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CINERGY (tm) - Peacebuilding... one person at a time

Boundary Considerations

Before we engage someone in a challenging conversation, it helps to think out what to say and how to be. We have already discussed this in a previous blog. It also helps to give some thought about what to stay away from in order to achieve what we intend. Our reactions, attitudes, manner, considering the other person’s hot buttons, and other things are all choices we have – that can make or break a conversation.

This line of inquiry is particularly about what we may do or say (or not do or say) that could cross a line and possibly ruin the dialogue altogether. That is, we all have limits of tolerance regarding what we find acceptable and the following questions invite you to consider the possibilities about the other person’s limits so that you can keep the conversation on track.

  • What do you think of when you hear the word ‘boundary’?
  • What are your boundaries when it comes to conflict? (That is, what could someone say or do that would go beyond your limit of toleration?)
  • What do your boundaries say about what is important to you?
  • What do you know about the other person that may push him or her too far, considering the conversation you want to have? If you do not know, what possible things may do so?
  • What may that (those things) say about what is important to him or her that you want to consider in your dialogue?
  • What concerns might you have about the possibility of crossing the other person’s boundary?
  • How may it help things if his/her boundary is crossed? How may it hurt things?
  • What do you want to get out in the open that has some boundary risks?
  • How may you best express/present that/those?
  • What will you do to handle matters if your best efforts still cross the other person’s boundary?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

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