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Changing tragic behaviors

"I have to tell you something, do you have a few minutes?" That was the beginning of a call I received last Friday afternoon. I got a call from a manager I had been working with recently on the way he reacts and behaves at work. We have been using Non Violent Communication as the method and tools for change. Over a the past few months, we practiced together the principles of the approach and transformed interpretations into objective observations, connected to his needs and feelings and observed them together in order to understand whether they are relevant and related to the situation and there is a desire to take a further step for a solution or are they related to other area of his personality. In our last meeting, we spoke again about the steps which help us develop the ability to generate a new response. As I understand them, there are 4 such steps, when something happens that triggers me: The first of these is to develop an ability to hold back my automatic reactions. So often we just react with our usual automatic reactions, saying just what we think with all the intensity of the emotions that are living in us at that moment. So many times it leaves scorched earth behind. Change will happen when we agree to hold back these automatic responses for a few moments and just breathe. This is one of the most important steps in my opinion and the basis for the next steps. The second step is to understand what is going on inside me. In this space that is created (the fact that I did not respond automatically) can enter a significant process of connecting with myself. At this point, we're looking at: - What happened that generated feelings - How do I feel - - What need of mine was or was not met as a result of what happened. This listening process is priceless. here I connect with my inner world and through the connection to my needs and feelings I can identify whether these emotions are specifically related to the subject in question, or maybe they're related to something that's getting mixed in. This help significantly in every specific situation. Over time, identifying my needs and feelings lead to a very significant personal development process. I can recognize recurring patterns, be in dialog with them, and see how they navigate my life and interactions with others. The third step after I've identified what happened and what it means to me, is to understand what I want or what can meet my need. Sounds simple, right? It turns out that it's not. So many times I've watched myself and others struggle to articulate clearly, what do I actually want? What can I ask for in positive language, a concrete request for action from the involved? And the fourth, of course, is real listening out of a desire to find understanding with the person. So back to the manager :) "You won't believe it," he said, "I must have really changed with the help of our work." Then he told about an incident that happened to him this week that really activated him from within and that previously would have reacted to in a very strong way. "I'll show her" type of way. This time he held back. He pulled himself out of the situation, and calmed down. He then decided that he was calling the woman and making a specific request about what had happened. And it was calm and pleasant, and in cooperation :) He was so proud and so was I! It's so hard to change our automatic patterns that we've been living with and are used to for so many years. And here - it's possible and it produces beneficial results. I thought about what would have happened if he had reacted like he used to before in many situations. It is likely that he would have been called into a very difficult conversation and perhaps even transferred from his new role (which he very much wanted). The value and benefit to the organization and everyone is enormous. He managed to make an amazing change. :) A true sense of personal freedom. The picture is for inspiration - photo by Jason Hogan on Unsplash.


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