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Difference, Conflict & Love: How Family Can Lead Us Home

The article, Difference, Conflict & Love: How Family Can Lead Us Home by Kathy Eckles was published April 2016 on Public Conversations Project blog. In the article, Eckles shares some of her family’s history regarding dialogue and the desire growing up to have had other alternatives communication with her family, especially when it came to harder issues. She gives 3 steps for improving communication skills with family, even when differences and conflict arise.

Below is an excerpt from the article and you can find the original in full on Public Conversations Project blog here.

From Public Conversations Project…

3 Steps to Improved Communication Skills

Step 1: Build Emotional Sturdiness
Stretch your comfort zone. Break old patterns. Say ‘yes’ to opportunities. Learn new things. Build trust in yourself as you strengthen your emotional capacity to listen, speak, create, succeed, fail, give, receive, lead. There will be moments of awkwardness, but you’ll survive them and, with humility and good-heartedness, they can even be endearing. You’ll likely wish for a few ‘do-overs,’ too, but you will grow.Step one: live your life beyond what you already know.

Step 2: Understand Self & Others
Ask why do I do what I do? What motivates each of us to be so different in how we communicate, lead and interact in relationships? What are my gifts and challenges? How can I be more accepting of myself and others? How might acceptance, appreciation and knowing more about how to meet people where they are impact our relationships at home and at work? Would we be happier and more productive? One of my favorite resources is the Enneagram. It’s helped me be more compassionate, appreciate differences, and relate more effectively. Step two: know thyself. Appreciate. Diversify. Respond, not react. Communicate in ways that make sense to the receiver.

Step 3: Develop Communication Skills
…Expand your conversation toolkit beyond news, sports, weather and the 140 character comment to include how to: listen and ask genuine questions to have a conversation that’s rich with curiosity and connection; unlock stuck conversations through mutual understanding; feel more grounded in your own voice; communicate across different cultures, personalities and contexts, and develop everyday tools to resolve or transform conflict. Step three: expand your quality communication skills. Practice every day.

This is an excerpt from the article, to find it in full, go to Public Conversations Project’s site.

About Public Conversations ProjectPCP_logo
Public Conversations Project fosters constructive conversation where there is conflict driven by differences in identity, beliefs, and values. We work locally, nationally, and globally to provide dialogue facilitation, training, consultation, and coaching. We help groups reduce stereotyping and polarization while deepening trust and collaboration and strengthening communities.

Follow on Twitter: @pconversations

Resource Link: www.publicconversations.org/blog/difference-conflict-love-how-family-can-lead-us-home

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