Recently in Other Maps Category

The Law of Three and Creative Conflict Resolution

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The Law of Three and Creative Conflict Resolution for pdf.pdf

This is a pdf of an essay I wrote specifically for the first Symposium of the Living School in September 2013.

Styles of Conflict Resolution - poster

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Orders of Self

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One of the most versatile maps for resolving complex relationship problems is one I can the Orders of Self.  It is an eight stage model for the development of the proximal self.

A chart of some aspects of the map is available here.  I will be adding content from the book to this page to flesh out the stages or orders a bit more soon.

Language of Complaint

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For us to construct healthy and just relationships we will have to be able to offer feedback to the other when things are not safe or satisfying for us.  This is both essential and difficult.  There are several things which are in the way of openness to feedback, but one of them is the manner in which we give and receive feedback.  Most of us are uncomfortable with the way this happens, so let me suggest some guidelines.  When we give feedback we can be offering a concern, criticism, contempt or control.  When we receive feedback we can hear is as an expression of domination, contempt, criticism of our choices, or a comment on the quality of our relationship.  Let's take a closer look.

Concerns are statements that focus on the qualities which are arising in the relationship which we don't like or find harmful.  "When you promise to take out the trash and then don't do so, it makes it hard for me to trust you and I don't feel supported in caring for this household."

Criticisms are statements that focus on the choices the other is making which we don't like.  "When you don't take out the trash as you said you would you are being selfish and lazy."

Contempt shows up when our statements are focused on who the other is... on the nature of their being.  "You are a selfish, lazy bum who won't even take out the trash."

Control may come by speaking to others in a manner which indicates that we believe we have the right to control their actions but it may also be expressed through our physical reactions to them through pushing, pulling, or even striking them.  Our focus is on what the other must do to meet our demands.  "Take this out now," we growl, as we thrust the trash into the other's face.

It is most helpful when others offer critical feedback in the form of concerns which focus on the qualities in the relationship, or perhaps as criticisms which identify specifically what we are doing which is troublesome for them, but sometimes their anger gets the best of them.  When they do, we may hear them speaking to us with contempt or attempting to control us.  Rather than react back and enter into a fight, we will be more likely to construct what we need if we can translate the feedback into a concern before we respond.  I suspect this is something we can all use some work on.