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The art of collaboration




Energy Flows Where Attention Goes‌

Unity in the community

Two Visions = Division

What do you stand for? The Chinese symbol for “Crisis” is composed of the following two words superimposed: Danger and Opportunity. At the heart of conflict, you might notice that it is often a surprisingly neutral space to contemplate. Have you noticed how conflict quickly teaches us what we don’t want, so we can then focus on what we do want? Conflict educates us. Many old adages and spiritual teachings speak of “turning the other cheek.” Byron Katie says, “When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.” It is so easy to get stuck arguing with, and focusing on, what we don’t want, and then, we simply lose our way. I believe that a number of our human “failures” might be best categorized as “feedback.” We can make use of this information to better understand what we actually want as a global community. I know a lot of us wonder whether or not we are a part of the problem, if we are not an active part of the solution. Only you know what you are willing to put up with and only you can consciously place your attention onto what’s best for you. I prefer to “turn the other cheek,” away from negativity, stand for Unity in the Community and Teach Peace. Please share this book in an effort to do so…

May You Find Your “Conversation Peace” ~Dr. Jody Janati



CHOOSING A COLLABORATIVE RESPONSE DEMONSTRATES ● You can disagree using a straightforward statement. "I don't agree with your understanding of… “ ● You can identify the use of a statement that is not relevant to the conversation. "That's not the point…" ● You can reword negative labels by reframing them into positive words. "I am not being childish; I’m merely stating my view." ● You can repeat your main point until it is heard without anger. ● You can ask questions for clarification if you are not comfortable with a point. "How do you see me as childish or selfish?" ● You can state your feelings by using "I" statements that reflect your opinion about the situation. "I really feel this is important!" ● You can pursue your best interests without denying another’s interests/needs/wants. ● You can say "NO" directly.

You can separate the person from the problem. ● You can focus on shared interests, “what do we both want/need?” ● You can generate options to solve problems. ● You can stick to the facts and show little to no negative emotion. ● You use “I” statements before “You” statements, “I feel uncomfortable when you use that language…” ● You can pursue your best interests without denying another’s rights and interests. ● You can separate the person from the problem. ● You can focus on shared interests, “what do we both want/need?” ● You can generate options to solve problems. ● You can stick to the facts. ● You can show little to no emotion during an interaction. ● You can choose “I” statements before “You” statements, “I feel uncomfortable when you use that language…” ● You consider yourself a piece of the peace. ●



COLLABORATIVE RESPONSES THAT MINIMIZE RESISTANCE “I disagree with what you did, not with who you are.” “Help me understand…” “It is not you against me; it is us against the problem.” “Let’s not do this – this won’t help the situation.” “I’m not sure I agree with your understanding of ___, please tell me more.”

“In my experience. . .” [can anyone argue with your experience?] Limit your use of the words, “never, always, but, actually, the truth is, and unfortunately.

Avoid trapping others with statements ending in YOU. “You’re going to finish that project tonight aren’t YOU?”

“That just doesn’t sound like something you would say and I am confused as to how I should respond.” “I don’t want to do this with you, we are both better than this behavior.”

“I can see how upset you are with me; I hope you know how much I value working with you.” “It’s hard for me to admit that I’m wrong; thank you for helping me through this misunderstanding.”

“I can assure you we have similar goals.” “I am at a loss; I have no idea what to do right now except to tell you that I want us to get along.”

“I noticed” – This is not an evaluation message, but rather a descriptive one, “I noticed you have been leaving work early this week.” “I understand why you need to leave when I get tense; I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to experience me like that.”

“It sounds like you have been through a lot; I will keep good thoughts for you.” “Maybe we should just be/work together without talking for awhile.”

“I understand how you might see it that way and you may be right; I guess I didn’t experience it like that.” “We are on the same side.”

COLLABORATIVE RESPONSES THAT MOVE TO A POSITIVE CONTEXT Replace “no” with “yes” – “Yes, you can go on break, as soon as Mina gets back from hers.”

“I disagree with what you did/said, not with who you are; it isn’t you against me; it’s us against this issue and we are in this together.” “I didn’t intend to imply that everything was your fault; I know we were both responsible for what happened.” “Please don’t give up on me; we are a team and we need to stick together.”

