Restorative communication is a better way to have hard talks. I love everything to do with communication and love conversation around this idea of powerful ways to communicate.
Of course there are practical and effective ways to have even the hardest talks if you have a little arsenal of tools and expert guidance in your tool belt.
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Talking To An Expert In Restorative Communication
One such expert who does this for a living is Lisa Hancock, the founder of Restorative Communications.
Lisa has numerous credentials. She has trained in Defense Initiated Victim Outreach as a specialist. She does the remarkable work of helping bridge the gap between defense teams and victims families in capital murder cases.
Lisa is also an enneagram teacher and facilitator.
She is an accredited Circlekeeper who has performed thousands of Peacemaking Circles for schools, churches, and organizations for the purpose of dispute resolution, team building, decision making, and leadership development. She is responsible for creating more Circlekeepers in Texas than in any other state. Now that’s pretty exceptional.
In 2010 Lisa was hired by British Petroleum after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. She was the only mediator hired by the BP. She travelled to travel to Southern Louisiana to listen to the residents and train BP contractors. As a result of Lisa’s work there, communication techniques and rapport building responses became new methods for BP’s contractors to engage the victims in communities served.
Lisa believes we each have a call to ministry: The reconciliation of man to himself.
To listen in to the entire episode on the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast tune in here –
Here Are Lisa’s Best Insights For Restorative Communication
Lisa has so many tips to offer, but a few of my favorite takeaways from my conversation with Lisa on the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast were the following –
- “I will tell you that my greatest challenge is getting people to show up to the mediation table with an open mind, open heart. You know, we all want to be right. The attitude in which you show up, are you willing to listen, are you willing to learn from the other person, it just makes such a huge difference. I can do great work with people who decide that they want to learn from the mess that they’ve made for themselves. So it’s healing work and it’s also, Sue, it’s so, it is very, very difficult work too. Because I can, I don’t care how skilled the mediator is. I don’t care all the work I do, the front side of the mediation to get people ready for it. If they don’t want, if they don’t want to be there, if they have decided that they’re right, if they have decided the other person is a bad guy, doesn’t matter what I do.”
- “I say that not all conflict can be solved. All conflict can be managed. So I’ll give you a quick example. Some people just don’t look at the facts aren’t that important to them. They’re heart people. Because conflict is all about broken relationships. And so people show up with very, very like hurt feelings. And so it doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday and you were wearing a red dress and you said this, what really matters is how I took that in and how that is affecting me today. So yeah, I love this work, but I can tell you it is not work that, it is not work that’s just for everybody. You know, it takes a certain type of person, because so many times the seeds I sow, I don’t get to see. Perhaps I work on a mediation and the person, the two people, they decide that they just can’t, that they don’t wanna get reconciled. So, but they can manage the conflict. They can stay with the relationship and keep trying. So I may not hear from them in two weeks down the road, they sit down and they use the tools they learned and they actually, you know, forgive each other and reconcile.”
- “It doesn’t, you don’t have to have a master’s in dispute resolution. It can be something as simple as the first, knowing the first 10 seconds of a conversation are usually the most important. So you start with an invitation to talk. Think about the difference in telling someone we need to talk right now versus something like this. I… relate, my relationship with you is important. When might you be able to find some time to sit down with me and discuss this challenge we’re going through? Something as simple as that. It’s all about building a bridge, having a few little tiny little ideas in the palm of your hand so you can go out and use it and anybody, anybody can do it.”
Another Powerful Approach To Having Hard Talks
As a communications major I’ve had a lot of communication. And outside of work there is always personal communication happening which can present challenges as we all know.
Listening is the key to effective communication. And of course we all want to be heard and we all want to talk and want others to listen. So essentially when we understand this is what we are all clearly after if we can open the gateway to love and profundity between us and those around us.
Conflict does subside when we simply learn the powerful art of listening.
For more insights checkout this article from Harvard that offers several things You Can Do To Improve Your Communication Skills
If You’re Still Struggling To Restore Communication Here Is A Great Resource
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