Elevating a Conversation

Elevating a Conversation

This is a topic that has been coming up a lot with my clients:  How do I have difficult conversations with friends or family?

Most of us don’t like confrontation and lack the skills to set healthy boundaries…especially with the people we are close to.  And, speaking up to have our needs met can feel awkward and triggering.

Yet, there are times when a topic needs to be discussed or a concern needs to be voiced.

So how do we approach these difficult situations without creating even more conflict?  By elevating them.

This is a highly effective way to handle difficult, uncomfortable, but necessary conversations.  

It starts with you saying you’d like to set aside a time to have a conversation about something that is important to you.  When you make this request, aim to be as neutral as possible.  You want to communicate without anger, frustration, or intending any blame.  It’s just a statement of truth:

“I would like for us to figure out a time when we can get together and talk about something that is important to me.”

Immediately, they will say, “What?  What is it?  Let’s talk now!”.  

Your response?  “No.  I’d rather set a specific time to talk about this.  How about next Monday ?” (etc)

They will want to talk right away so you must stay firm yet neutral in your desire. 

What happens next is your friend or family member will go into high gear thinking about what the topic could be.  They will be thinking about this right up until the day the you have the talk.  

Which is what makes this is an elevated conversation…you will have their FULL attention.  They will likely be a little nervous, maybe a little vulnerable, but they will absolutely be fully present for your talk.

And because you’ve set a date sometime in the future, you now have time to figure out how you want to present your issue.  And because YOU are the one who set this up, YOU are in charge of how to steer the conversation.  So, spend enough time in advance gaining clarity on what you will and won’t say.  

And when you do get together, I suggest trying to express yourself in a way that allows for them to hear you without being put on the defensive.  Give them the space to take it in and respond.

And, yes, it may be awkward.  However, this gives both of you the opportunity to talk and resolve the situation in a way that is potentially good for everyone.

This is highly effective in all situations but especially when dealing with family members.  Most of us are on autopilot when it comes to our responses with our family.  This approach interrupts the long formed triggers that can easily escalate situations.  It creates a new way of communicating without blame or resentments.

So, if you are feeling uncomfortable with something and need to have a conversation about it, elevate it.  Pick a date and time and stick to it.  Don’t give them any indication ahead of time of what you will be talking about.  And then, be as prepared and open as you can be when you do sit down and talk.

This is very challenging for a LOT of people.  If you need practice with setting boundaries or have a situation you need support with, please get in touch and we’ll figure it out together.

On-line Mat Pilates Classes

            On-line Mat Pilates classes  starting in August

I’ve decided to jump back on the mat again and offer Pilates Mat Classes over Zoom.

I’ve been a certified Pilates Instructor for 20 years… having taught in both private studios and gyms.  I taught numerous classes for over a decade at both Sports Club LA and Equinox as well as other smaller local gyms in Los Angeles.

Since Covid 19, I’ve shifted my Pilates training to be on Zoom and I’m thrilled to see that it’s as effective as working with people in person.  Almost better, in fact.  Teaching over Zoom allows for people to be in their own home…and share their practice with their pets!  (Yes my cat, Jarod, will likely be participating in the classes!)

I provide options for all fitness levels including beginners.  And, I have plenty of alternative exercises for anyone who is working with an injury.

And, if you’ve never taken Pilates with me, let me say…I teach a safe, fun, inclusive class.  I will carefully watch you to keep you free from  injuries while offering a great workout.

Starting August 9th, I will be offering 3 classes a week.

Cost:   by donation.  (Through Venmo  @Brigittadau)

Class times will be:

Sundays: 11am (PST)  start date August 9th 

Tuesdays: 5:30 pm (PST)  start date August 11th

Wednesdays: 12pm (PST)  start date August 12th

Let me know which classes you would like to attend, and I’ll send you the zoom link.  I look forward to working with you!

Our Fear of Change

…even when that change is good for us.

In this video, I explain why we fear change and how to overcome our fears.