When an insult is hurled your way, thank them for caring, “I am glad to see you are upset about this because it shows that you care about this project.”

Offer a partial “recording” of the conversation – repeat what they said, by paraphrasing their words in a new tone. “Yes, I have been late every Tuesday to the 9am meeting…”

Turn complaining [what they do] into asking [what you want them to do], “She is unprofessional” turns into, “I would like her to refrain from making personal calls at work.” ”We Don’t See Things as They Are; We See Things as We Are” ~Anais Nin

“Understand before trying to be understood� ~Stephen Covey

COLLABORATIVE RESPONSES THAT HELP YOU DETACH FROM THE DRAMA “I understand how you might see it that way and it may be true; I just don’t feel like it happened like that.”

“You might be right.” “That could be how it occurred for you, however...” “That’s too bad you see it that way.” “Please know I hear and understand you.” “You could have a point there.” “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.” “I am sorry you feel things aren’t going the way you would like.”

“Yes, that’s one opinion.” “I guess we all experience things differently.” “My understanding of the situation is a bit different.”

“Tact is the Art of Making a Point Without Making an Enemy” ~Isaac Newton

Notice How “Opportunity is NOWHERE” Becomes “Opportunity is NOW HERE”

COLLABORATIVE RESPONSES THAT REDUCE URGENCY & HELP YOU DEFER YOUR RESPONSE “Please know I need some time to sort out what is going on between us and I will talk to you about it when I am ready.” “Let’s stop what we are doing to one another right now and work on calming down.”

“Why don’t we think about our conversation, cool off and talk about it again later.” Ask people to put their complaints in writing to sort out the complaints from the real problems.

“We seem to be stuck at the moment; can we try this again tomorrow/later?”

“You gave me a lot to think about; you’ll get my answer in the morning.” “You bring up an interesting sub point; let’s take it offline and address it one on one after the meeting.” “Let’s come back to this one.”

“Control Your Emotions or They Will Control You” ~Chinese Proverb

COLLABORATIVE RESPONSES THAT REROUTE THE CONVERSATION WITH A QUESTION Ask a question regarding a consequence of their behavior, “what happens if we don’t order the parts by Friday?” Name their game, “you wouldn’t be trying to kick me off of this copier would you?” “Rather than complaining about my behavior, will you tell me what you’d like me to do?”

“Are you asking me if xyz?” “You seem to know a lot about the situation; do you have any practical solutions to the issues you are raising?” “I want us to get along; what can I say or do to make it right with you right now?”

What is the Best Vitamin for a “Drama Free� person?


We are all “response–able”

COLLABORATIVE RESPONSES THAT FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION “Next time” demonstrates how to behave towards expectations, “Next time I would appreciate it if you would tell someone when you need to leave work early.” Acknowledge the problem and move to the solution “Thank you for sharing and I understand what you are saying; NOW we need to...” Avoid saying you can’t, “Let me see what I can do; It looks like we have a few options here…”

“I feel ___When you ___Because ___What I need is ___ Are you able to work with me on this?” “How are you going to resolve this issue?” “When do you expect to resolve this matter?”

“When should I expect this to be done?” “How can we change this?” “Will you see that this gets accomplished?” “How can you best handle this?” “What would you like to do about that?” “How do you think we should approach this in the future so we don’t end up arguing about it again?”

Focus on problems created when rules are broken and state what you’d prefer, “When you use sarcasm with me and are short with me, our trust diminishes; I would like for us to get along and respect one another.”

