Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

When you wished your partner, sibling, co-worker had shown up differently, don’t complain.

Start with appreciation.

What did they say or do that contributed to your needs? How did they enrich your well-being?

You wonder how this helps getting your complaint across?

Your complaints isn’t the only thing happening.

If you start with your complaint you’re missing the big picture. Some of your needs are met, and some of your needs are unmet. Both are happening at the same time. It is about seeing the positive and the negative in your partner. It is acknowledging that they are more than their actions. Even if those actions triggered pain in you, their failure might not be intentional. It might be the consequence of their own overwhelm, ignorance or deficit of needs. Starting with appreciation, helps convey to your partner that their human needs matter, as much as yours. When you start with appreciation, you acknowledge the needs being met and you empower your partner to support from a place of “We”.

Beginning Anew is about building relationships.

In this safe environment, your partner can hear your complaint as an invitation to connect and understand. It establishes trust that your complaint is not a rejection of them, nor an expression of their wrongdoing. Neither is it about shaming and proving your moral superiority. Nor is it a license to blow up and get your frustration off your chest, without considering the needs of your partner.

Beginning Anew is the start of a learning cycle.

You express what worked for you, before you express what didn’t work for you. You share the idiosyncratic manual of your well-being, without demand-energy or blame. Just facts of life: this apparently works for me, this apparently doesn’t work for me. When you start with appreciation, it is easier for your partner to listen. We learn best when we feel safe and have a sense of unconditional acceptance of our basic human goodness. Our brain relaxes, we let our defenses down and our pre-frontal cortex can receive the information necessary to learn and better serve all needs.

If you want your complaint to be heard, start with appreciation. Sincere appreciation that comes from your heart. Pretty sure your complaint will be heard.

You want help to Begin Anew? Contact me for a free, discovery session, 512-589-0482.

THANKS, DAVID! Thank you for editing this post and adding your idea that beginning anew is about seeing the big picture. I think it helped clarify my point. Love, your weiffie, Elly.

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