Yikes, is this ever a BIG issue! It comes up in coaching sessions and classes. All. The. Time.
Sadly, we usually aren’t taught to be truthful and kind at the same time. What we see modeled in our culture is mostly how to be nice at all costs and how to speak up without a care for how it is received. I often see clients and students struggling to find a balance between these two seemingly (but not really!) mutually exclusive paths.
I’ve copied a newsletter from Oren Jay Sofer below. It’s an invitation to join an upcoming course of his. I participated in a similar online courses last year, and enjoyed it immensely. Having been exposed to Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-violent Communication method in massage school twenty years ago, I’ve been developing my communication skills every since. Yet, there is always more to learn.
If you find yourself torn up inside about saying what you mean in a way that others can hear, you might find this opportunity to be highly valuable. Get some training and stop walking on eggshells! There are scholarships available for those who need a financial assist.
Ever felt caught between speaking your truth and being kind?
When we care deeply about something, when we’re faced with important issues like the health and safety of our family, our commitment to justice and equity, or our vision for our children’s future, it can seem like we have to choose between being fully honest and speaking with care.
The choice between truth and kindness is a false dichotomy.
The fullness of truth is always an expression of love, for it contains grace, shows humility, and honors a multiplicity of perspectives.
With the right tools, it’s possible to be clear, honest and direct while staying connected to love and compassion. This sort of speech is both rare and powerful, for it requires that we move beyond the narrow constraints of the dominant culture and connect with the fullness of our heart.
Below are three key steps to this process. If you’d like to develop more confidence and flexibility in how you express yourself, join me for Authentic Communication, my next live, online course.
In this six-week course, you’ll learn ways to:
- Feel more confident in conversations
- Say what matters most to you in any interaction
- Ask for what you want in a way that invites collaboration
- Say no and set limits while still expressing your care for others
The course meets Wednesdays from 4-5:30p PT (7-8:30p ET) starting February 16th. All of the live sessions will be recorded and available for listening/viewing afterwards. We’ve also arranged to offer CEs for many professionals and are offering group discounts and scholarships.
If you’re ready to learn more or register, check it out here.
Three Steps to More Authentic, Kinder Communication
1. Know your truth: To speak authentically we must first listen deeply to what’s true for us. This involves accessing our feelings, needs and intuition beneath the thoughts, reactions and judgments that are on the surface. Take time to quiet yourself and listen.
2. Connect with your values: Look beyond the immediate situation to your fundamental values for how you want to live and the world you want to create. It’s common to react to pain with anger, blame, or shame. Find the place in your heart that values something deeper, that has compassion for yourself and the world.
3. Consider your purpose: What is your aim in speaking? Are you trying to affect change by influencing someone else? Are you hoping to build relationship through mutual exploration? Do want to protect someone or stand for your integrity? In other words, what needs are you trying to meet by speaking? Once you’ve identified this, consider how you can express it in a way that is most aligned with your truth, your values and your purpose.
I hope you’ll join me for the six-week class as we explore these questions more deeply. And if not, I look forward to staying in touch and hope to see you down the line at one of my upcoming online retreats or other events.