Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

The cool thing about expressing what you want and being open to hear what’s up for the other party, is that you’re actually owning up to your needs and your experience of whether they’re being met. It’s about you validating yourself. You’re accepting and honoring your truth, whether other people get you or not. And the fun part is that in this stage of emotional liberation, there are no demands. There is just the acknowledgment “Hey, this is what’s going on for me. This is how I think you can enrich my life. How would that be for you?” Just like you would listen to the special needs of your bougainvillea. And in this happy space of offering your needs as beautiful and precious you open up to options that you never considered before.

I haven’t come from this place too often. Usually I demand that the other party validates my needs, because I carry so much shame for having them. I wished that acceptance, belonging, love weren’t that important to me. I wished I could do without them. And if not, my god, I wished I didn’t need to ask your help supporting them. And if I do, you have to say ‘yes’, because a ‘no’ would confirm that there is indeed something wrong with me. Like fundamentally wrong.  A ‘no’ is not a message about what’s going on for you, but a reflection of me.

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This time it’s different. I notice that I completely accept my need for appreciation and to be seen for my contribution and commitment.  Very matter of factly. ‘Yup, that’s me. I flourish most if these needs are met. Yup. Isn’t it wonderful?’ The self-acceptance allows a curiosity about what’s up for them. ‘Wow, that’s fantastic. Is that how you see the world? Is that how you would thrive? Wow.’ The openhearted curiosity invites a profound understanding. ‘Ah, yeah, I understand your experience, if you see the world from that perspective through these glasses. Now, take a look through my glasses and look at the same situation from my perspective. You understand that I don’t receive my salary as meeting my needs for appreciation through my glasses of habitual thoughts of not-mattering? Makes sense, hey?’ And the understanding invites a spontaneous desire to support all needs.

And maybe for the first time in my life, I understand, own, and accept that my experience in the world is determined by the glasses I wear. And, even better, that I am not my glasses. That I can take them off and put on other glasses. Or no glasses at all. Just as I chose. Just a perspective. Nothing more. I am WAY bigger than that.

Pretty cool, hey, for spring?


You want help to validate your own needs? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary, discovery session to see if and how I can help.

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