Link the cause and the effect, “When you visit with your co-workers your work doesn’t get done.” Use an if/then sequence of speaking, “IF our team is to function in a healthy manner THEN you must keep us informed.” “There is a battle of two wolves inside each of us. One wolf is evil, representing anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, inferiority and ego. The other wolf is good, representing joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth. The wolf that wins, is the one you feed.” ~Native American [Cherokee] Proverb

CREATE CLEAR AWARENESS WITH THE SHAPING METHOD This method allows you to tow a line with someone without telling them what to do, causing little resistance. Step 1 Tell them what they did [address it immediately and speak with little to no emotion]

Step 2 Tell them how it made you feel -or- State a consequence of their behavior Step 3 Tell them you, “thought they should know; wanted to bring it to their attention; needed to tell them; wanted to put it on their radar; wanted them to be aware of how you feel…” [awareness]

COLLABORATIVE SHAPING METHOD EXAMPLE Step 1: I noticed you were talking throughout the 9 o’clock meeting today. Step 2: When you talk during the meeting, I get frustrated that I have to repeat myself so everyone hears me clearly -or- When you talk during the meeting, it makes it difficult for others to hear what I am saying. Step 3: I wanted to point this out to you because we will be having a lot of meetings for this project. [KEY – by not asking them or telling them what to do or how to change, you are simply creating awareness of the issue at hand and allowing the person to make a personal decision and own his/her actions. In the presence of no resistance, most people will feel respected & comply.]


Collaborative way to deliver difficult messages with tact GOAL: To explain a situation or a concise point of view/action STAR: incorporates the following four elements: Situation:

Set up the situation by describing the context [be brief and address who, where, what, when, why and how]


Describe the task you had to accomplish or the problem you had to solve


Explain the action/s you took to complete the task or solve the problem


Identify and quantify the result of your efforts; explain the outcome

NOTE: The STAR method works well for answering job/interview questions & delivering “bad news�

how to collaboratively honor someone who’s passed GOAL: To celebrate someone’s life, while also consoling those who have been left behind ●

Describe what it was like to experience the person

Capture a reflection of what makes one’s life meaningful in general

Share a memory of the departed

Acknowledge the mourners and their feelings

Help the listeners make sense of the person’s life, by mentioning some of their accomplishments

Focus on who they were, not on your feelings

Highlight their values by talking about what they stood for and represented during their lifetime


Ask them to meet with you by inviting them for a specific meeting. “Can I speak with you after the 2 o’clock meeting?” Be sure to offer them at least 10 minutes between the greeting and the meeting.

Step 2 - C

Clear concise statements are best; state the issue at hand in 10-15 words or less. “You have been late 3 times this week.” “Ok kids, you have 5 minutes to pick out your books before bed.” “Your behavior at the conference this weekend upset me.”

Step 3 - T

Transfer responsibility onto the person you are confronting by using a statement that sets the confrontation into motion towards a solution.

Note: You will use “you or we” language here so you don’t end up owning their problem. “What can you do to make sure you are on time next week?” “What can we do to ensure this doesn’t happen again?” Talking Points for the ACT Method Transfer statements put accountability into action and make things happen. You will need to be prepared for a few rebuttals, to where you will repeat the transfer statement a number of times. Depending on the emotional level of the interaction, you may need to repeat the transfer statement over 40 times.

Once you receive verbal compliance to step 3 [the transfer statement], you can add a step 4 to include a consequence. Step 4 entails you offering a consequence if they do not comply with what they have just agreed to do, “If you are late two more times to the Tuesday meeting, another project manager will be assigned to the task.”


“I am feeling upset right now but don’t worry, I’m not going to take it out on you. I do need your assistance. Is it a good time to meet?” “I want you to know that I would never speak to you the way you are speaking to me right now.” [be direct and honest because awareness can change behavior] “You don’t have my permission to be in conflict with me right now.” [remember: staying calm and emotionally detached while speaking, allows your words to be heard] “You should know that I am not going to let you continue speaking to me this way and I may need to get up and leave.”

“I’d be happy to help you once we can focus on the issue.”

“I understand you are upset, however, it’s hard for me to find a solution when I am spoken to this way.” “I’d like to make this work but I can’t focus on helping you when you continue to yell at me/act this way.” [describe their behavior = focus on the person’s behavior rather than labeling them as a person]

Give them two options and let them choose their own alternative. [each option is acceptable to you] [Fact] – “When you interrupt me,” [Feeling] – “I feel frustrated that my point goes unheard, [Awareness] “I thought I should bring it to your attention/point it out/make you aware of it.”

