Communicating Assertively

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When I interact with couples and assess the way that communication happens in their relationship, people will typically be able to identify the problem areas of communication that are aggressive: yelling, verbal tirades, manipulation and control. However, I often find that these instances of aggressive behavior are built upon the foundation of passivity. While these intermittent outbursts can seem to come out of nowhere, they have usually been seething beneath the surface for some time, maybe a long time.

 I’ll give an example:

 

Let’s pretend you agree to meet a friend at a coffee shop and you have a limited window of time that you can be there. You show up on time, get your coffee and sit down. And you wait… 

5 minutes later you text your friend, “I’m here, where you at?”

10 minutes in you give your friend a call.

15 minutes in your friend may come walking in, but rathe ...

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Posted in:

  • Assertiveness
  • Relationships

Tags:

  • Communication

Surrendering Control

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Over 10 years ago, I taped a prayer onto my kitchen cupboard where I would see it often. It was an extremely challenging time in my personal and family life. I felt anxious, stressed, burdened and grieved. I needed the daily (sometimes hourly) reminder that not everything was mine to worry about or control.

Perhaps you have heard of the Serenity Prayer. It is a prayer whose origins go far back into history. The first part of the prayer is used in many recovery groups. One version of the prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr.

“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things - I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and Wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; That I may b ...

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Posted in:

  • Anxiety
  • Control
  • Prayer
  • Stress

Tags:

  • Control
  • anxiety
  • focus
  • serenity

Building a Winning Team by Knowing Your People and Letting Them Know You

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If your business is struggling, is it possible that it’s because you know your financial statements better than you know your people?

If, as a therapist and former business owner, I could make just one recommendation to owners of struggling businesses it would be this; knowing your people and letting them know you is likely the best and fastest way to solve your problems. It’s difficult to build a winning team without really knowing the players and developing a strong relationship with and amongst them.

But it’s scary right? Maybe not the part of you knowing them, perhaps you already do, or think you do at least.  But letting them know you; being honest, open and vulnerable can only get you in trouble, right?

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that it’s appropriate to share all the details of your life, or the precise impact the business struggles are causing to your health, mindset or family life.&n ...

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Posted in:

  • Communication
  • Relationships

Tags:

  • boundaries
  • problem solving
  • stress
  • team

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