How do you teach conflict and communication skills? What does it mean to be centered?
In my new book, Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace, a key element in the process is the leader's ability to center herself. As a manager, supervisor, or anyone caught in the middle of two conflicting parties, you must first manage your own mindset and emotions before trying to support others. Then, if you choose, you can coach others in the art and practice of centering.
It's a great concept, isn't it, to choose to be centered? To notice in the moment that you're off balance, and then decide to shift to a more centered state. If you know how you do this--catch yourself and re-center--you can easily coach others. Do you focus on the breath? A positive image? Something bigger than the problem at hand?
There's a centering activity I learned from my first teacher--author, aikidoist and international speaker Thomas Crum. I share it in this video--part 4 of five videos that delve into the content of Turn Enemies Into Allies. The book is a step-by-step guide for coaching coworkers through conflict. The videos are a broad overview of the book and a look at the practices from the martial art aikido that I use to illustrate its concepts.
If you think you might want to improve your own sense of the centered state or teach it to others, watch the video and let me know what you think. Did it help?
Increase Power and Presence
The purpose of the centering activity is to give a physical experience of three things:
- The difference between being centered and uncentered.
- The fact that centering is a personal choice that increases power and presence, and the ability to respond purposefully in the moment.
- The awareness that it doesn't take time to get centered. It takes intention.
The key is to make sure the individual feels the difference between being centered and uncentered, as the experience provides a reference point and physical anchor they can return to at any time.
My next post on April 23 will conclude the release of the five videos with the last one, in which I teach an activity called “The Unbendable Arm” – an aikido practice about the Power of Purpose.
You’ll also find excerpts from Turn Enemies to Allies on my website—judyringer.com.
Meanwhile, enjoy this moment. And have a wonderful day!