Address inappropriate language or behavior with the following responses: “please reconsider what you just said.” “would you like to repeat that?” “what? I’m sure I didn’t hear that right…” “use different language; that is unacceptable.” “what did you just say?” “there must be a reason you said…” “Here’s what I am able to do right now to help with our misunderstanding…”

“I need you to know that even if you don’t agree with me, I feel hurt when you don’t take me seriously.” “Sometimes when you talk to me that way, I feel like nothing.”

“I would like you to hear where I am coming from; it doesn’t mean you have to agree with me.”

Use a “stop” gesture [by holding out your palm] to communicate your intention to disengage from an unhealthy interaction. After a direct confrontation with someone, continue to give them the same treatment you did before the confrontation = don’t ignore them or give them any extra attention.

“If You Are Patient in the Moment of Anger, You Will Escape a Hundred Days of Sorrow” ~Chinese Proverb

L.I.S.T.E.N.I.N.G. L




Let others talk by asking questions and use probes - short, open-ended questions to dig deeper into issues. Use a look that asks, "Then what/How?” Silence can be used to encourage a speaker to continue. “I” statements are crucial; speak from the self, using "I" (I think) statements, rather than speaking for others (we all think) or speaking in a passive tense. “I” statements do not make assumptions about others, or their opinions, and feelings. Summarize – give back a review or summary of what you heard. This helps make sure the communication is accurate and that the main ideas expressed reached you, the listener. Tell them what you heard through paraphrasing. Repeat, in your own words, what the other person has said; the restatement should be factual and not judge them in any way.


Encourage others by asking them, “tell me more about this” or give them a supportive comment like, “good idea” or “I like that approach.”


Nonverbally attend to others - use nonverbal indicators such as leaning forward, nodding your head, and sitting in an open, receptive posture.


Insist on listening without interrupting and then rephrase what you heard them say.


Never interrupt, deny, accuse or defend against the other’s talking points while they are speaking.


Gauge how it might feel, from their perspective, by reflecting and playing back the communication as you heard and felt it. Then, verbalize it for them: “you seem to feel very strongly about that.”


Express your anger in a healthy way: Speak in a matter of fact tone, with little to no expression of emotion, “I am angry” just like, “I am hungry” or, “I am tired.” [ask yourself, “when I am hungry I don’t chew on my arm, so why would I yell/hit something when feeling angry?] Be authentic and state aloud, “I am angry, not sure what I am capable of doing/saying right now and I need to stop this discussion to keep it healthy.” Mindfully remove yourself from the direct area of the tense interaction.

Exhale and imagine the anger leaving your body as you count to 100.





Acknowledge the person’s feelings by stating what you see/feel: “you are really upset.” Note aloud what they said by paraphrasing them: “so, you are angry because I have been late for our last two team meetings?” Gauge the intensity/importance of the issue: “is this something new or have you been concerned about this for awhile? Engage in solutions to the problem being presented to you: “ok, the next time I am late you immediately text me; If I am late again I will type up the minutes and then you won’t have to do that.” Remind them of your relationship intentions in a positive way: “I am sorry for upsetting you because I really enjoy working with you and hope we will continue to collaborate on future projects.”



▪“I am feeling overwhelmed because everyone seems to be talking at once.” ▪“I need you to hear what I am saying so we all understand the task before us.”

▪Respond to Emotions with a Feeling/Need Sequence “So you are feeling anxious about the move… and need to know more about how it will be conducted?” ▪Offer Praise with a Feeling/Need Sequence Tell the person what they did specifically, how it made you feel and what need it met for you. “I noticed you traded toys with your sister and it made me feel very proud of you because we value [need] sharing in this family.”

▪Solve a Problem with a Feeling/Need Sequence “Can we back up for a minute? I feel confused about what we are doing and… need to understand it from a big picture point of view first.” ▪Respond to another’s Anger with a Feeling/Need Sequence “I can see you are feeling deceived and… need to know what was specifically said in your absence.”

▪Compromise with a Feeling/Need Sequence “I am feeling stuck on this issue and… need to know you are committed to attending these meetings. Can you agree to email me when you know you are going to be absent?” ▪Ask for What You Want with a Feeling/Need Sequence “I feel confident about my decision to change jobs and … need to know what you need to make this work for our family.

