Pop-Up Workshop 1: On Thin Ice

Pop-Up Workshop 1: On Thin Ice

How to use this resource page: 

1. Duplicate this Notion page by clicking "Duplicate" on the top right corner. 
2. Read the Visual Essays
3. Answer the journal prompts
4. Listen to the Q&A audio recordings



COUNTERINTUITIVE LISTENING MINDSET 1: 🤗 Supporting over Solving What makes you successful at work sucks the life out of your relationships. Stop treating people as problems to be solved, and start embracing people as humans wishing to be seen.

📚 Visual Essays

The Problem Solving Pandemic


The Heartbreak of Breadwinning


Do You Listen Like a Mirror or a Prism?


The Order of Operations of Listening


✍🏼 Journal Prompts


Think of a time you realized you weren't actually listening to someone. What were you doing instead, or what thoughts were you preoccupied with?


What would it look like to show up for others, especially when they share their emotions, without trying to solve anything?


Think of a time you vented to someone you trust, and they gave you advice that you've either considered or did not ask for. What did you feel? In what ways do you show up like this to others who come to you for emotional support?

🗒 Slides

📒 Workshop Takeaways


THE BIG TAKEAWAY: Ask this question when listening to others: "Do you need me to listen to help you process, or would you like me to help you figure out a solution?"

What Did Other People Learn In The Workshop?
Getting my emotions validated is sometimes exactly what I need!
How to be more supportive - different people want different things. Validation!! People want to be seen!
The importance of slowing down and listening more.
Relating is less useful than actual listening
Slow down and listen. Give them the floor
Validation is by itself so powerful.
Ask if someone wants to a space to vent, or wants advice
I thought I was a great listener coming into today and i now realize I could be so much more
Listening is being there for someone in whatever capacity they need
don't assume! make sure to ask!
Listening meets a person exactly where they're at
Put yourself in the situation of the person that you're supporting. How would I feel If someone said this to me?
Walking away with reflection from the past thinking that I am a good friend in suggesting advice, but perhaps that is not how the receiving ends feels.
allowance for exploration
understanding > advising
If I want to build stronger relationship with others, I want to stop being a problem solver and more of a listener.
A deeper understanding of how I am (or not) showing up for my relationships.
understanding that problem solving isn't always helpful or necessary - a very active problem solver
I'm walking away with the new understanding that solving isn't bad, it may just be in the wrong context.
Slowing down and asking for what kind of support the person is looking for can be really helpful and allow them to feel seen and heard.
Listening by itself is one way to solve a problem
Emotions aren't problems to be solved, but an opportunity to connect deeper. Slow down so you can process through them instead of rushing ahead to try to "get through" them!
Being super conscious of when I default to problem solving
To ask if you want support or resources when your friend is reaching out
Do you need me to help you solve a problem, or do you need me to listen?
we are not problems to be solved, but people to be seen
allow yourself to listen to the whole story before giving advice

🙋🏻‍♀️ Q&A Audio Recordings and Transcripts

What general advice can I give to someone who is a problem-solver?
What general advice can I give someone who is a problem-solver?35635.4KB

You have a few choices and it depends on your capacity. Are you able to tolerate their behavior? Are you willing to take the risk of sharing the impact that they have on you? Are you able to lean into the difficult conversation of owning your part in creating that dynamic, where you too are a problem solver?

Those things are some of the choice points you have, but it all depends on your relationship, your history, what your capacity is and what their capacity is, right? We can't force someone to magically meet us where we are, if they're not ready and not willing to confront these aspects of themselves, right?

I'll just use my mom as an example. She is absolutely resistant to feedback and loves going on tangents whenever I share anything with her. I'll talk about something and she'll pick one word and then just create a whole story about that word. That was not even the point of what I was sharing, and I can be annoyed at her forever, or I can slowly set boundaries with her and say, "right now I'm not feeling supported by the way that you're listening. I know how much you care about me and know this is not easy, but I just have to share with you that this doesn't help me. And if you actually want to help me, I just need you to try repeating back what you heard..

Let's just start there, mom, you know. Like, like I, being a teacher of this material and still working on this stuff, I don't magically have it all figured out, but like I too have to take step, step by step and guide someone there while managing my own frustration, and irritation, but at the same time. It's like playing hard mode in a video game. That's a really tall order to ask of yourself right now, but you should just start with, what do you have capacity for, and what are you willing to risk to either strengthen this relationship or just to keep it where it is?

