Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

May 1, 2011

Ki Moments May 2011

Have a Ki Moment.

Smile, take a walk outdoors and breathe fresh air. Say hello to a friend or fellow worker. Laugh. Begin again. Life goes by fast if you don't slow it down.

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Good ki!

Judy Ringer

What Can't You Say?

Is there a difficult conversation you're not holding?

  • Coworker not pulling their weight?
  • Supervisor not holding members of the team accountable?
  • Irritating behavior getting on your nerves?

What stops you from saying what's on your mind? You may know exactly what you want to say, but you don't say it. Instead the problem festers and the associated emotions leak out. You talk to others about the problem, lose sleep, or take refuge in a cold shoulder, sarcasm, or temper tantrum. The longer you hold back, the harder it is to bring it up.

In my conflict workshops, I teach a technique called The Left Hand Column. I ask participants to think about a tough conversation they had or would like to have. They take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle from top to bottom. On the right side of the paper, they write down what they said and what the other person said. In the left column, they write what they were thinking but not saying. For example:

1) What I actually said:

"How do you think the presentation went?"

What I'm thinking but not saying:

"That was awful. How are we going to recover?"

2) What I actually said:

"This is the way the spreadsheet gets formatted."

What I'm thinking but not saying:

"I've already explained this three times!"

The Left Hand Column (LHC) is an awareness tool. We own up to our thinking and then decide if and how we will bring it into the conversation. For example, I probably won't say what's in the LHC verbatim, but with practice and respect I can get important content into the conversation.

Going back to our original examples:

"How do you think the presentation went?" (Wait to hear their view -- maybe they're not happy either.) Then ... "I'm concerned we didn't connect with the audience. They seemed restless. Could we review our goals and explore what went well and what we would do differently next time?"

"Mark, tell me what you remember about how to format spreadsheets. I think we've gone over this, and frankly I'm surprised this is formatted the way it is. I'm wondering what happened."

I love the Left Hand Column and use it often. Whenever I notice I'm holding back, I ask myself: "What do I really want to say?" At first it's rough (the LHC usually is, that's why I don't say it). But when I find the useful purpose behind my thinking, I can find a way to bring my thoughts to the table.

There are lots of benefits. I practice being assertive; I add to the conversation and help build a satisfying solution; I strengthen the relationship; and I sleep better!

For more information on the Left Hand Column, visit the Society for Organizational Learning.

And next time, instead of holding back, hold forth. Have that conversation. With a useful purpose and positive intent, you'll do just fine.

Ki Workshops!

Practice new skills, connect with like-minded learners, and direct your energy in a positive and purposeful direction.

Special tuition fees for alums!

Thursday, May 12, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


Does workplace conflict negatively impact your work environment? Could your own conflict habits benefit from a day of awareness and skill building?

Gain perspective, skills, and practice in conflict management communication, and problem solving strategies for the workplace.
Tuition: $155.00
Location: Portsmouth, NH

Saturday, May 21, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Understand and enhance your influence as a leader. Join Pam McPhee, Judy Ringer and their four-legged friends at beautiful Tuckaway Farm in Lee, NH, for a this hands-on learning experience about leadership, power, and centered presence.

Tuition: $155
This methodology does not require previous horse experience, and does not involve riding.
Location: Tuckaway Farm, Lee, NH

Visit for more training ideas. Or call us to custom design a program for your team or organization.

Your Own Centering Bell

In my workshops, I use a centering bell to help participants practice.

So many people ask me where to find the bell that I created an mp3 file of the sound. You can download and listen to it anytime (no charge!). Just go to the top of any page on my website (

Take a moment now to listen and center yourself.

Contact Information
Judy Ringer
Power & Presence Training
76 Park Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
voice: 603.431.8560

Judy Ringer is Founder of Power & Presence Training, a Portsmouth, NH company specializing in unique workshops to help you and your organization manage conflict, communicate effectively, and co-create a more positive work environment.

E-mail Judy at for a free initial meeting to discuss your training needs. Ki (from Ai-ki-do) is Japanese for life energy. Ki Moments is a complimentary monthly "e-zine" with tips and how-to articles to help you manage the key moments in your life.

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