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Transcript of It's Okay if You're not Okay podcast Episode 11 1/22/2020

Outtake:            Shana asks Keith and Renee if they do any warms up before they start recording. Keith shows off his amazing tongue twister skill and recites Peter Piper with impressive speed!

Keith:              Welcome friends. Thanks for joining us for another episode. I'm Keith.

Renee:              I'm Renee and it's okay if you're not okay.

Keith:              Today we are joined by special guest Shana Burgess, director of prevention services and community relations. Woo Hoo, she's raising the roof.

Renee:              Shana. They can't see us.

Shana:              I don't say thanks for having me. I just raised the roof.

Keith:              Hey, that sounds like a good plan. Okay. So today we're talking about, uh, workplaces. Workplaces can be stressful. And uh, we know that if you are in a really bad workplace for a long time that can really impact your, your mental health, especially if you have some conflict going on there. So we want to um, talk through two questions today. One is when you are experiencing conflict at work, what are some things you do to process that yourself? And then secondly, when you get ready to have that conversation to resolve that conflict, what strategies do you use in those conversations to help those be um, productive and helpful and actually bring resolution to the problem?

Shana:              Yeah. Thanks for having me on here.

Keith:              Before we jump into the content, I'll go over our normal podcast disclaimer, the views and opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily represent those of Johnson County mental health center or Johnson County government.

Renee:              Keith, I'm gonna throw right back at you. Okay. First question, how do you personally process conflict and stress interpersonally?

Keith:              Yeah. Big things that are like really getting at me. I process a lot internally so, and when it's, when I really feel stressed about it, my tendency is to like play what I think the conversation is going to be like in my head over and over again. And so I remember back when I used to be a supervisor and I knew I was going to have to have a one on one meeting with one of my employees that has having some performance issue or there's been some other relational issue between some employees that I would probably have that whole meeting in my head a hundred times before I actually had the meeting. And I would lose sleep, be really like just amped up about it and quickly found that the actual meeting never went like any of the 100 scenarios I had played in my head. Never, not, not even, not even once. Um, was it helpful? I don't, I don't know. I don't think so. Uh, mostly not. So what I've been trying to get ahold of now is a story that Rob Bell tells. So Rob Bell, one of my favorite writers, communicators, he lives in California and LA and he likes to surf. And so he was out surfing with um, two friends. One was like an expert surfer and the other one brand new surfer and the expert was teaching the brand new surfer how to surf better. And so Rob tells the story. he was in the water with the expert surfer and they were watching the guy who's learning to surf out trying these new skills and he keeps falling and he just doesn't look, he just looks kind of uptight and not relaxed. And the expert surfer. It's like, man, he just keeps thinking about stuff that's not happening. He said it a little bit differently, but I can say what he actually said on the podcast. And that is like really silly and simple, but that has really hit home for me. Quit thinking about things that aren't happening because I wasn't having a conversation and all that time that I was spending thinking about it. And so I've just really stopped thinking too much ahead of what I want the conversation to be. It's still my natural tendency. I still go there, but I, but I try to um, moderate to that and just realize, no, I don't need to think about it. That's not happening right now. And when I get to that, that place, that's when it will happen. Um, and that's been helpful for me to have a better, like I just am healthier when I'm outside of work, when I'm dealing with conflict, when I'm not thinking about stuff that's not happening.

Shana:              First thing that comes to mind for me and just thinking about these questions too, are the things that you do have the ability to control and the factors that you don't. So in that scenario, you know, you might practice, Oh this is how I want to present myself or these are some of the things that I want to say, but as far as trying to anticipate how someone else is going to react or respond or any of that, what's within your control that you can have some thoughtfulness of and what's completely out of your control, no matter how much preparation or thoughtfulness that you put into that.