When I'm in an argument, I usually default to using a neutral tone and have been told that it sounds condescending. What advice do you have to approach conflict?
What advice do you have to approach conflict?1552.5KB

The specific principle we'll talk about is congruence versus being collected. Sounds like you optimize for being calm and having it together. It's very clear something is leaking out and it's having an adverse impact. And so there's actually a lot of power, and skill that's required to actually lean into the anger and the frustration and put it on the table.

The more you try to hide it, the more it leaks out. It's kind of like walking around with three weeks of rotten eggs in your backpack, and then people have this reaction when they look at you. And you're like, why? Why is everyone just staying away from me? Your anger is leaking. Your unprocessed emotion is leaking. So it's about instead of hiding it, which is what we are taught to do, actually bringing it up in a skillful way.

What's really important to emphasize is that there's no one size fits all. We can learn all these tactics, but you going to have to try something different with each person. It's almost asking, what's the best wine in the world? What's the point of this question? Because everyone has different tastes and some people don't even drink, so what feels like de-escalation for one person

can feel like rapid escalation for someone else. And our job is to in the real-time have active conversations that both reveal and gather more information. We're operating mostly on assumptions, and we're kind of walking around landmines that keep exploding, and we wonder what's going on versus like, "Oh, this just happened for you. It brings this up in me... And when I share that, I wonder if it has this impact on you, and so on and so forth." And it sounds almost ridiculous to people who've never done that and don't communicate like that, but like only in that meta and like meta meta does conflict no longer feel like conflict. It just feels like a very slow conversation.

How do you strike a balance between regulating yourself and co-regulating with a partner in heated situations?
How do you strike a balance between regulating yourself and co-regulating with a partner in heated situations? 12006.6KB

There's two dynamics at play here: one is there's an assumption around display rules, so when your partner sees you processing without strong emotion, there's an assumption or meaning attached to perceiving that as no longer authentic. That's just an interpretation that's going to be very interesting to unpack what that means, where it comes from, and the validity of that interpretation because that would then put a break on your ability to do that, which should still be available on the table, so that's one.

The second dynamic that I observed in what you share is that there's a willingness to be in it together, but what's your capacity to be in it together? Right? Like appetite and digestion are two separate things. And so you can want to do that, but you might not be able to. So what's really important is in these moments, it's a test of your ability to share the care, right? You can be like, "I need to space because I want to be in this difficult conversation with you, but I can't. And the only way I can do that is have a take some space, so I want to be in this hard conversation with you because I love you or whatever it is you share. That way, it's not that I need to distance myself and process alone, which sounds like a potential pinch point for your partner.

So it's like, if you want to co-regulate, do you have the capacity to co-regulate? And if you need to take space away, can you share the care first? So the care will go out the window. When both of you are hurt, this is natural right? How can you be like, "Oh, you're hurting me, but I still love you."

Like, it's really hard. It's really hard to not say, like "what the fuck?" when your hand hits the stove that's hot, right? So it takes more effort to lean into that really challenging, vulnerable space of saying like, even when I'm hurting, I still remember the trust that we've built, et cetera.

How can you be effective dancing the fine line between supporting and solving?
How can you be effective dancing the fine line between supporting and solving? 7324.9KB

The easiest clue is if they ask, is for you to brainstorm, or "Can you help me with something?" Or like, "What are your thoughts around this? Is usually a clearer invitation for advice. And even then, you want to double check. A lot of what we're teaching comes from a culture of consent at every level. Do you need this right now? Do you want this right now?

Is this helpful, is this not helpful? Some people might feel like, oh, what a handicap, like stop sensoring me.  That kind of person, I don't want to deal with. And that's okay for me. But for the person who wants to bring in care into their communication, this is just the work of being in relationship with humans.

Outside of that, it really is just asking. So even the language of like what clues means you are looking for clues instead of just asking. And of course, like there are relationships where like, asking feels really weird, like I imagine that's my mom, like, "Mom, do you want me to listen right now?

Or give you some suggestions? She would be alarmed or skeptical even of that kind of reaction. And I'm okay with that. I'm okay with I am going to just listen in this way, mom. And we can get used to it and like find a way to make it feel good for both of us.