Conflict Coaching, Mediated Conversations, and Reconciliation
In conflict coaching, learning the skills and practices of empathic speaking and listening (with ourselves and others) give the ability to create greater health, happiness, and well being and to respond effectively and creatively to our most difficult conflicts and breakdowns of relationship with ourselves and others. In the daily stresses, overwhelm, frictions, upsets, disappointments, disconnections, and arguments that arise in our personal and work lives, these interactions can build up over time and affect our health, well being, and quality of our relationships. With practices of empathic communication, and a supportive empathic community around us, we can transform these kinds of interactions into compassionate connection and collaboration. By doing this we strengthen and heal our relationships (and ourselves) rather than strain or damage them, and we develop resilience and resourcefulness. It is learning how to mediate the conflicts and challenges of our lives one conversation at a time, one conversation to the next, with ourselves and others.
This approach to empathic communication is also used to mediate conflicts between two or more people. People are supported to hear each other and experience empathic understanding and connection. From this place there can be a working together to generate solution requests and agreements that seek to get everyone’s needs met.
With individual coaching or mediation between two or more parties, my approach is to help people learn the language and awareness distinctions, skills, and conversation "maps" developed in our Mediate Your Life program, which is based in the work of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and integrates a mediation framework with mindfulness/awareness and neuroscience. Here's what you can learn in your work with me:
Observation, Feeling, Need, Request (OFNR) distinctions. A language based in universal human needs and mindful awareness. I see these foundational elements as building blocks of human communication and consciousness, each a doorway or portal to empathic connection.
These OFNR distinctions can be used internally for talking to ourselves in a language of Self-Empathy, and also for a mindfulness Self-Connection Practice, that includes Intensity Practice for responding to words and actions that trigger the Fight-Flight-Freeze survival/conflict system in our brains.
Elements of Empathy are a form of OFNR for empathic speaking and listening in conversation with others. This includes Connection Requests and Solution Requests, and hearing the Need Behind the No when making and receiving requests.
Preparing For Difficult Conversations — mediating an inner conversation that transforms anger and negative images and judgments of others into empathic connection and taking effective action.
Practicing Difficult Conversations with an intensity exercise for building capacity and skill.
Having Difficult Conversations — using an Interpersonal Mediation (IPM) process and a 3Chairs Process for Difficult Conversations (3CP) for mediating between ourself and others.
Mourn Celebrate Learn (MCL) process for mediating an inner conversation that transforms stress, anxiety, and overwhelm about fear of judgment from others.
Chooser-Educator (C-E) process for mediating an inner conversation that transforms self-anger and judgment, guilt, and shame.
Internal Mediation (IM) process for mediating an inner conversation that transforms confusion, stuckness, depressed feelings, and lack of clarity or direction.
Healing and Reconciliation (H&R) process. See below.
Reconciliation & Healing
At times, what is ultimately driving a conflict is unresolved emotional hurt and pain in relation to another. This can be on one or both sides of the situation. I offer a communication process of reconciliation that creates healing within oneself and in the relationship.
Coaching Mentoring Support
I also work with people individually to help them develop the ability to offer coaching to others (coaching that includes mediation and leading practice groups, community circles).
“John Kinyon is one of our trainers of Nonviolent Communication and someone in whom I have a great deal of trust and confidence. John in my experience has a special gift for facilitating empathic understanding and communication between people. I highly endorse John's skills and abilities with Nonviolent Communication, and I strongly recommend him to anyone needing help resolving a conflict situation.”
––Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., Founder of Nonviolent Communication
“John possesses remarkable insight into the inner workings of the mind caught in conflict. He has helped me understand my own blocks – needs and issues that have clouded my ability to connect with myself and others. I am deeply grateful that our paths have crossed.”
––Larry R., Attorney and Mediator, Former CEO of Venture-Funded Company
“John, I’m so grateful for the work you have done with my staff and me over the past 4 years. I want to thank you for how you helped me turn around the difficulties I was experiencing with my employees and create a new level of success in my business. You have contributed to these things by how you coached me to communicate differently and model the qualities and ways of relating I wanted to see with my staff. You have a great ability to support people being honest and authentic with each other in ways that bring them together. You have helped us communicate and resolve conflicts in a way that everyone felt heard and understood that then led to finding mutually satisfying solutions. Particularly helpful was when you mediated between two employees with long standing and complex problems - it was truly amazing to watch as they found the common ground of understanding and found the basis for being able to work together again with a growing sense of respect and mutuality.”
—Suzan Steinberg, Business Owner
“At a time of escalated tensions and unexpressed concerns, John's experience and inspirational style with NVC helped to facilitate a reconnection between the principles of the business. After the breakdown in communication, his skills helped create a stronger foundation of trust and empathy, where each person could be heard. This enabled us to move ahead into a creative dynamic process of strategies and goal setting for the company.”
—Selma Aslin and Tehra Braren, business owner and company director
“Nonviolent communication sounds like a political thing, but to me NVC is a communications approach that I value in personal and business relationships. John Kinyon is an expert and highly trained NVC facilitator, and is superlative at resolving hard, entrenched conflicts. He has the courage and competence to tackle even situations where people hate one another, and can lead them to find a common ground. John gets to the heart of an issue, and, in the kindest possible way, airs every stake-holder's point of view. His practical judgment, life experience and quiet style earn the respect of the participants, as he calmly draws them to lasting clarity and closure. Any organization--any relationship--could benefit from John Kinyon's teaching and facilitation.”
—Ed Niehaus, organizational consultant