Keith:              I remember a perfect example of this. I had an employee who was really struggling with several performance issues and also some relational issues with other employees were getting ready for annual review time, like so performance evaluations. And so I have myself really amped up for this meeting. I'm thinking this is going to be really difficult. So I don't know how many times I played that conversation over how many hours of sleep I lost. But in the conversation when I sat down to meet with him, the whole evaluation, he just sat in his chair with his legs crossed and smiled and nodded the whole time and didn't say anything. And then I signed it, signed it and left and that was the whole thing. And so it just, uh, it was just, yeah, I realized just how worthless all that time was that I spent thinking about it and how seriously you're taking it and how seriously someone else might be taking it as. Yeah. Okay. So I, I, I know I shared this with the two of you before we started. I'm excited about this conversation and learning here now that the two of you process things because we've all taken Myers Briggs type indicator and particularly on the introvert extrovert spectrum. So where, where we get our energy outside of us or inside of us. Renee, you're a 28 on the extrovert scale.

Renee:              I am a 28 on a 30 point extrovertedness.

Keith:              and Shanna is a 30 out of 30 the opposite direction introvert and I'm pretty close to the middle. I'm a little, I lean a little introvert. Uh, we probably process these types of conflicts in different ways. So Renee, how do you as an extrovert or just as yourself?

Renee:              Sure. Probably a little of both. Right, right. Um, so I've got a little bit of a both. I'm a, I'm a thinker and a talker. Um, so I, I have to know, first of all, I had to listen to my gut. What are those feelings? I'm just, I'm really proud that I'm in touch with what I feel in any given moment. And then kind of figuring out what that means to me. So listening to my gut and then my favorite thing to do, love all the people in my life for just recognizing me and supporting through this part of me is that I got to talk it out. I have to talk it out and I have to do it with not somebody at work. Like it's just an odd dynamic. And not even because I'm maybe my colleague or my supervisor or subordinate, it's because I need someone who can also give me feedback on me and I, I know I need that. I know I have a big personality. I know I can either like ruminate on things that I shouldn't or not think enough about certain things. And so I really have to know, um, who I need to go to in any certain situation. And so it can be different people. Sometimes it's just a really great friend. Sometimes it's a family member based on how I know they will interpret what my frustration or what my challenge is, but then also can see me in that space and that challenge. Um, cause I do, I can get really kind of polarized in my thought and I don't ever want that to come out in a conversation. So I have to like think, feel and speak kind of all, all for myself to get through that. Um,

Keith:              do you tend to just find like, so when you have a stressful situation, do you talk about it with multiple people or do you only I get you just need to find one person to process outside of work.

Renee:              I think I just truly find one person. And when I, I think truly based on their response, cause see, I'm just, I know my go to people I know who's going to hear my story and who's going to hear it through Renee. But here's where you were in the wrong or Renee, speak up for yourself in this moment I mean. So I know those people that are going to give me that real feedback. So I think as soon as I hear that, just that loving, caring voice that I just know and respect and love so well, I know where I stand in how I feel, what I'm thinking about this and what I want to convey. But then I also might need to talk with a confidant in inside of work. And I am really cautious about that because I get really sensitive about language and words, um, in gossip and storytelling. And that is so detrimental for a workplace. So it's making sure that I really have always, so dignity and respect are really important for me and making sure I give that to the other person even just in my mind, right? This is another human being. I've got a conflict with. Okay. It's not, I don't ever want to come in and degrade or dehumanize. I take a lot of Brenee Brown as she talks about in some of her writings. You know, that dehumanizing begins with language and language begins in my thoughts because I do some of that rehearsal. Okay, great. So I might say I need some time to process and then I might need some time to process maybe with, um, with my supervisor, a supervisor, a colleague, a peer level that I'm allowed or it's appropriate to talk about this human resources. Somebody that could hear my story and, and have that really kind of critical, unbiased. This is a workplace dialogue. Um, and knowing that and being honest that I might need that.

Shana:              It's all situational, I mean, to be able to answer that question. It depends, right? It depends on so many factors of who, of when, what, of all of these different things that sometimes I might handle it beautifully. Sometimes I might not. I can say that. Yeah, we all have those stories, right? And a lot of different factors contribute to that. Both things that are about me and about environment and about others.

Renee:              So Shana, do you have to talk to somebody?

