Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

  • October 9, 2018

    A Failure to Communicate: Part 3--Consider Your Purpose

    A Failure to Communicate: Part 3--Consider Your Purpose

    I titled this post before I started writing it, with the intention of talking about the one piece of a difficult conversation that steers the ship--my purpose for holding it. Then, it occurred to me that the purpose of any conversation is intimately connected to the purpose for my life, my work, my reason for being. For example:

    • Why do I hold certain conversations and not others?
    • What makes this one worthy of my energy and time?
    • How would things unfold if I didn't bring up the issue?
    • What are the consequences of this decision, pro and con?

    A lot goes into the decision for me and, I hope, for you. Because whether and how I express myself, listen, acknowledge you (if I do), and look for mutual ground (or not), says a lot about who I am...

  • September 25, 2018

    A Failure to Communicate: Part 2--Find Your M-C

    A Failure to Communicate: Part 2--Find Your M-C

    Did you happen to read my post earlier this month? When There's a Failure to Communicate: Choose Love can be summed up in this paragraph from the post:

    Let's turn the tide. Change the momentum away from the contest and toward connection and problem-solving; toward learning and seeking to understand what fears and hopes underlie the views of those who think and believe differently from--and may even oppose--us.

    I appreciate the comments I received thanking me for speaking out about choosing love over fear. One reader said, "We haven't heard this voice enough--the voice that speaks for respectful communication. You're not just saying it's a good idea, you're standing up for decent process and respect."

    Decent process and respectful communication can be cultivated and practiced, like any muscle we want to strengthen....

  • September 11, 2018

    When There's a Failure to Communicate: Choose Love

    When There's a Failure to Communicate: Choose Love

    We appear to be taking sides on everything.

    • Immigration
    • Gun control
    • The economy
    • Our schools
    • Workplace and family issues 

    Even Nike commercials. 

    We've stopped talking with each other. And we must find a way to reverse this trend--somehow....

  • August 28, 2018

    Food For Thought: Elevating the Culinary Experience

    Food For Thought: Elevating the Culinary Experience

    I'm happy to tell you about a new book written by my sister, Deborah Rodin. Deb lives in Indianapolis and is an extraordinary combination of professional violinist, gourmet cook, gardener, and--most recently--writer and author. Her book is Food For Thought: Elevating the Culinary Experience.

    The reasons I like the book are many. I love my sister, for starters, and the various expressions of her creativity, passion, and love. Whether she's playing a Mozart sonata or preparing a Walnut Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Icing, she's connected to a source greater than herself. She writes about that connection in Food For Thought, while offering the reader appetizing recipes for dishes she created in her Indianapolis kitchen. The photography by Randy Baughn will make your mouth water...

  • August 14, 2018

    Internal Aikido: Being and Doing

    Internal Aikido: Being and Doing

    The new owner and chief instructor at Portsmouth Aikido, Aaron Cass, gave a seminar at the dojo recently on "Internal Aikido." It was enlightening, and fun. You may say this is what I do, and to some extent you'd be correct. I help individuals and organizations use the aikido metaphor to think and act more purposefully in stressful situations, like conflict. I teach them how to incorporate aikido principles, such as blending and redirecting energy by using words to listen, acknowledge, and express a point of view.

    However, Aaron was teaching something else--specifically  how to carry ourselves physically so that our posture is aligned in a way that allows for efficient and effortless body dynamics.

  • July 31, 2018

    Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Framing

    Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Framing

    I was interviewed last month by Tom Rosenak of Diamond Mind in Evanston, Illinois. Tom helps people engage in transformative conversations in order to strengthen relationships and drive results. You can hear or download our interview, Conflict Transformation and Aikido on the Diamond Mind site.

    Tom's podcasts arrive every couple of weeks, and I highly recommend his interview with Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres on their new book, Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement.

    Jackie and Cheri are internationally known for their work in Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a problem-solving tool introduced in 1987 by David Cooperrider, known for his contributions in the fields of leadership, change management, and organization development. Interestingly, AI solves problems by focusing on the question "What do you want?" and not on the problem, maximizing the power of noticing what is already working rather than on what is broken.

  • July 17, 2018

    Questions in Service of the Asked

    Questions in Service of the Asked

    I first heard the phrase--"questions in service of the asked"--as a participant in a workshop with Essential Partners, originally the Public Conversations Project, in Boston. It took me some time--and a lot of practice--to figure out what it meant and how to do it.

    I've written previously about the power of inquiry, curiosity and discovery, of asking useful questions, and of acknowledging what you hear to make sure the "asked" knows you're listening. After almost 25 years of teaching, coaching, and my own experience in conflict situations (yes, I have them, too), I can still get stuck on what questions to ask. What would help unravel this conflict knot? How can I better see where this person is coming from? What needs to happen here to find resolution?

  • July 3, 2018

    The Freedom to Choose This Moment

    The Freedom to Choose This Moment

    Each year around the fourth of July, I become more thoughtful about freedom -- external, internal, mental, emotional, and psychological -- the freedoms I often overlook in the normal everyday "stuff" of life. For example, two earlier stories from my July 4 ruminations...

    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- about choosing and practicing happiness, even when there seems to be no reason to.

    -and-

    Inner Freedom: Celebrating the Freedoms We Take For Granted -- about the freedoms we have to laugh, smile, breathe, and choose our attitude, even when we can't choose our circumstances.

    How free are you right now? ...

  • June 19, 2018

    Making "I Statements" Easy: A Feeling, A Need, A Request

    Making

    Reading a recent online post, I was struck by the author's thoughts on the "I-statement." She was referring to the sometimes tricky communication technique by which I express to you a need, a feeling, or a request, by putting the responsibility for clarity or understanding on myself, rather than on you. It helps me communicate the impact of your behavior, whether positive or otherwise.

    Think of a recent verbal conflict. Did you make accusations like "You always ___! You never ___! You are such a ___! You make me feel ___!"

    Notice how the focus of those statements is on the other person--the "you" you are facing in the fight. An "I" statement shifts the focus and helps you express what's going on for you, as in, "I'm feeling surprised at your remark. I need to hear more in order to understand what's behind it. I'm asking you to elaborate." Your conflict partner is less likely to feel defensive, when you leave the "you" out. And you're more likely to connect by stating the need behind your feeling.

  • June 5, 2018

    Make That Pit Stop

    Make That Pit Stop

    Race car drivers – make pit stops to go at top speed.  To get top understanding in a conversation — do the same thing.

    Many thanks to Carrol Suzuki (www.listeningbetter.com) for the gift of this post....

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