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This subtle and overlooked strategy will boost your communication and transform your leadership!

"These meetings are horrible! I feel so small, attacked from all sides, not respected, and constantly under pressure."

Steven, a brilliant manager in an exposed position, told me about this reality in one of our sessions.

He talks about those situations where you wonder what you did to deserve this. Where you don't understand what's at stake. Where you've tried everything, but nothing seems to help. And then comes the following: "What am I doing wrong?"

We're talking about those highly emotional situations, made of tensions and opposing views, and where communication doesn't flow. These situations put you flat, leaving you annoyed, frustrated, hyper-stressed, or even depressed with this unpleasant impression of powerlessness and being at the mercy of events.

What if this could radically change and even transform your leadership?

The traditional recommendations

The psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, through the method of Non-Violent Communication (NVC), has given essential keys:

  1. First, observe without judgment. Get the facts. A fantastic way to take a step back through observation (see The five secrets of success and happiness at work). Example: "You are shouting and slamming your fist on the table."

  2. Next, clarify your feelings: "I feel lousy because I feel like I'm doing everything wrong."

  3. Then, define what you need: "I need respect."

  4. Finally, formulate your request: "Can we have a calm dialogue?"

Schematically, it is about clearly expressing my needs by highlighting their fact-based reasons and finding their roots in my emotions.

What if challenging meetings could become more comfortable? Credit: wix

The limits of Non-Violent Communication

If such an approach promotes understanding and dialogue and helps you set certain boundaries, it also presents several limitations:

  • Do you want to admit to your boss you feel so small? In this world where vulnerability has yet to find its place at work? There is vulnerability and vulnerability: use it to your advantage. It's one thing to say, "Help me understand." It's another to say, "I feel like crap."

  • Do you want to have to repeat this speech in every similar situation that arises? In other words, will the next person who yells put you in the same state of deep self-questioning? Probably.

  • Does it make sense to consider you are the root of the problem? Is it up to you to deal with these hot-tempered, judgmental, or hyper-controlling individuals? In other words, do you want to bear on your shoulders the shortcomings of all your interlocutors?

Another enlightening reading key

What if all this had nothing to do with you?

  • What if the person criticizing lacks self-confidence and needs to "stand above" to feel better?

  • What if the person who's angry is masking their fears behind their yelling?

  • What if the one who says "no" and resists is simply hiding their worries too?

In reality, your interlocutor is pressing an "old button" in you: your fear of not being good enough, your fear of not pleasing, or even your deep need for recognition, etc.

In other words, what would change in such interactions if your value was never at stake again? I ask this question to almost all my coachees. And the answer is, quite consistently, "EVERYTHING!"

A transformed and more impactful communication

Of course, it changes everything! When your view of yourself is solid (and realistic), you no longer need Non-Violent Communication to defend yourself as best you can in the face of others' wounds. Better yet, you can investigate what's happening in front of you! Put words to the other person's fears and needs by asking openly and confidently. That's how to boost your communication!

This is also how you develop your "coaching" leadership style, a style so necessary in today's complex world!

What would change in your communication if your value was never at stake again?

Let's bet, finally, to take up a basic idea of Rosenberg, that your capacity to enter into empathy is greatly favored as soon as you're no longer at the mercy of your own "wounds."

And how do we do that?

Once you realize that the solution is in your hands, it's up to you to work on yourself. Recognizing that your emotions echo a situation you probably experienced, even far in the past, is a critical first step. Seeing then that you tend to reproduce it again and again because it has become familiar is the second. You then have to make a better strategy familiar.

Here, I could tell you to stick post-its on your fridge, reminding you that you are a good person. Then ask you to repeat it to yourself over and over again. But if you read this blog, you know the limits of willpower to change your habits.

What if you hit a roadblock? Here's the fast track

We are not rational animals: 95% of the time, we operate on the emotional, our old programs, the unconscious, and its mysteries. Working with the conscious and the rational can undoubtedly help. But if "how-to books" worked, we would stop writing them, right?

If you take your boss's yelling, lack of recognition, coldness, or criticism personally, consider investigating where this habit comes from. And do it by attacking the 95% of your functioning: your automatisms, patterns, and unconscious reflexes. Hypnosis has the advantage over other approaches of giving you access to this part of your brain. This state of relaxation and concentration allows you to access these hidden treasures.

In a nutshell,

Non-violent communication is an excellent crutch for delicate situations and is a first step towards respecting yourself and your needs. However, it has limitations because it doesn't address the root cause of the problem. Not feeling respected if someone arrives late can be transformed! Feeling very small if someone yells at you too! It is in your hands, and it is called self-esteem! What if you worked more on this lever than looking for ways to counter what you perceive as personal attacks?

What if you could finally stop taking the shortcomings and even dysfunctions of others personally?

What if, during these exchanges, you could help them move forward and understand, for example, the fear they hide behind anger or resistance?

So, tell me, what would that change if your value was never at stake at work ever again?

Have a great week!


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