Shana:              No, I have all those conversations in my head. So yeah, I am probably, it is very rare that I'm going to talk to whether that's my husband or my friends or coworkers. It's very rare that I'm going to flush that out with someone. The energy that it would take me to explain this situation where they could have valuable contributions, you know, to understand it completely because I'd want to talk about all these different factors that they would have no context. So by the time I got to the point of explaining it where I think they might have valuable contributions, I would need a nap. Like I'm done, I'm done. And the time that I'm spending with, you know, other people, I would much rather talk about something else or do something else or spend time, you know, the limited time that I do have with friends and family and all of that of just shifting gears to something else. Cause yeah, I've already had all those conversations in my head. My silent drives home where I have no radio, I have no phone. I just sit and think. You talk on the phone? you listen to the radio?

Keith:              and that's so funny that you both shared that quiet Shana and Renee you're always listening to radio. for me, it depends on the day some days it's silent

Shana:              I mean sure there's the time where what I need to heal myself is to blast that radio. Not think about anything. But there's a lot of times that I use that as the transition time to figure all that out. Transition from one aspect of my life to another.

Renee:              And you know what I think is just really neat about this, and it's going to sound a little like captain obvious here, but we all land on different spectrums of a Myers Briggs. I can imagine we all land on different spectrums of lots of different variables within our lives and our personalities. And I just think it's really neat that um, what I hear us three doing is knowing ourselves really well. Sure. And I think that's important and really getting in touch with, for me to kind of be my best self in the midst of conflict, standing in there, being brave, being courageous. I have to be a little introspective in the moments around that so I know who I am, how to manage myself the best. Um, because I just want to give the respect to everybody around and I think Keith and I have done pretty darn good. Just work in our, in our regular everyday day to day tasks and work and some of the things here on the podcast and some of the things that we get to do in social media on representing that we can not agree and be really great colleagues and really great people and be even going in the same direction. Yeah. I just really, I really want to impress upon the folks that are listening, it's okay to, to be a little introspective and figure out what's worked for you, what hasn't worked for you, talk to somebody, think about it, whatever works best for you and go, man, what would I do differently next time? Right. What's worked well for me?

Keith:              Yeah. And there's some times, you know, we, right now we are, we've all talked about times when the conflict has been something that's happened and then you can walk away from it for awhile before coming through. But there are some times when there is something in front of you that you have to deal with right there in the moment. And that's a really different situation. And so I think that's another time that being very self-aware yep. Is so critical thinking. I'm even thinking physiologically. Um, I think that uh, Patterson and his like three coauthors whose names I never remember have crucial conversations. Um, talks about this. Like in those high stake moments, your adrenaline starts pumping. Like, so just being aware, Oh, Oh my palms are sweating. This means I'm amping up for something. Oh, I got a vein in my head that's popping out. Um, you know, I'm just not relaxed. Yes. And so realizing that that's a warning sign that you have to decide, okay, my body is amping up really for a fight. Really. I mean, that's what your body's doing. And so being able to figure out what can I do in a moment to still keep control of what I'm going to say and how I'm going to act in this moment.

Shana:              The things that when I'm in the most stressful situations I really think of what are the things like I am way more intentional about taking care of myself and what I can control as far as I might even eat healthier. like sometimes people go the opposite direction because they're stressed out. I'm like, okay, that's something that I do have some control over to help or being really thoughtful about sleep and how you know I'm okay, I want to get this in because I know other things are going to be stressful or whatnot. To be able to have that you can control cause everything else it feels like. Yeah, right. So what do I have the ability to help kind of build protection around me and other ways or like stack the deck in my favor for these things because I know these things might drain me or stress me out or you know there might be conflict or whatnot.

