One of the speakers on Peace Week at the Shift Network was Miki Kashtan, co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication. She gave us a simple 3-step practice to use when faced with conflict. These are the notes I took during the call.
Example, Have judgment of someone – they are reckless, abusive, . . .Judgment causes a distance, disconnect between us, so
Step One: get grounded in what is most important to us, has deepest meaning. Judgments tell us something, give us information, not about other, but about ourselves – what we most value. So if judge person as non-collaborative, means I deeply value collaboration. If judge abusive, value acting with care. If think unconscious in wasting resources, I value conscious use of resources. Get grounded in that, to give self fuel, to connect with other person.
Step Two: Ask myself: What might be leading another human being to act in way that is so difficult for me? Why are they doing this? What is their fundamental need that is leading them to take this action? Then, when recognize, they become human and I am so much more able to connect across the divide of our difference. Then, I will be more likely to approach in love rather than hate, and they are much more willing to be able to hear, rather than being distant, defensive, self protective. The more you are able to do that internally, the more it will affect interactions and relationships with others in positive way. Can say things in sense that shows I care about what matters to them too, not just what matters to me. Start envisioning policies, practices that support world that works for everyone. Consider, “what can be done, from smallest scale to largest (creating peace), that takes care of everyone, even those I oppose”?
Step Three: Choose, based on that, how I want to respond to the situation.
Other Comments, Questions:
Been thinking a lot about power. I am person in power. Regardless of how much I intend to share power, many people give their power away. Found more I can encourage people to say “no” to me, more I am sharing power.
If I define power as ability to make something happen, to mobilize resources – then everyone needs power. Depends on how define power.
Another example – stopped conversation because not enough love in room. Either, shift, make empathic shift, or, realize gone as far as can, for now – let it go – come back later. Takes time, step by step, day by day.
Reconciliation? Beyond forgiveness (some notion of person being wrong) – this dissolves the separation between us – completely reminds us of our shared humanity, so can reconcile. For true healing, need to be heard by them, or another, fully, about pain I have suffered.
Someone who triggers anger – how deal with?
If want to focus on anger, get in touch with value underneath anger and keep bringing self back to that value, need, then you are more able to connect with self and soften what is happening.
If judging self for being judgmental – then, can do the same thing – why are you doing that, because you care so much for peace? Then, bring your attention to that, and again, it softens.