Into the Interpersonal Arena

In the blog post today, Ingredients of Interpersonal Courage, all the ingredients create an environment in which you are more likely to have a positive and productive conversation. Today's practice will focus on creating an environment that fosters healthy discourse.


Part 1: AEIOU

To start, we'll review AEIOU:

First, get agreement.
Second, think of and express the positive end you have in mind.
Third, tell why the conversation is important to you.
Fourth, express any obstacles that might be getting in your way so that you are able to be present during the conversation.
Fifth, tell the other what you would like from him or her and then, what you will do. (An example might be, I would like you to hear me out and then I would like you to respond.)

Part 2: Bring Up the Issue

After you've set up the conversation with AEIOU, then using all of your awareness and skill at staying true to your positive intention, bring up the issue you want to address in a self-responsible manner. That is, rather than talking about what the other person did or didn't do, talk more about what you experience or feel when they do or don't do whatever.


Use WISHING in the body of your conversation to express yourself in a self-responsible manner:

  • When you do ____________
  • I experience ______________ (or, I notice sensations in my body..., I use metaphors like..., I feel emotions..., I get triggered and reactive...)
  • The Story I make up but often think is true is ______________ (projection)
  • Help me understand (curiosity)
  • Involvement (I take responsibility for my contribution and co-creation)
  • New creative solutions (I look for our common interests)
  • Go the distance (I tell more truth or go deeper until we come to a resolution)

Part 4: GIFT

Then end your conversation with a GIFT.

  • Express Gratitude for what you and the other discussed and how you did it.
  • Tell the other person why this conversation and the relationships is Important to you.
  • Express your Feelings about the other and about the conversation.
  • Tell them your Thinking about how this will help the relationship move forward.

Your GIFT might take 30 seconds and sound like this: “I'm so grateful that we had this conversation. I appreciate your attitude and our ability to work through this difficult issue. Our relationship is important to me. I am delighted that we are both committed to working things out. I think this is going to help the team immensely. Thanks.”

The more you practice this, the better you will become at moving through it easily and successfully.

Those successes will give you experiences that actually help you feel more courageous. Success breeds success.

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