Renee:              Absolutely. I have known. I want to go back to just the the kind of physiological piece. I appreciate you bringing that up Keith. We talk a lot in the clinical world, right? Fight, flight, freeze, appease, challenge and people out there. So our bodies can really do a lots of things. So when we are confronted with conflict we can fight and that can be honestly guys that can be physical. That can be with our words. Yeah. So we can fight, we can flight we can flee, we can actually just leave this situation. Sometimes that's great. But until it turns into avoidance, we don't want to do that. Freeze. Literally get locked up, have no clue if we should walk away. No clue if we should stay. No clue what words to say. And so we just kind of stand there. But also appease we say things and do things that we might think might rescue or remedy the situation but are not true to our own integrity and our person. So those are all responses that we have and I am really thankful that my body and mind are built that way to respond to that way. Cause it's, it's to protect me. Right. So to go back again to that physiological, I know a couple of my internal tells when I'm getting into that, like kind of like brave, courageous space, but I also know the tell my internal tells when I'm going a little past that that's where I need to say, Hey, I'm actually kind of in fight mode so I need to settle down, walk away, take a time out. Yeah, absolutely. But recognizing too that just because my body is alerting, it's not necessarily a negative thing.

Keith:              Right. That's exactly right. And once you, I can identify that that's how your body's responding. You can make some choices on what you want to do that can help manage what your body is gearing up to do. Yeah. And sometimes you need that. You need to that physiological response to be able to have the energy to engage to,

Renee:              yes, and I have found that I'm silly as it sounds, but having something like on my desk, like holding a business card or holding a pen just while I'm having the conversation allows me that one more piece of like tactile. If I need to hold a little tighter, spin it around in my hand. It's very, it comes very natural for me and doesn't take away from the personal connection that I'm really trying to just, I'm a, I'm a, I'm a people person. I'm a relationship builder, so my core, I want us to leave even if we're in disagreement with our relationship intact.

Keith:              What if you just let conflict and that tension and stress live? forever at work. What if you just decided, I'm never going to have a conversation.

Shana:              so I'm going to jump in because I, we talk about strengths. Then you've talked about strengths previous on the podcast. One of my strengths is harmony, so a lot of people think of that as, I don't want conflict. I avoid conflict. All of that. I think of short term versus long term. So I am willing, not always, but I'm going to say in general, I'm willing to take that dive and to have that short term in order to have the longterm harmony. Right. So let's address it. Let's, it's not about avoiding it, it's the timing of when that happens for all the people and players. So I'm going to want to do that because I'm looking at relationships, big picture and harmony, longterm versus short term. I don't want to deal with that.

Renee:              Yeah. I think that's unique, right? Because that's your strength can be harmony and it can look so different, um, in so many different people. So it really is the person. And how you, um, how you emulate your own strength of harmony.

Keith:              Yeah. I do not have harmony. I just couldn't speak up and disrupt so, so a podcast listeners who do not know Shanna is my direct supervisor. Yes. And I'm looking at her as I'm saying this,

Shana:              It's different though. And I will say different of if you're the supervisor and trying to lead a conversation or you're facilitating a group or a meeting of how you utilize that and when you share your voice and a impactful or influential way and when you sit back.

Keith:              I found that if I'm in, if I am in group meetings and there is conflict there or there's something going on that's just making people feel funny, you can tell. I've tried to be in those situations where it's more intense to be intentionally very quiet for a long time. Be very thoughtful about women say and when I finally say something, make it worthwhile. Yes, exactly. So I'd only have to say like, one or 2 things in that really difficult meeting? But that's the most

Renee:              So true of Keith! We can all just leave the meeting. Right?

Keith:              But that is a learned skill. I mean, I mean that's a learned strategy that I, because my lack of my natural tendency when things are not in conflict is to engage in the conversation the whole time and always share my opinion. I'm the first person to speak when things are really important, when like when the stakes are high, like people, you know, emotions are running and when I talk too much my message can get lost in that and I can say things that aren't important. Um, and so that's a time that I shift more to internal processing and try and come up. What's the, what's the one thing that I need to say.

Shana:              You can speak in soundbites like you would to the media. This is your takeaway from today.

