- Written by a group of people who care enough about self-awareness to opt-in to a self-awareness checklist build, here are the things we recommend:
IE, check before wreck. THE LIST.
Pause and Consider
HALT: Am I hungry, angry, lonely, tired/thirsty?
When is the last time I ate? Did I get enough sleep last night? Am I drunk, high, or both (etc)?
Am I making value judgements?
Example: The difference between saying someone is late to work today, and saying they are selfish and lazy and never on time, ever!
Do I know whether my role is problem-solving, or listening, etc.?
- How do I know? Have I expressed which one I want from this interaction?
Example: someone is upset about dirty dishes. Do they want to find a better system for doing dishes, or do they want to know you understand?
Am I in the right environment to achieve the desired outcome?
- Do I need to change my environment?
Example: tense conversations are easier side-to-side, people are less argumentative when they're in comfortable chairs.
Do I need a translator?
Am I exhausted from explaining something, and would like back up?
I'm spending more time explaining what I mean than moving the conversation forward.
Am I speaking for the sake of communication or for the audience?
Example: am I tweeting at someone, or their followers?
- Am I more concerned with how others will think about this situation, or about resolving/gaining udnerstanding with this individual?
Heart rate, breathing, posture.
"Make room for cats."
Are my breaths coming from the top of my chest, or from the bottom of my lungs?
Is my heart rate up? Can I get it back down?
Can I open up my posture?
Would it be beneficial to take time and space before going further? Can I realistically do that?
Example: someone likes getting criticism a couple days afterwards.
Do I know what being done would look like?
Not you "being right" but difference between resolution and understanding.
Can I understand and articulate where the other person is coming from?
- Before responding, paraphrase what you heard, and check whether it's correct, if not, ask for clarification. Expect this to take several iterations, try to understand anew each time.
Have I identified the thoughts tied to my emotions? Balancing thoughts?
Example: a parent is sick and tells their child they're going to take a nap and not to make a mess. When the parent wakes up, they find a huge mess of glue and crayons and glitter, and feel angry. They then go to find the child, and discover the child had been making a "get well" card for them, and instead feel tenderness and affection.
Have I named my emotions?
"I feel like you're an asshole." is not an emotion, "I am feeling angry" is. "Fred" is not a valid name for an emotion.
Important: do NOT name the other person's emotions.
Have I taken a moment to write or draw what I need to express?
Putting your thoughts on paper can make it easier to clarify, reflect, validate, and stay on topic during interaction.
Have I identified the desired outcome and stakes for everyone involved?
Outcome: What do you need in order for the interaction to feel finished and complete?
Stakes: If you really like peanut butter, but your friend is deathly allergic to peanuts, you & your friend have different stakes in whether peanut butter cups are part of dessert.
Am I using an appropriate medium?
Is the medium public or private? Is there a written record? How important is nonverbal communication?
If you're using a public medium, it is because it's important to interact in public (they are more powerful, and you need backup?) or is it because you want an audience for your performance?
One crisis at a time.
Focus on one topic with a manageable scope, rather than a laundry list of every possible topic. When other topics come up, agree to give them their own separate conversations.