COLLABORATIVE RESPONSE THAT SAYS “NO” DIRECTLY Step 1: Acknowledge the other’s Feelings “I can see you are excited about your new job selling insurance and that it is going well for you.” Step 2: State Your Position “I am happy with my current insurance provider and am not interested in changing providers at this time.” Step 3: Say No “So thank you so much for thinking of me and no, I am not interested in purchasing insurance from you right now.”

COLLABORATIVE RESPONSE WITH A MESSAGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY: PUT IT IN THE PAST Collaborative communication contains a tone of accountability that stops the blame and neutralizes the issue/problem. In other words, Accountability = Ownership. Following are the components needed when constructing an accountable and drama free message, which allows you to put an issue in the “PAST…” “We Are Always One Choice Away From Creating a Completely Different Life”


Be sure to include a Polite and Professional introduction and maintain this tone throughout the interaction. “I hope this email finds you well. I have been thinking about you since our last interaction.”


Be willing to Apologize for anything in which you are responsible, verbally Agree with one or more of their talking points, and find a quality or behavior of theirs you can Appreciate and Admire it aloud. “I have come to realize it was wrong of me to talk poorly about our work processes to anyone other than our team and I apologize for doing so. Please know I realize how much time you put into these projects and appreciate your hard work.”


Tell them how you intend to/plan to Solve the issue at hand or ask them directly what can be done to resolve it. “Next time I will…” “How would you like me to handle discrepancies with our work orders as we move forward?”


Thank them for the opportunity to meet/communicate and Target a positive interpersonal message. “Thank you for hearing me out; I am glad we discussed this issue because I enjoy working with you and want to ensure we are on the same page.

Peace of heart “People Don’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care” ~Theodore Roosevelt

More PEACE points…

Detach & Confirm Goal: To defuse blame and communicate support at the same time. Example: “I am not responsible for how you feel/what you did, and please know I want it to work out for you.” Agreeably Disagree Goal: To confirm someone even when you might not agree with what they are saying. Example: “I know that’s right for you; I can feel that.”

Find your “conversation peace” Willingness to Change Goal: To communicate you are flexible and cooperative Example: “You have given me a lot to think about and I agree I could work on that more.”

Try it Again Goal: To focus on corrective action & a solution, rather than the problem. Examples: “Maybe we could try it this way now.” “Let’s do it again.” “Can we attempt that one more time?”

Listen and silent consist of the same letters Establish Agreement First Goal: To communicate your solutions based intention before the problem. Example: “I think we can both agree that we don’t want our misunderstanding to continue to interfere with the entire group.”

“You” Verses “We” Goal: To set the tone of collaboration. People who use “we” statements imply the issue is the responsibility of both the speaker and the receiver. Example: Responsible Tone: “We have a problem; We can’t talk about the kids without fighting; We need to speak to her about the lack of participation.” Less Responsible Tone: “You are creating a problem; You are unable to talk about the kids without getting upset; You need to speak…” Problem to Solution Goal: To focus your response on the issue, rather than the person, and offer a solution to the problem. Examples: “You seem to be drinking a lot tonight; how about I take your son for a sleep over at my house?” “I noticed you removed yourself from your seat; how about we have you sit in the back?” “It appears as though you might become emotional; could we talk about this later?”

With/On & With/To Teaming Goal: To ensure your message is collaborative and communicates cooperation around an issue. Examples: “I would be happy to work with you on this problem.” “I want to work with your department to ensure a positive outcome.” If/Then Statements Goal: To offer an informative suggestion instead of making a demand. Example: Instead of saying, “You should clean the garage,” say, “If we had a cleaner garage we could fit extra boxes in there.”

Discuss Acceptable Action Goal: To shape undesirable behavior towards more appropriate action by letting the other person offer the correct response. Examples: Coach children: “How are you supposed to ask? “What have I asked you to do when I’m talking and you need something? “What does the policy state in the employee handbook?” “How might we/you better comply with this policy?”

