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This next article is part of an ongoing series here at TSB Magazine called The Success Principles. The series is based on the 64 principles laid out by Jack Canfield in his course of the same name. If you`re new, I always suggest starting any series from the beginning.
Principle 49: Have a Heart Talk
Lack of communication is a major problem between couple’s in a relationship, parents and children, bosses and employees, and salesman and prospects In fact, lack of communication probably contributes to the biggest problems we as a world are currently experiencing.
The major flaw in the way that we communicate is that everyone is so focused on what they are experiencing internally that they never shift their focus onto what the other person may be experiencing internally.
What is a Heart Talk?
A Heart Talk is a very structured communication process in which eight agreements are strictly adhered to in order to create the safety for a deep level of communication to occur without the fear of condemnation, unsolicited advice, interruption, or being rushed. It is a powerful tool used to surface and release any unexpressed emotions that could otherwise get in the way of people being totally present to deal with the business at hand. -Canfield
The goal behind a heart talk is to basically bring things to the surface. The thought process is that once these things come to surface, they can be released, allowing all parties to move on.
When to Use a Heart Talk
Heart talks are useful
- Before or during a staff meeting
- After an emotionally stimulating event like a merger, massive layoff, death, financial set back, or tragedy
- When there is conflict between two individuals, groups, or departments
- On a regular basis at home, in the office, or int he classroom to create a deeper level of communication
You can conduct a heart talk in groups of between 2-10 people. Ask people to sit in a circle around a table. Introduce the following agreements
- Only the person holding the heart talks
- You don’t judge or criticize what anyone else has said
- You pass the object to the left after your turn
- You talk about how you feel
- You keep the information confidential
- You don’t leave the talk until it’s declared complete
After a successful heart talk you can expect to achieve enhanced listening skills, constructive expression of feelings, and improved conflict resolution skills. You will also likely find that you are able to let go of resentments and old issues, develop mutual respect, and experience a greater sense of connection.