Set the Stage for Safety
Take time to go through these steps slowly and practice them before you enter a dialogue session. Prepare a safe ground for discussing the topics in which you differ.
Somatic Skills: Find safety within yourself first
- Recognize your distress responses: Notice a contraction/collapse of breath, posture, and attention (“smallify”), which trigger oppositional thinking and acting.
- Practice expansive, centering and grounding skills:
- Breathe (relaxed jaw/loose tongue/soft belly),
- Embody love (think of something/someone that makes your heart smile), and
- Radiate out this sense of love in six directions (i.e., below, above, to both sides, and front/back; “biggify”).
- A mind/body state of awareness, calmness, kindness and centered power are important foundations for conflict resolution.
- Call a time-out for centering: Take time to re-center when needed. The content of the conflict is secondary to establishing safety.
- For more information on developing a peaceful response during conflict, click here.