Common Outlook Consulting Inc. New Perspectives
March 2016 - Issue # 16-03
Founder's Message

Recently, a long-time colleague (who described themselves as a 'veteran conflict avoider') shared a personal story about being in a conversation with their spouse related to dividing up financial assets and possessions as part of their divorce process. Needless to say, unless handled in an adroit and mannerly way, a conversation like this can easily become tense and acrimonious. And indeed, as the more contentious issues and items came up for discussion, things began to unravel, and the colleague's spouse lashed out with a verbal attack.

The remarkable thing is that in this particular situation, my colleague didn't avoid the conflict in order to make themselves feel safe, nor did they lash out in retaliation. What they did instead was recognize the attack as the other person's defence mechanism pattern and address it by saying: "That's not really helpful to this process".

A simple comment, but it was a bright little sliver of light showing the way forward, for the spouse was taken aback by the atypical response, and it triggered a different and softer response from them. In essence, that simple comment neutralized the attack and allowed the conversation to continue productively.

What my colleague had done was introduce an awareness into the discussion - one that had been gained over a period of self-reflection and coaching - one that was based on a 'window of insight'.

This month we're going to put on our night-vision goggles and take a look at how we can go about creating our own windows of insight.


"Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
~ Lao Tzu


We think there will be unpleasant outcomes in our lives if we look at the things that need changing, but the worst outcomes in our lives are brought on because we avoid learning about or discovering the things we need to change.


Coming Up  
Rationality? Rationale? Rationalizing?



'Windows of insight' occur in various situations and settings. Sometimes we gain insights during the throes of a conflict or as a result of coaching (from a professional coach or a friend) or with the assistance of a trained therapist. Sometimes insights will come to us during a training workshop, or as we reflect on past situations. (See questions below) But no matter the situation or setting, many of our insights become the catalyst for change, for they give us the ability to look at our own behaviour patterns and at the patterns we've established with other people. 

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Peter Hiddema


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