Uncomfortable but safe
Many years ago I participated in a high ropes course. My palms were sweaty and I was nervous the entire time. I was way outside my comfort zone but since I was harnessed in, I was safe.
This is what it’s like creating a safe space for difficult conversations. Feeling safe doesn’t remove feelings of discomfort. And feeling uncomfortable doesn’t mean you should avoid the situation. Unfortunately, our society has trained us to confuse comfort for safety.
Part of creating safety during times of heightened emotions and conflict (the two go together like peanut butter and jelly) is fostering a sense of connection. It helps to get clear about the needs of the individuals involved while encouraging everyone to be curious and open minded.
A sense of connection, awareness of everyone’s needs, and an open mind are three of the most important ingredients for effectively navigating misunderstandings.
What steps can you take to ensure these ingredients are present the next time you’re navigating a conflict or misunderstanding?