Renee:              But I think that's, I think that is an amazing skill. I mean probably one that I can tell you I need to do more of at certain times is just to sit back and listen. That is so it's such an important part of communication, which I love doing and just to, just to make sure that I know what I'm bringing. I know me, I know my message that I want to get across, but am I really hearing the other person? And that means I have to listen. And sometimes I haven't even, I have to even like try to say back what they're saying cause I've gotten into a word literally saying the same thing differently and I'm getting frustrated and going, okay, wait a minute. Like if someone's listening, are we? And they're like, yeah, you're saying the same thing. So listening, we've well, I've got to listen. Absolutely. This might not be in the moment, but sometimes I got to say I'm sorry. And in my world, sorry means you're going to try to do something.

Keith:              I'm so glad you said that because I've heard you say that and I was going to make you say it!

Renee:              That word! Oh man. In my personal life, just people overuse the heck out of that word. Sorry, I'm sorry. Sorry. Sorry if you're sorry. I'd like to see your behavior change. So I've gotta listen, I've gotta be okay. Coming back in, genuinely, genuinely saying, sorry, not expecting anything in return. That's not why I'm saying sorry. I'm there to represent my inappropriate words or actions. But in the moment, I have to know when I start raising my voice, I am not feeling heard. When you start yelling and telling, it's no longer a conversation. Conversations aren't one sided. Who, who's really listening, when we're having a conversation if someone's yelling or telling, you're not. And so I've really got to watch when I do that to stop acknowledge to whom I'm talking with. I've got to say, Hey, I was raising my voice. It's just cause I'm not feeling heard and not hearing you. Can we start over?

Shana:              So I have a question for you as you're talking about the, the person saying, I'm sorry, what about the receiver? I've been reflecting a lot on the receiver of, I'm sorry, so people say, I'm sorry. A lot of people say that's okay and sometimes it's not okay. Right. My children say, I accept your apology, which is a really nice way to like hear you, but I'm not sure if that's okay. . Right. Yeah. He might be in different stages of readiness for that. How do you deal with that? What do you say?

Renee:              I say thank you. Yeah. Right. Cause I, going back to kind of what I believe about people, you made that choice to use those words right now I'm going to thank you for that and I don't, I don't feel like I have to respond. Have to explain myself.

Shana:              Keith, how about you.

Keith:              Yeah, I think that I'd be really open about it and say thank you. I know that I will forgive you right now. I'm still feeling pretty upset about this and I, and I will feel better another time. So just want you to know, I heard you, I heard you say that you're sorry. I, I do forgive you. It may take me some time for my emotions to catch up with that forgiveness. Absolutely. Um, because I'm, I'm, I am like forgiveness is really important to me. Like so the, the act of forgiving somebody because if you don't it, it just, it can ruin you more. So, um, at the same time, sometimes you have to process it just like we've already said, like your body has to catch up to that desire to forgive.

Renee:              Hanging on to all this stuff. Guys, I've got to talk as a mental health clinician in a workplace, I just want to invite the conversation about mental wellness and hanging, hanging onto things and not knowing what you need to do to kind of get some resolution around that. Cause if you walk into work every single day and that just sits in you, I mean, I can speak to the amount of anxiety that would bring and I'm talking about just kind of that ruminating worries that gets so powerful. It starts to destroy my functioning in the workplace. Um, or in fact, um, affect my mood so much that I really kind of start to creep into that depressed, really kind of that worthless, hopeless, that can happen. Now flip that coin. I gotta go to work every day. I need a paycheck, right? That's the reality. I love the work that I do. I love getting paid every two weeks, but that becomes a catalyst of some of my mental illness or a stressor to my mental illness that exacerbates my mental health. That is was just a really tough space to be in. And so I'm just going to put the invitation out there to folks. Um, we've got a crisis line, please call and we can get you pointed in the right direction.

Shana:              Yes. And I really love the frame around our 24 hour line of kind of like ask a nurse, right? So you can call and you can ask like might be a deep dive navigation that leads to this or that or it might be a quick conversation and connecting you somewhere else.

Keith:              That's great. And I think it's also valuable to remind folks that a lot of workplaces provide um, counseling services of some kind as a part of your employee benefits and a lot of places, particularly through HR can provide mediation resources to both, these things are really helpful when you're dealing with large amounts of stress at work or some interpersonal relationships at work that are, that are difficult.