Perception Checking Goal: To save face for someone while addressing and issue squarely. Examples: Describe the behavior you have seen and offer 2 to 3 interpretations of what you witnessed; then ask for clarification: “I noticed you rolled your eyes at me in the meeting this morning; did you have a question about the new procedure; did I misread what you were saying or was it related to something else? Am I reading you correctly?” Address the Reason “Why” Goal: To broaden awareness and understanding of one’s impact [behavior] on a group. Example: “You were late to the team meeting again this week [behavior] and the reason I would like to discuss this with you is that when you are late, it disrupts the speaker and we are put in a position where we have to repeat what you’ve missed.” Less Responsible Tone: “You are creating a problem; You are unable to talk about the kids without getting upset; You need to speak…”

State Your Interest Goal: To make your intention known right away by speaking from the context of the interest. Examples: “I am interested in how you were feeling during the team meeting today.” “I think it is in your best interest to…”

“Anger is one letter short of danger” Observe and Resolve Goal: To deliver bad news in a neutral and constructive fashion. Examples: “I observed you raising your voice at her in the meeting this morning and would like to encourage you to discuss our group’s overall intention to work well with her on this project.” “I noticed you left work again early last night; what can we do to ensure you stay until 5pm today?”

Replace Can’t with Can Goal: To limit the resistance during interactions and demonstrate a positive attitude. Examples: “Let’s see what I can do.” “We can work it out.” “You can leave once we finish this report.” Repeat the Solution Goal: To counter arguing and rebuttals in a non-defensive way while remaining consistent. Example: With each rebuttal and excuse you receive, respond by paraphrasing the solution again and again, “Your report is late again this week and I need to know if you are able to get it in on time next week; what can we do to ensure it doesn’t happen again; is there anything you might do differently to make sure you are on track this week; what are you willing to commit to?”

Point to Positive Behavior Goal: To verbally recognize others when they do well, help out, cooperate, or make a contribution. Examples: “I like the way you handled that.” “Your desk looks great today!” “I knew I could count on you to help.” “It seemed much easier for you this time.” “You did much better today!”

Demonstrate Potential Choices Goal: To ensure there are choices, which allows for disagreement or agreement - To generate discussion and empower others to share their opinion. Examples: “Here are some options; what do you think?” “Would you rather we focus on x or y?” Positive Forecasting and Predicting Goal: To communicate your confidence in others by framing future action in a positive context. Examples: “I know you will get this done by Friday,” rather than “you must” or “you have to…” “We will/can work to stay focused on our goals.”

“It” Verses “I” Goal: To demonstrate ownership and responsibility for a message you communicate to others. Example: Responsible Tone, “I feel irritated when you are late; I’m glad I ran into you; I’m a bit confused; I am bored.” Less Responsible Tone, “It bothers me when you’re late; it’s nice to see you; it’s confusing; it’s a boring afternoon.” Agree and Solve Goal: To work through a potential conflict with ease. Example: Address a complaint with, “Yes, I too noticed we have a lot of extra plastic containers in the kitchen, overwhelming the space; I will go through them this weekend.” Tone Shaper Goal: To create awareness and a boundary around the use of an inappropriate tone. Example: “I understand what you are saying and that you are frustrated and ask that you please rethink the tone you are using with me.”

Use Presumptive Questioning Goal: To imply what you are asking is possible/true and to encourage positive group discussion and welcome active, solutions based feedback. Examples: “Who can provide an example of…?” [implies it is already occurring]. “What did we learn from this?” [implies something was learned].“Who would like to help me with this?” [implies someone is willing to help]

“I’m figuring it out…”


You Pick Goal: To offer two or three possible options, which allows another to have a suggestion, choice and/or make a decision. Example: “What do you think; should we go ahead and order those today, wait until we have everything more organized or meet again to further discuss our decision?

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Delegate Responsibility Goal: To model/communicate teamwork and shared responsibility. Examples: “Can you call her and then email me and we will set up a time to meet?” “Before we discuss this further, let’s both think of some…” Next Time Goal: To effectively coach someone through an error. Examples: “I would appreciate if next time you would knock first before coming into my office.” “Next time let’s go over the agenda before we meet with the team.”


