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Myrtis Myles
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Advocate Respectfully

Published on 12/29/2014
For additional information  Click Here

Advocacy is the flip side of Inquiry.

What can you see from your perspective that they've missed?  Can you clarify your position without minimizing theirs?

Tips for sharing your side of things:

·      Wait to offer your side until your partner has expressed all his energy on the topic. Check to make sure he's finished.

·      Remember your purpose for the conversation. It's easy to get off on tangents, become reactive, and lose your way. Know and return to your purpose at difficult moments.

·      Don't assume. When telling your story, go slow, be clear, and don't assume they know what things looks like from your point of view.

·      Teach, don't preach. Notice your desire to "sell".  Simply state how things look from your side. 

·      Listen to yourself and try not to use words that will cause your partner to react defensively. You want them to listen, so use words that they can hear.

·     Share facts rather than subjective interpretations. "When you walked by me and didn't say anything" is a fact. "When you ignored me" is a subjective interpretation.

Most important, speak with respect.  Bow to your partner before beginning and ending each technique. Imagine bowing to your partner in conversation before you begin the conversation. As you begin to lose your center, think about this, and remember that you advocate best when you respect your partner's story.

Good luck and good communication!

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