Renee:              kind of going, going back to to Brenee Brown, somebody that I definitely draw, draw strength from. She talks about as we become more relational, we have to expect that we're going to have some more kind of in the trenches face to face conflict is because that's what being around people does and that's okay.

Shana:              And caring about people caring enough to have the tough conversation or feedback or the input or whatnot. That's it. I'm pouring into you because I'm taking the time to do that because I care about you.

Renee:              It happens. It happens more when we become face to face when we have these physical spaces. The most contact sometimes I have in a day is with other people is at work. Right. That's the truth. Yep. So the thing that she talks about, which was really neat, is everybody deserves physical safety and emotional safety within the work space, within your home space and in the community. That's true. And that I have, I have the have the right to those things. We can debate the word right at some other time. So if I am talking with Shana and we have got some conflict that we're going to agree to talk about, I need to know from her. I deserve to know from her that I get, I get physical safety in that space. I'm not going to be vulnerable. If Shanna is maybe posturing and he's got fist clenched and standing over me, I'm probably not going to engage in that space. I just don't know if my physical safety is being taken into consideration. And then emotional safety, um, is someone going to use words that are still full of dignity and respect but also get their point across. And so I want to make sure that I'm doing that. But it received that as well and the one thing I think that Brenee Brown did a really great job of is recognizing when we get in some heated moments, sometimes we take a little personal twist on emotional safety and we start saying, no, you don't agree with me and I'm not emotionally safe. Guys, a lot of people are going to disagree with you. That's not the same thing as not being emotionally safe. Yes if someone disagrees with you and then belittles you, puts you down, talks down to you, dehumanizes you, calls you a name that is not emotional safety. I really do think, and I just commend my, my friend Keith here, that we do a really good job of disagreeing and being really humane with one another because it's fun and we've got a really neat relationship that we can.

Keith:              And I say this all the time, that no one conversation happens in a vacuum. It's, it brings the whole context of that entire relationship up to it. And so building the relationships with people in the good and the normal and everyday time is significant because it helps you then be able to have difficult conversations

Shana:              carry over to those where it has influence.

Keith:              When I was supervising staff, whenever I would meet with people, I would meet with them in my office and I would, and I would often closed the door when I was meeting with them and I started doing that whenever I wanted to say something really good to them too because I wanted people to feel safe in my office and not as soon as Keith closes his doors someone is trouble.

Shana:              Or people around because it's not just the person in your office, it's the people outside that are like what's going on? Exactly.

Keith:              Having those everyday relationships with then my staff now my coworkers and how I treat them when things aren't like a critical matter but just in the everyday that helps. Those really tough conversations be much easier because they have this whole background of relationship with me. They can fall back on that. I've already established myself in in that relationship.

Shana:              I want to go back to something Renee was saying because yes there are times where my physical or emotional safety doesn't feel there. So like the tipping points cause there could be a time where I'm not feeling physically or emotionally safe in these difficult conversations. What are the cues? What do we say? What do we do to have space?

Renee:              I'll go back to my one example. So I might say, Shana, could we sit? Because you kind of standing over me and I was getting really intimidated cause you might not even know and I might just say, Hey, could we sit and talk? And again, I'm going to, by your response, I'm going to judge like are you ready to go there with me or if not I might have to say thank you. I asked you answered. I'm going to have to walk away now whether it's physical or emotional, I have to be willing to say to you what hurts. Shana when you called me that name. I, I don't know if I can continue that conversation cause I'm just not in a safe spot right now. That hurts.

Shana:              Some people can do that in the moment. Some people might sit there and sit through it and then revisit it later and it's okay to revisit that later too. We were having this conversation and this and this and this is how I felt as part of that is an interesting just kind of permission to even revisit later to say, Hey, this didn't go so well for me because of whatever reason. So say it in the moment as much as you can. Absolutely. And be able to revisit that later when it might be a better time for either one or whoever is involved in the conversation.

Renee:              And the revisiting is going to be one of two things. One, you're going to have to sit through it and continue that conversation. Or two, you are going to have to get up and exit. Yeah. And I know the peril that can put one in when you're maybe talking to a supervisor and you feel emotionally unsafe, that walking out on your supervisor might be a very...

Shana:              It's okay. You need to be able to do that. Yeah. It doesn't matter who it is.

Renee:              If you are fearful of losing your job, I would see how that might stop me. Right. If this is a culture of a workplace, that would be really difficult for me. Supervisors don't get to dehumanize employees, but then that didn't happen. So please talk to somebody. But also, um, if you're able to, if you've got a great relationship with your supervisor or colleague, come back. Right. Come back, have the conversation. Yeah. It's hard.

Keith:              It's a lot easier to sit here in this podcast room and talk about this is what I would do. This is what I think you should do.

Shana:              {laughter} And everyone's doing their best.

Keith:              okay. There's one more thing that I for sure wanted to share in this podcast. This is both from crucial conversations book I mentioned earlier. And then also a Cy Wakeman's book reality based leadership. And it's this reality that when we're faced with a situation, we often tell ourselves stories or make up stories about what's really happening. And so we see some facts and then in our mind come up with the why that those facts are real. And so it might be in I'm in a meeting, somebody takes over and doesn't let you talk. And so all you know as a fact is that that person didn't let you talk. Uh, because they were talking, they, they kinda took control. And so you could decide, Oh, that person doesn't value my decision. Or you could tell yourself a story. That person is a control freak. Or you can tell yourself the story. That person must've got burned in the past by letting somebody speak. All those things are stories you can make up yourself that fit the same facts. And the problem is oftentimes when we tell ourselves a story, we accept that as fact and then we go into the conversation to resolve conflict thinking that whatever story we've made up in our minds is what is actually true when really we don't know. We've only got the facts. Yes. And that, Oh my word, that has saved me from so many awful conversations by recognizing when I'm telling a story, when I'm not, and I've been the recipient of other people's stories. Sometimes they were entirely not true. That caused me much pain and stress and hardship in the midst of those relationships.

Shana:              I've circled back with people something that is really bothered me and they haven't thought twice about it. You know, like it wasn't a blip for them and I'm sitting on it for long and if I would have just addressed it immediately and not waited. Yup.

Renee:              And if you don't want someone to make up facts or call you names or tell a story about you or challenge you, right. Not to do it to other people. Yeah. Right, right. It's just that dignity and respect. We all really author everything that we encounter so differently. Yeah. And that that's okay.

Keith:              And you know, we talked about how our bodies respond to those myths and it's a conflict of fight, flight, freeze or appease the person that other author we're talking to also has those same stories, same responses. And while we cannot control what they're going to say or think or do, we can be mindful of the ways that we are communicating impacts, impacts out of that person. Yes. Um, and so, um, crucial conversations again, uh, uses narrows those four into like two and basically says a person tends to respond either in silence or violence. Um, so leaning in, getting it, you know, defensive or hostile on one hand or on the other hand withdrawing in some way and no longer contributing to the, the shared meaning in the conversation. And so being aware, not only of what you're saying, but also how is the other person responding? Are they leaning more towards the violence or to the silence? And if you recognize that to be able to change how you're communicating or to reengage them in a healthy way. And that takes practice. Being able to use the practices when you're not, have the adrenaline pumping through your body.

Shana:              It's all the factors that surround it the who, the where you're at, the factors I talked about earlier, I have, I had no sleep. Have I, you know, all those contributing factors of how I'm handling this in the moment and what's affecting me.

Renee:              and knowing yourself and knowing that Shana and I handle something differently and that's okay. Yeah. Right. Knowing knowing yourself is absolutely okay.

Keith:              Yeah. That's great. Any last minute wrap up thoughts for folks as we leave them to deal with their workplace conflict and stress.

Shana:              ...in silence

Renee:              ...singing at the top of their lungs.

Keith:              Very good. That's how you can deal with it. Thanks for joining us for another episode. I'm Keith

Renee:              I'm Renee and it's okay if you're not okay.