Conflict Coaching/Mediating, Conflict Management in Organizations, and Mediate Your Life Training
This work offers practical skills of empathic communication for responding effectively to conflicts, disconnections, and difficult conversations in personal and work life, and supporting greater greater connection and collaboration/teamwork in organizations through these skills. People learn the ability to connect empathically with others and themselves, however difficult the behavior or the situation, and to work together to respond to the challenges. There are universal distinctions of mindfulness, language, and emotional intelligence that are at the core of our shared humanity. There are practical skills for developing empathic presence and for speaking, listening and acting from this place. There are conversation “maps” we call them for navigating challenges and conflicts in all aspects of life, inner and outer. These distinctions, skills, and maps bring us back to natural compassion and the desire to contribute to one another’s well being, strengthening our capacity for cooperation and mutual support and care. This work is also about building empathic communities of learning, practice, and support, and contributing to positive change on the larger social-political levels.
The body of work I (John) have co-created is called Mediate Your Life (MYL). MYL is based in the international work of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and integrates a mediation framework, mindfulness/awareness, and neuroscience.
I envision the skills and practices of empathic communication to be recognized in the cultural mainstream as an integral part of health, wellness and optimal functioning. The rapidly growing health movement is not only about science-based approaches to diet and exercise, but also includes things like yoga, mindfulness/meditation, compassion, emotional and social intelligence, and positive psychology, as well as new paradigm organizational functioning. These health practices are being shown to contribute to more optimal and effective human functioning and well being. Ultimately, I see empathic communication, and being part of empathic communities, as foundational to these health practices and part of humanity’s evolution toward responding together to the challenges we face and creating a healthy and sustainable world.
Options for Learning and Receiving Support
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Books on the Mediate Your Life (MYL) Approach:
What is Empathic Connection?
I think about empathic connection in two ways. One is that it is experiencing the universality of our common humanity, underlying our individualities and uniquenesses. It is our shared experience of qualities such as love, freedom, and beauty, our joys and celebrations and our deep losses and sufferings. Empathic connection is also the natural joy of contributing to one another's well being, when we are inspired to act from the heart, from courage and compassion.
A fiercer and deeper understanding of this connection for me is that it is awareness and consciousness that holds and integrates the ongoing conversation between dualities such as heart and mind, imagination and rationality, the spiritual and the scientific, the sacred and the secular, the conscious and the unconscious; and deeper still it is integrating the most beautiful and difficult aspects of human nature and reality — kindness and cruelty, love and suffering. These conversations take courage and vulnerability, and deep listening. I see them as healing and reconciling, making whole and healthy, our experience of conflicting dualities, the right and left hemispheres of our physiology and social-political worlds, our reptilian-survival and mammalian-relational evolutionary inheritance. Conflict can lead to new synthesis and integration at a higher level. There is power in conflict to transform and open us to new possibilities and emergent solutions.
There are skills of language and attention that deepen and strengthen our capacity for this connection, and that bring us back to connection when we lose it, when we get triggered into the Fight-Flight-Freeze part of the brain (fear, anger, hurt, shame, depression). When we are in this kind of connection we function and work together at our best. The practices of empathic conversation with ourselves and others, and the support of empathic community around us, build our capacity for resilience, resourcefulness and creativity, and are an integral component of health and wellness, including healthy work life and organizational functioning.
Research and Learning Resources
See links below to info and research on empathy, compassion, mindfulness, emotional and social intelligence, and positive psychology. Growing empirical evidence shows that these practices lead to increased mental, emotional, and physical well being and functioning, better relationships, and organizational benefits such as enhanced creativity, performance, productivity, and teamwork.
The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford School of Medicine, Self-Compassion, Positive Psychology Center, Greater Good Science Center, The Center for HealthyMinds, The Center for Mindfulness, Emotional and Social Intelligence — Daniel Goleman, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Brene Brown.
Within the challenges and conflicts in our lives, there is an energy that can propel us to the next level of well being, growth, and new possibilities. With the tools of empathic communication we can transform the power of conflict to create the life, relationships, and work we want, and contribute to the world we envision, one conversation at a time.
I envision a world in which we human beings are working together to respond to the challenges we face, and creating a peaceful, healthy, and sustainable world.
— john kinyon