And, if you are ready to change your limiting behaviors, sign up for my online workshop:

Ending Self-Sabotage

July 26th, 1-3pm (PST)

$25

email me today to sign up

Ending Self Sabotage

Upcoming Online Workshop

led by Brigitta Dau, certified Life Coach

                                  

In this online workshop, we’ll be exploring the science behind why we are ALL are prone to self sabotage.  We’ll cultivate compassion for  ourselves as we break down our own personal forms of self sabotage.  Finally, we’ll work together to find new ways to approach our goals and create better strategies to stop ourselves from getting in our own way.

This course will include both written material and group coaching.

Sunday, July 26th, 1pm – 3pm PST (over zoom)

Cost $25

Space is limited

Contact me at brigittadau@yahoo.com to sign up today.

Ending Self Sabotage

Upcoming Online Workshop

led by me! Brigitta Dau, certified Life Coach

                                

In this online workshop, we’ll be exploring the science behind why we are ALL are prone to self sabotage.  We’ll cultivate compassion for  ourselves as we break down our own personal forms of self sabotage.  Finally, we’ll work together to find new ways to approach our goals and create better strategies to stop ourselves from getting in our own way.

This course will include both written material and group coaching.

Sunday, July 26th, 1pm – 3pm PST (over zoom)

Cost $25

Space is limited

Contact me at brigittadau@yahoo.com to sign up today.

Why Baby Steps Lead to Big Success…excerpt from my book, “Crafting a Better Life”

“The elevator to success is broken.  You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time” – Jo Gerrard

The Japanese have a name for the strategy that relies on tiny, continuing improvements to create change.  It’s called “Kaisen”.  

And with all the people I have worked with both as a coach and a pilates instructor, I have noticed that the people who take daily baby steps towards their goals have a better chance of actually achieving their goals. In fact most of the successful people I’ve met, don’t kill themselves accomplishing tons every day.  They take small bite sized actions consistently.

This might sound counter-intuitive.  Most of us think jumping in with both feet means great big actions.  But the truth is, rarely is anything in life ‘one big action’.  It’s usually a string of small accomplishments that leads to the big accomplishment.

For example, running a marathon.  Unless you’re a top athlete, you will need to train for this goal.  Having run one myself, I can tell you the training included a lot of short runs before the long runs.

Ask any writer how they wrote their book or script?  They will likely tell you that they started with an outline and then plugged away at it daily.    

In fact, look at yourself as a child learning anything…reading, piano, tennis…you weren’t thrown onto the tennis court expecting to win a match!  You likely practiced hitting balls off the wall, then volleyed with another person, etc.

Just to prove my point even further:

Dave Brailsford was the GM and Performance Director for Team Sky (Britain’s professional cycling team).  They had never won a Tour de France until Dave Brailsford took over and implemented his “aggregation of marginal gains” strategy (taking small actions every day).  He figured if they followed this daily practice, they would win it in five years.

They won it in two.

And here’s what it is:  aim for improving 1% every day.

For example, think about your body weight.  You don’t lose or gain 50 lbs over night.  You make daily distinctions to either improve your health, or inhibit it.  The weight is either gradually shed, or gained.  

This is true for any goal you want to achieve.

But, when we are in a rut or frustrated with our current life, we want instant change and even faster results.  However, to create lasting change and achieve big goals we have to break it down to doable, small steps.  1% is more than enough.  Do the math…if you improve 1% a day…then at the end of the year you will have improved 365%!

Now for me, my 1% is based on a certain amount of time I work on a project.  Again, I make it easy to succeed (I warned you, you’ll hear that a lot in this book.) so I set the goal to work on my project 15 minutes a day.  That’s it.  That’s how this book got written.  I sat and wrote with the intention of writing for only 15 minutes.  Now obviously, if I went over and wrote for a few hours, that was great!  But, if I had said I had to write at least an hour a day?  I can assure you it would still be ‘in progress’ waiting to be completed.  By working on it for only 15 minutes a day, I actually expanded the manuscript at least 1% a day.

So, where can you improve your life by 1% today?  

Look at your goals, and decide today what a 1% improvement would look like.  What can you do TODAY to get 1% closer to your goal?  What baby steps, if taken consistently, will get you the results you want?  Then tomorrow, ask yourself the same question. Every day, decide and do whatever that 1% improvement is.

And of course, if you need support with this, get in touch and we’ll work on this together.