I've been thinking a lot lately about why we fear our more serious conflict conversations, why we put them off or hold them in unconstructive ways.

I had one of my own recently and was really quite uncentered for a bit, thinking about how I wanted to hold the conversation, what my positive intention was, and what purpose it would serve – all the things I teach about.

I came to the conclusion that it isn't the other person I worry about so much, but rather my ability to manage myself. I fear I might become hooked and reactive, instead of centered and on purpose. So, to prepare for my conversation, I focused acutely on myself and my inner process before I held the conversation. I looked at what I really wanted to walk away with, what she might want, and how I could keep myself on purpose during the conversation.

I think we all make choices when we communicate, both internally in the way we sort out what has caused us conflict, and externally in how we communicate about the conflict. I also believe that when we understand and become clear about our internal choices, the external communication will also be clear and on purpose.

At least that's what happened in my case. I felt fairly confident going into the conversation because I knew I had a useful, positive purpose, and because I was ready for whatever might come my way. I believe my conflict partner felt the positive intention before I uttered a word. She looked at ease and was able to hear what I offered, and I was interested to hear what the situation looked like from her vantage point. We definitely saw the situation differently, yet through hearing each other out, we were able to work it out.

The quality of our being speaks louder than what we say. Clarity of purpose is the foundation for centered communication.

Author's Bio: 

Judy Ringer is the author of Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict (www.unlikelyteachersbook.com) and the award-winning e-zine, Ki Moments, containing stories and practices on turning life's challenges into life teachers. Judy is a black belt in aikido and nationally known presenter, specializing in unique workshops on conflict, communication, and creating a positive work environment. She is the founder of Power & Presence Training and chief instructor of Portsmouth Aikido, Portsmouth, NH, USA. To sign up for more free tips and articles like these, visit www.JudyRinger.com