I just saw this neat little program on BYU TV about emotional coaching. It reinforced what I already thought would be a useful way of doing business, but am not always real consistent with it. The program focused on upset children, but I think it would work for anyone who might be acting like an upset child as well.
Here are the four steps to resolution:
1. Listen with empathy. This means listen as if you were the upset person, from their point of view.
2. Name the emotion. Help the upset person to identify exactly what they are feeling. (Angry, afraid, confused, cheated, etc.)
3. Set limits. Help them understand it's ok to be upset but, for example, it's not ok to hit people. (Or cuss or whatever.)
4. Brainstorm possible solutions. Let the upset person help decide what would be a positive solution.
I really like this whole exercise and wish people would actually give me the time and opportunity to express myself this way when I am upset!
Who doesn't want to be listened to, understood, allowed positive expression, and help to deal with conflict?
Another obvious point is that conflict is inevitable and should be anticipated. My personal opinion is that it's always better to try and pay attention and take the time to defuse the explosion before it occurs. Or at least try to tone things down before it too late. And it should go without saying that one would never intentionally antagonize someone on purpose, especially a child. Or a wife!
So, I am kind of excited to try this with Ethan and Savannah when they come for vacation this summer. I think if we sit down together and go over this little program then we will be ready for any little upsets that may come along. Not that we would ever have any upsets with our precious little ones!