Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

I am not a big fan of the word ‘ego’. I find the term too judgmental. I associate it with being egoistic, which I hear as rejection. I don’t want to be egoistic, and I certainly don’t want to be seen as such by others.

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I also want more compassion and empathy for the behavior we label as ‘ego’. I want more love, care and understanding for the stuckness and habit energy I now want to change.

And I don’t like the black and white thinking implicit in the term. “My ego gets in the way of my true self. If I let go of my ego, then I will live a life of integrity and alignment with my values.” I see our lives and choices as a continuum, not good versus bad.

I much rather use the Mourning and Celebration Process offered by Ike Lasater and John Kinyon to process my regrets and to make new choices. When we empathize with the universal, human needs we were trying to support with the behavior we call ‘ego’, we can relax in the beauty and preciousness of these needs, even if our strategies sucked. This appreciation of the needs we were trying to meet, allows us to empathize with the needs we did meet with these choices.

In this place of mourning needs unmet and celebrating needs met, we can come up with solutions that support all these needs. We can use our understanding and acceptance, to learn from our mourning and celebration.

I went to an event with two friends, where I evaluated their energy and way of showing up as unhelpful. Instead of speaking up, I went quietly into distress and disconnection. This is what the process looked like for me. “Hum, not speaking my truth doesn’t support my need for authentic self-expression, transparency, and connection. It did meet my needs for safety and social acceptance. Shoot… I want all these needs to be supported… Hum.. Let’s just focus on my breath, my physical sensations, my feelings… Hum… I want some forward movement… I want to live in integrity with my values… I long to express truthfully. I want to care, contribute, cultivate compassion… Hum… What can I do to support all those needs?… Maybe I can schedule three empathy calls? To process what triggered me in this event, so I can transform my enemy images and blame into connection, support, and understanding… Yes! Then I can speak my truth with care, compassion, and contribution. Openly and honestly. Then I can be authentic and maintain connection.

It is that simple.

And it takes intention, consciousness, and effort to transform blame, judgment, and evaluation into learning and new choices. I would be honored to help. Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary, discovery session.

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