – your Radical Yes and your Radical No.

What we learned today is part of Radical Communication – harnessing the power of your listening and speaking to change your entire work environment for the better.

There is so much more I would love to do with you. Reach out. Let’s create something wonderful for you and your team.