REACTIVE & CREATIVE Consist of the same letters

Will you REACT [cause & effect] -orCREATE [cause the effect]

The flip side… Let’s look at Why collaboration is so important…


The Choice to Use Passive Responses Says That You ●

Allow others to violate your rights

Don’t openly participate or share your thoughts & ideas

Don’t want to deal with the issue/s at hand

Always stick to the middle-of-the-road, refraining from taking a stand ●

Allow others to make decisions for you

Keep your voice low and/or avoid eye contact to keep from calling attention to yourself ●

Agree with others despite your real feelings

Bring harm/inconvenience to yourself to avoid harming/inconveniencing others ●

Consider yourself less knowledgeable or less capable than others ●

Points to Ponder Before Choosing a Passive Response Rejecting someone and/or ignoring them, is still a reaction. ●

Saying nothing is not equal to “saying nothing;” it is actually equal to “agreeing” with a behavior you don’t like. Silence is Compliance! ●

When you don’t take care of your business, you actually force someone else to have to take care of it for you. ●

People are a lot stronger than you think.

Consequences of Passive Responses

Your input will not be asked for or considered

when decisions are made.

Group issues will fester and this will create a

cautious climate for all members.

Decisions will be made for you by default with

no real consideration of your needs/wants/interests.

Anger is one letter short of Danger

Points to Ponder Before Choosing an Aggressive Response Aggression causes fear and when others are in fear, it cancels their intellect and they cannot help you. ●

Expressing disgust, anger, etc. is an emotional expression and people will only hear the emotion and not the words you are using to ask for help/service. ●

Argument is simply “reason giving;” you’re trying to convince others of your side of the issue and that you are right and they are wrong. You make claims and back them up. On the receiving end, it feels like you want them to recognize the rightness of your beliefs or actions and don’t want to find a resolution. ●

Can you be kind rather than right? It is easier to communicate when someone doesn’t have to be right. ●


The Choice to Use Aggressive Behavior as a Response to Others, Says, in Effect, That You ●

Think it is ok to violate the rights of others

Interrupt others when they are speaking

Try to impose your position on others

Often make decisions for others

Threaten, accuse, blame and find fault with others

Bring harm or cause inconvenience to others

Consider yourself stronger and more capable than others

Accept responsibility & positions of authority for the sole purpose of manipulation, power or a means of controlling others ●

Consequences of Aggressive Responses You will receive little to no feedback from others when you ask for their input. ●

There will be reduced synergy or learning in a group because you will be the only “expert.” ●

You will be surrounded by “yes” people who won’t offer valuable ideas. ●

You can expect a feeling of low empowerment from those who work with you. ●


The Choice to Use Passive/Aggressive Behavior as a Response to Others, Says, in Effect, That You Will not be straight with others and you are ok with offering mixed messages about what you want. [This will keep others on edge, which solves nothing.] ● Don’t participate and share thoughts when it is appropriate [in a meeting], but become very vocal when the issue can no longer be addressed [in the lunch room or later with one or two people.] ● Deny people an opportunity to deal with the issue/s at hand in an authentic way, since opinions not expressed openly are difficult to deal with openly. ● Whisper or exclude some people from hearing your point of view; or make side comments that all cannot hear and no one can respond to since the comments were not addressed to the entire group. ●

Consequences of Passive/Aggressive Responses

People will experience you as sneaky and/or snide.

There will be a lack of trust or a lack of values expressed in your presence. ●

When the people around you can’t trust you, it will result in a cynical group climate. ●

People may experience you as dramatic and someone who thrives in conflict. ●

Others will choose to have a surface level relationship with you. ●

Points to Ponder Before Choosing a Passive/Aggressive Response

When people get accustomed to clear communication, they trust you more and test you less. A passive/aggressive response doesn’t allow for clear communication. ●

When you allow yourself to feel guilty about a situation you will most likely get stuck and think you don’t have to do anything to correct it. ●

I have to… I choose to… I get to… PERSPECTIVE CHANGES EVERYTHING

Let’s Create a “MASTERPEACE”

Dr. Jody Janati | 651.210.2246

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