Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Venting Partners: You can't survive without one!

Leading a workshop the other day, I was reminded of a wonderful technique that allows you to vent appropriately—out of ear shot of customers or team members—and with an end in sight! It’s a good stress reducer and eliminates frequent complaining—which wears everyone down.  First you and someone agree to be venting partners.  When you need to vent, go to your partner and ask if this is a good time. They have the prerogative to set another time agreeable—or convenient—to both of you. 
To start, the listener says,
"OK, go!"
 After one minute the listener says "Stop."
 Then, the listener asks my favorite question,
“Do you need another minute?”
If the answer is yes, the listener says, “Go!”
After another minute, the listener says, “Stop.”
Interestingly, after a full minute or two of someone giving us their undivided attention, many of us don't need anymore time! 
There are some important rules:
Venting partners:
ŸGive partner their complete attention
ŸMake eye contact
ŸLook interestedmaybe nod the head
ŸAsk open-ended, clarifying questionsif needed
ŸGive acknowledgment of the other person's feelings

Venting partners do not:
ŸTell their partner to calm down
ŸGive advice
ŸSuck up the other person's pain
When the venting session is over, both must let it go.  Try ityou'll feel better!