Creating a Learning Conversation Tips and Strategies

What’s Your Purpose?: Decide if you should raise it or let it go.

  • To Raise or not to Raise: How to Decide?
    • Three conversations that don’t makes sense.
      • Is the real conflict inside you?
      • Is there a better way to address the issue than talking about it?
      • Do you have purposes that make sense?
        • Remember you can’t change other people.
        • Don’t focus on short term relief at long-term cost.
        • Don’t hit-and-run.
      • Letting Go
        • Adopt some liberating Assumptions
          • It’s not my responsibility to make things better; It’s my responsibility to do my best.
          • They have limitations too.
          • The conflict is not who I am.
          • Letting go doesn’t mean I no longer care.
        • If You Raise It: Three Purposes That Work
          • Learning Their Story
          • Expressing Your Views and Feelings
          • Problem Solving Together

Getting Started: Begin from the Third Story

  • Think like a mediator
    • Not yours, not theirs, third person
    • Not right or wrong, better or worse—just different
  • Be curious.
  • If they step into their story, you can still move into third story.

Extend and Invitation

  • Describe Your Purposes
  • Invite, Don’t Impose
  • Make Them Your Partner in Figuring It Out
  • Be Persistent
  • Follow this map for exploring the three stories:
    • Third Story
    • Their Story
    • Your Story
      • Explore where each story comes from.
      • Share the impact on you.
      • Take responsibility for your contribution.
      • Describe feelings.
      • Reflect on the identity issues.

Learning, Listen from the Inside Out

  • Listening Transforms the Conversation
    • Listenint to them helps them listen to you.
  • The Stance of Curiosity: How to Listen from the Inside Out
    • Forget the words, focus on authenticity.
    • The commentator in your head: Become more aware of your internal voice.
      • Don’t turn it off, turn it up.
    • Managing Your Internal Voice
      • Negotiate your way to curiosity.
      • Don’t listen: Talk. Tell your internal voice what you want it to do.
    • Three Skills: Inquiry, Paraphrasing, Acknowledgment
      • Inquire to Learn
        • Don’t make statements disguised as questions.
          • “Are we there yet?”
        • Don’t use Questions to Cross-Examine
          • “Sure you agree…”
          • “If it’s true…how do you explain…?”
        • Ask Open Ended Questions
          • “Tell me more.”
          • “Help me understand.”
        • Ask for more concrete Information.
          • “Can you give me an example?”
          • “What would that look like?”
          • “How would that work?”
        • Ask questions about the three conversations.
          • Can you say a little more about how you see things?
          • What information might you have that I don’t?
          • How do you se it differently?
          • What impact have my actions had on you?
          • Can you say a little more about why you think this is my fault?
          • Were you reacting to something I did?
          • How are you feeling about all of this?
          • Say more about why this is important to you.
          • What would it mean to you if that happened?
        • Make it safe for them to not answer.
      • Paraphrase for Clarity
        • Check your understanding.
        • Show That you’ve heard.
      • Acknowledge their feelings.
        • Answer the invisible questions.
          • Are my feelings okay?
          • Do you understand them?
          • Do you care about them?
          • Do you care ab out me?
        • How to acknowledge.
          • It sounds like you’re really upset about this.
          • This seems really important to you.
          • If I were in your shoes, I’d probably feel _________ too.
        • Order Matters: Acknowledge before problem-solving.
        • Acknowledging is not agreeing.
      • Empathy is a journey, not a destination.

Expression: Speak for Yourself with Clarity and Power

  • Orators Need Not Apply
  • You’re Entitled (Yes, You)
    • No more, but no less: We all deserve dignity and respect.
    • Beware of Self-Sabotage: Don’t half-try to justify your failure.
    • Failure to express yourself keeps you out of the relationship.
    • Feel entitled, feel encouraged, but don’t feel obligated.
      • You’re entitled to express yourself, but you are not obligated.
    • Speak to the heart of the matter
      • Start with what matters most.
      • Say what you mean, don’t make them guess.
        • Don’t rely on subtext.
          • Honey, there’s really a lot to be done around the house this weekend.
          • Is golf so important that you need to play it this often?
          • Honey, you are simply playing too much golf!
        • Avoid easing in.
      • Don’t make your story simplistic: Use the “Me-Me” And
        • I do think you are bright and talented, AND I think you’re not working hard enough.
        • I feel badly for how rough things have been for you, AND I’m feeling disappointed in you.
        • I’m upset with myself for not noticing that you were so lonely, AND I also was having problems during that time.
      • Telling your Story with Clarity: Three Guidelines
        • Don’t present your conclusions as THE Truth
        • Share where your conclusions come from.
        • Don’t exaggerate with “always” and “never”. Give them room to change.
      • Help Them Understand Your
        • Ask them to paraphrase back.
        • Ask how they see it differently—and why.

Problem Solving: Take the Lead

  • Reframe, Reframe, Reframe
    • You can reframe anything
      • This is the truthàDifferent Stories
      • AccusationsàIntentions and Impact.
      • BlameàContributions
      • Judgments, characterizationsàFeelings
      • What’s wrong with youàWhat’s going on with them
    • The “You-Me” And
      • I can understand what you have to say, AND you can listen and understand what I have to say.
    • It’s Always the Right Time to Listen
      • Be persistent about listening.
    • If You Keep Hitting Road Blocks, Name the Dynamic: Make the Trouble Explicit
    • How What? Begin to Problem-Solve
      • It Takes Two to Agree
      • Gather Information and Test your Perceptions
        • Propose crafting a test.
        • Say what is missing.
        • Say what would persuade you.
        • Ask what (if anything) would persuade them.
        • Ask their advice.
      • Invent Options
      • Ask What Standards Should Apply
        • The principle of mutual caretaking
      • If You Still Can’t Agree, Consider Your Alternatives

Putting It All Together

  1. Step One: Prepare by walking through the three conversations.
  2. Step Two: Check your purposes and decide whether to raise it.
  3. Step Three: Start From the Third Story
  4. Step Four: Explore Their Story and Yours
  5. Step Five: Problem Solving

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