Module 3.1 – All

Module 3.1 - Communication & Relationships

Are you good at healthy communication or do you avoid tough conversations? What would change if communication improved in your professional life or in your personal relationships? Is brave communication worth pursuing? Write in your Core Journal about a difficult discussion that did not go well. How could you have done your part better in that communication. Did you risk trust? Were you truly honest? Did you give yourself assurance that you were OK and didn’t need to feel shame? What would it take to get the courage to have that conversation again and in a more productive way. Give yourself a break if you don’t feel ready just yet, this is a stamina building process, not a sprint.

Name:Micah Ruiz Esparza

Healthy communication looks like open, honest, and timely communication. It is important that the team develops a safe space for communication so that communication is encouraged. If people get reprimanded every time they communicate, this won't encourage communication later on because everyone will be afraid to bring up even minor things. Communication needs to be honest because it is so easy to miscommunicate or misunderstand. This doesn't lead to a healthy team. Communication also needs to be timely and not put off. Putting off communication can leave problems unsolved and let issues become worse than they are. I have been in places where it is dealt with well and places where it isn't. Right now at Costco, everyone is very friendly and no matter who it is, they are always willing to drop whatever they are doing to help you with whatever you need. They don't complain or groan when you need help which really encourages me to ask questions or express that I need help and communicate quickly. I have been in places where you always felt like an inconvenience or was getting in the way so I avoided communication to avoid those negative interactions.

Brave communication is scary because I am a more reserved person and have had a lot of negative experiences with communication. I was taught to shut up and listen to anyone who is older than me without asking questions. It was a blind obedience environment. This was not a safe place for me to communicate my feelings or needs so I ended up always trying to solve things on my own.

I avoid tough conversations. I always get afraid that my words won't come out right or I won't have the courage to say what I truly mean. I am learning to be better at it and have been able to practice that a few times recently.

I often approach hard conversations with a lot of anxiety. Instead of separating myself from the issue, I tend to take things personally and make things personal that aren't. It's not that I never feel regret for a decision, but I tend to over-identify with my mistakes and failures. This causes me to avoid communicating because then I don't have to face my feelings. I am doing better at separating myself from issues, but I still have a long way to go. I do honestly think that having a healthy environment for a while (at Costco) will give me practice in facing my fears in a supportive environment.

Are you good at healthy communication or do you avoid tough conversations? What would change if communication improved in your professional life or in your personal relationships? Is brave communication worth pursuing? Write in your Core Journal about a difficult discussion that did not go well. How could you have done your part better in that communication. Did you risk trust? Were you truly honest? Did you give yourself assurance that you were OK and didn’t need to feel shame? What would it take to get the courage to have that conversation again and in a more productive way. Give yourself a break if you don’t feel ready just yet, this is a stamina building process, not a sprint.

Name:Jill West

Most work environments that I have experienced would not be considered healthy. When I’ve been involved in remedying toxic workplaces, my biggest struggle is always with the leaders. They often feel as though they can’t possibly be the problem. The best that can be done, in most cases, is to make it better by helping the employees be more empathic to the manager/owner/etc.

It isn’t ideal but, when a manager is not going anywhere and refuses to own their shit, the best that can be done is to help the employees understand the asshole and not internalize their bullshit. It sucks and I always hated that part. It felt like victim blaming but it was more like teaching survival skills. Many times, employees were sacrificed simply because they couldn’t be taught to “roll with” what was basically abuse from their manager.

When I got to the point of exasperation with the owners and managers, I was too harsh with the employees. It was unfair to them. I felt trapped in a position of trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit and I was often a bitch. I sometimes put myself in the position of “handler” for the toxic owner. Eventually, they would become so dependent on me to be the buffer between them and the rest of the world, that they were practically helpless. They would get to where they wouldn’t send a text message without talking to me about it. It was draining and caused burn-out.

When I read about Brene Brown’s organization, it sounds like a goddamn utopia. She has inspired me to want to be part of trying to change the way leaders act in business. I can’t honestly think of a single healthy person in those positions when I was up north. It’s sad. I stopped taking those contracts because I gave up hope of ever being able to make a difference.

If I am triggered, it’s nearly impossible for the average person to communicate with me. I know how to control conversations and sometimes it’s a good thing. When people are struggling with their communication skills, I am able to help them to own and express their feelings. Other times, they feel stonewalled and not heard.

This happens most often with my husband and kids these days.

I did have an opportunity to talk to my brother at length yesterday and he insisted on bringing up politics. I was kind of trapped but I managed to keep my cool. I guided him back over and over again to the areas where we agree and kept partisan issues at bay, for the most part.

I had to deal with questions like: Why didn’t Kamala Harris go to the southern border? What was the deal with Fauci’s emails?

I just mostly said, “I don’t know” and then brought it back to what I believe about the two party system being shit. It was difficult but it went well.

And, before that, I had taken my sister in law to surgery and, after she was done she was telling me how she told the nurses who I was and described our relationship as “love/hate because we don’t agree on anything,”

I was taken aback and asked her to explain why she would categorize it that way. She said it was because of religion and politics. I simply said, “I hope that you think we have more to offer each other than those two topics.”

My communication skills are improving in that area so that’s a plus!

Are you good at healthy communication or do you avoid tough conversations? What would change if communication improved in your professional life or in your personal relationships? Is brave communication worth pursuing? Write in your Core Journal about a difficult discussion that did not go well. How could you have done your part better in that communication. Did you risk trust? Were you truly honest? Did you give yourself assurance that you were OK and didn’t need to feel shame? What would it take to get the courage to have that conversation again and in a more productive way. Give yourself a break if you don’t feel ready just yet, this is a stamina building process, not a sprint.

Name:Inpower Staff

Journal 3.1 TEST

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