Being aware of your focus as well as your feelings.
I am a volunteer for James Ark Jersey charity, helping fathers reconnect with their children, often after a period of family difficulty or separation. (See more details below). This work is sometimes one-to-one coaching and sometimes mediation helping both partners address and resolve their difficulties with the aim toward an outcome that both are happy with.
During one mediation session one person was very vocal on the past, and bad experiences in particular whereas the other was more quietly focussed on a positive resolution and hopeful for a future reconciliation.
The challenge in mediation is to go at the pace of the people and let them work through the feeling, thinking and actions to that they design and take ownership of the agreed outcome. The process is usually about asking not telling and creating awareness rather than directing action.
Having observed that some of the dialogue is about the past and some about the future, and that some was positive, and some was negative, I suggested that we imagine some jars and think about which jars we are filling.
I did not stop the discussion on past or negative events. I did not censor or direct the conversation. I just made sure that each time they acknowledged which jar the comment was filling.
Fortunately, without the need for real jars and lots of coloured marbles the parents readily adopted the idea and quickly moved the conversation to a point of common ground and a key event in the future which they agreed should be the target of their focus in our next meeting.
The idea of jars and marbles is not original as a thinking tool, but I liked to share it with this true-life application.
This is simply a practical application of the Love Wolf story which goes like this…
A grandfather tells his grandson that we each have two wolves battling inside of us. “One is anger, envy, jealousy, greed, lies, superiority and ego. The other is joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, forgiveness, empathy, generosity and compassion.” “Which wolf wins?” asks the young boy. “The one you feed,” the grandfather replies.
I have since thought about portable variations of the jam-jar, perhaps a piece of paper with squares for PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE and the use of match-sticks rather than marbles. I have also thought about the use of paying cards with perhaps Hearts representing thinking or feelings, Diamonds representing actions, Clubs representing places or events and Spades representing external factors like other people or situations.
The aim is to have a process that provokes thinking but allows their participation rather than my intervention. This element of “mis-direction” can be very powerful, its why having a conversation whilst walking or fishing feels very different from exactly the same conversation face to face across a table.
The idea is creating a thinking and reflecting environment rather than evaluating and judging what is being said.
I hope this article is useful to anyone who is a coach or being coached or anyone who has been affected by these issues.
ABOUT TIM ROGERS
ICF Coach, IoD Mentor, Mediation Practitioner, Change Practitioner
Helping people and organisations achieve their goals.
We #facilitate and #support the #thinking, #feeling and #action needed to #resolve and move forward.
#timhjrogers #coach #mentor #mediation #jersey
ABOUT JAMES ARK
James Ark Jersey
Breaking The Cycle Of Fatherless Homes
Our mission is breaking the cycle of fatherless homes. We aim to lower conflict and offer emotional support through the separation process. We support fathers and their families suffering from long-term separation to find effective ways to reconnect with their children.