Listening without Fear
In difficult conversations fear triggers strange behaviours, sometimes even surprising ourselves. Defence is the automatic response triggered by fear. We either switch into attack mode, only worsening the situation and increasing the gap, or fall into justification mode, making the discussion become about us and not the content of the message.
In situations where a sensation of fear or the need to defend ourselves starts rising up, the best solution is to pause and listen. Listening to the content of what is being said without involving the ego or the mind enables us to receive the message without any interference. We can ask ourselves "what does this person really need"?
Imagine your boss is angry at you because you are once more late. You would either react defending yourself and stating for ex that you are the most hardworking person on the staff, or justifying the lateness. However, no true conversation took place here. By asking yourself "what does my boss really need in this moment" you transform fear into openness. It might be that he needs reassurance that the job will be done, that you are not undermining his authority or taking advantage of his trust and respect in you etc.....
Give others space to share the hidden message by taking a few steps back and keeping an open mind. More openness, less reaction; less conflict, more harmony.
With my heart