When you DO finally use your strong & kind voice - what constitutes a successful outcome?
Something I always tell my clients is to remember to “separate the reaction from the result”.
Even though WE have found our “strong & kind” doesn’t mean that the person we’re speaking with has. In fact, most people haven’t done the work to drop their defences and respond in an authentic way.
What does this mean? To put it bluntly, the person on the other side of the strong & kind might respond pretty poorly. Bummer eh?
So - they key - is to anticipate a predictable response. If that person is often defensive - expect defensiveness. If that person often freezes people out when they speak up? Expect some distance from them for a while. If that person is a yeller… You got it - expect some yelling.
BUT, what this DOESN’T mean is that you haven’t created change.
It might take a couple of rounds of staying “strong & kind” before a shift happens, but, it most likely will.
Perhaps it won’t include a tearful apology, a gracious repairing of harm, or any sort of acknowledgement of wrongdoing…
But what will happen? Whatever boundary you set will be followed. And that - my friend - is a big win.
Kathleen is an anti-bullying specialist, a conflict coach, a teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend...