123. 3 Communication “Watch Outs” for Happier Holiday Gatherings
If you feel stress about upcoming family gatherings due to past communication breakdowns, you are not alone. In her role as a transformative communication teacher and coach, Alejandra Siroka knows this story all too well, having supported countless clients who share these apprehensions. In this episode, Alejandra provides 3 strategies to stop escalating conflict so you can approach the holidays with love, understanding, and effective communication.
Central to her approach is the concept of prioritizing understanding others over being understood ourselves. It is a generous approach and it takes intention, but adopting this mindset creates empathy, allowing disagreements to transform into moments of connection and insight.
Highlighting the risks of triangulation, Alejandra advocates for the respect and clarity that comes with direct communication. Addressing concerns or misunderstandings directly with the involved parties prevents others from being pulled into potentially painful scenarios and minimizes the chances of conflicts escalating or becoming amplified.
Additionally, Alejandra stresses the importance of not immediately adopting a defensive stance when faced with criticism. Seeking clarity, rather than making snap judgments, can be the difference between a minor disagreement and a major fallout.
This information is not just timely, it’s essential as we enter emotionally-charged holiday interactions. Put these strategies to work to ensure the holidays become opportunities for deeper connection rather than sources of division.
• "Conflicts show us with great clarity how we are communicating, whether we're responding or reacting; whether we are redirecting the energy of our triggers, or having unhealthy power dynamics; whether we're treating ourselves and others with equality, respect, and equity, or whether we want to be right, make the other wrong, and have our opinions, our feelings, our experiences be more valuable than others’.” (3:41 | Alejandra Siroka)
• “When your priority is to be understood, but you are not willing to understand the other, the interaction takes a turn and goes into a who's right, who's wrong contest.” (7:24 | Alejandra Siroka)
• “When you choose triangulation instead of direct communication, conflicts get magnified.” (10:08 | Alejandra Siroka)
• “The third thing that intensifies conflicts unnecessarily and escalates them is when you take something personally that was not personal, and then you react defensively.” (10:22 | Alejandra Siroka)
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Podcast Music composed by Gary Lapow: open.spotify.com/artist/1HlMhcNfKIELxYil5mVqD