Saturday, April 30, 2022

Helping couples to move from compromise to consensus




I often see couples who use the word “compromise”.

They feel that they have to compromise on many different things. Although they believe that compromise is important, it has lead to much resentments over the years.

We explored a shift in mindset to “reach for consensus” rather than compromise.

So what is the difference?

I often see “compromising” is something “external compass” folks tend to do at the cost of their “inner compass” i.e. their principles, values and beliefs.

“External compass” folks tend to make decisions based on the feelings, rules, or principles of others in order for workability and external harmony, and so they “compromise” their own internal principles or values in order to make it work.

In the right doses, it’s workable, but with over reliance, it may lead to a lot of inner disharmony and resentment.

Reaching consensus is the other way.

It’s more about following our own values and beliefs, COUPLED with understanding, appreciating, and allowing others to have their own values and beliefs, AND through that deeper understanding, we try to reach consensus. It’s not about imposing on each other, but each is empowered to reach “consensus”.

A lot of “holding space” with critical thinking and critical feeling is required and so it’s not easy.

The key difference is, compromise has emotional resistance. Consensus has more emotional acceptance.

Compromise is a “logical, practical and intellectual agreement” in order to make something work.

Consensus is a deeper “emotional agreement”. It requires a deeper dive into the values and beliefs of both parties, and holding space for opposing ideas without judgement before judging to make it work i.e. reaching consensus.

Compromise tries to achieve outer harmony but often at the cost of inner harmony.

Consensus tries to achieve both inner and outer harmony.

In business, one can usually get away with “compromise” because it’s more emotionally detached.

In long term personal relationships, compromise tends to end up in emotional problems eventually.

It’s hard but it’s more emotionally sustainable.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Helping our patients to find the right element for them in order to thrive


In counseling and coaching work, we often see folks who are not in the right element/environment for their “personality” and who they are.

When not in their right element, excessive stress can be the result. It’s a “fish out of water” problem.

So finding or creating the right element for one’s personality is a good strategy for reducing unhealthy stress and helping one to thrive.

The problem is, many do not have the emotion literacy to understand and define one’s personality and who they are.

Without that, it’s hard to find or create the right element for oneself isn’t it?

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Helping our patients find and clarify their “core values”


In counseling or coaching, helping folks to identify their core values is so important because if their life is not congruent with their core values, it creates a lot of stress and conflict.

Stress and conflict may then lead to a lot of biopsychosocial health issues. I am sure you have seen those.

So how can we help someone work out their core values?

Ask them what they love to do?
Then ask why?
Why do you love to do what you do?
Dig deeper.
Ask more “why’s” until we can’t go any further.

In there lies their “core values”. 

I wonder if you know what yours are?

Friday, April 1, 2022

Helping our patients to “create space or distance” from their thoughts and feelings


Helping our patients to “create space”, “make space”, or “create distance” from their thoughts and feelings for clarity is one of the most important skills in counseling work.

Not too close that they get “sucked into it” with rumination, impulsivity or obsessiveness.

Not too far that they lose touch with themselves, reality or care factor.