There’s a lot of uncivilness going around – people being rude, pushing their own agendas, hearing but not listening, unable to honor differing opinions or ideas from their own. So, what are we going to do about it?
Maybe we need a model to practice in being civil in our working and personal relationships.
Well, I have just the thing for us to practice – a mindful communication methodology.
In Janice Marturano’s book Finding the Space to Lead – A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership, she offers a mindful communication methodology that is based on mindful practices for her use in mindful leadership training. The methodology was developed by Gregory Kramer, author of Insight Dialogue.
My premise is if we apply and practice this methodology, it will enable us to be more civil in our conversations, where acceptance, being nonjudgmental, honesty, and respect will happen.
Here is an adaptation of Kramer’s Mindful Communication Methodology for Cultivating Mindfulness in Relationship from Marturano’s book:
Step #1: Pause. Check in with your whole being – mind, body, and heart.
Step #2: Be open to what is here, actually here, rather than what you imagined or hoped would be here. Too often we bring our own agenda or expectations into a conversation that can interfere with hearing what someone is saying. We must cultivate our ability to just be open and receive the conversation with another. This fosters being nonjudgmental and respectful.
Step #3: To listen deeply and redirect your attention when you notice the quality of your attention waning. When you notice your mind wandering, bring it back to the conversation and person in the moment.
Step #4: To speak the truth with the intention to do no harm. This is a critical step. We must create a safe space for each person to speak their truth, but with the intention to do no harm. This is NOT permission to be insulting, denigrating or for one’s personal gain. To speak the truth is to be beneficial or of service to colleagues, our organization, or the community.
If we truly desire to be civil in our relationships with others, then learning and practicing these 4 steps in everyday situations is paramount. I wish you well in your practice.