On Thursday and Friday of last week I had the privilege of interviewing some of the most successful conscious entrepreneurs in the world. It was part of the Shift Network’s Enlightened Business Summit. Earlier in the week, Chip Conley, the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, interviewed many of the most successful conscious business people on the topic of Emotional Fluency.
It was an incredible week of insights and aha moments. And the most amazing thing for me was to see how much of the information being shared by these high level business executives, authors and experts in the field of Emotional Intelligence could be applied to areas other than business!
Fyi: If you haven’t had a chance to listen, the replays are available through the end of the week.
One of the biggest “AHA” moments for me was during Chip’s interview with Café Gratitude founders Terces and Matthew Englehart, authors of the book, Sacred Commerce. At one point Matthew was sharing one of the communications techniques they use in the restaurants when there is a conflict or tension between employees.
As the two, or more, employees share what they are thinking they begin with the phrase, “I’m making up a story that…”
It is such a simple technique and yet the power in those 6 words is incredible.
Think about it: How many times have you made up a story in your head about someone or a situation that ended up having absolutely no connection to reality?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably done it once or twice… or maybe like a few thousand times!
This technique struck me as such a powerful way to diffuse the charge that builds up when our minds start spinning out in a direction that usually is not based on anything other than a limiting belief.
I know that I make up stories all the time about being abandoned. That’s my “core wound.” And it’s very easy for me to spin out into a detailed storyline about how I’m being abandoned by my partner whenever she does something that activates that wound in me.
Since hearing that interview last week, I’ve made a commitment to myself to use the phrase, “I’m making up a story that you’re pulling away”… or “you’re getting ready to leave”… or, well you get it.
Using that phrase does two very important things:
First, for my partner, it lets her know I’m aware that I’m speaking from the wounded place in me and that I’m not saying this story is true and I’m not saying that she’s doing anything wrong. When I speak from that place it allows her to hear me without going into defensiveness.
Second, for me, it immediately diffuses some of the charge around the story. By using those words I’m letting myself know that it’s just a story. As with most stories, there may be an element of truth to it, but it is not the whole TRUTH. And when I’m able to take that step back from seeing the story as TRUTH I am more able to listen to and really hear my partner’s experience – even if something she says seems to confirm my belief in the story – and feel her love and our connection.
It is a powerful technique that can be put into use in all relationships, work, romance, friends, family. And it’s a tool you can use on your own.
Again, if you’re like me, you’ve got an imagination that loves creating stories. The next time you catch your mind going into that cycle see if you can stop yourself and say, “I’m making up a story that…” You might find that just recognizing that you are creating a story will help you come back to the TRUTH.
Try it out today and let me know what happens. I’d love to hear your experience with it.