One of the most important habits to develop when you are using Peace and Power is how to respond constructively to criticism, or to any situation where you own some responsibility for what is happening. Here are some guidelines to help form constructive habits:
- Nurture your active listening skills, and always begin your response by summarizing what you think others are saying in their critical reflections.
- Always take time to reflect before you respond. At the time the issue emerges, acknowledge your feelings to the group and indicate that you need time to reflect and to plan for a constructive response. Let the group know when you will return to the issue and respond.
- If the issue is highly emotional, consider writing your constructive response and reading it so that you can remain calm, and to help yourself refrain from saying something you might later regret. Include a description of your feelings, and ask the group for their support as you seek to find a peaceful outcome for yourself and the group.
- If you are feeling defensive about the criticism, acknowledge your feeling but move toward a response that shifts to your hopes and dreams for yourself and for the group. Example: if someone is the group is confronting the fact that you have not done your share of the work, instead of making excuses or offering apologies, think about and share what you can realistically do to start contributing to the work of the group.