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Finding Middle Ground ~ 3 Steps to Creating Consensus & Connection

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To find middle ground, we must be willing to accommodate another perspective, and leave the ground we stand on.

Finding middle ground is not always easy because needs are often so diametrically opposed. And yet when we realize that people, more than anything, want to feel heard and understood, finding middle ground can become a simpler process. Here are three steps you can take to find middle ground:

1. Be Calm

This is essential. Your calm state creates a sense of openness, and a feeling of safety for others to express fully without fear of judgement or reaction.

2. Acknowledge the Other’s Position

People are more likely to loosen their stance if they feel heard and valued. People want to feel that their position is valid, and they want to be met with understanding. You may say:

  • I can see why this is important to you
  • Given… I understand why you feel this way

It is important that you are genuine in your acknowledgement, and that you speak softly and kindly. It is easier to do this if you actively seek value in what the other is saying, versus looking for fault in his or her point of view. 

3. Move Towards Each Other

In feeling heard, validated and understood, a connection is established. From this place, it is easier to want to find a way to meet each other’s needs. Instead of moving from resentment, fear or loss, you move from a genuine heart-felt desire to accommodate the other and meet in the middle. You do it because you care about the person. Perhaps you may say:

  • Maybe I could be a bit more…
  • Perhaps I could try…

You move towards each other like two people on opposite ends of a teeter-totter walking towards centre. And although it may appear that you are simply walking towards an agreed position, more deeply, you are growing into a part of your Self that lies on the opposite side…haven’t you ever wondered why we keep attracting our opposite?

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Related Reading:
7 Mindsets for Collaboration
The Feelings Behind Your Need
Whose Need is Stronger?

Related Playshop:
Community Engagement ~ Building Creative & Collaborative Relationships

Related Keynote:
The 5 Needs of Employees ~ Building an Inspired, Engaged & Creative Workplace

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Vince Gowmon

Vince Gowmon

Vince Gowmon is the founder of Remembering to Play Events. He leads keynotes and playshops for organizations, conferences and communities on topics such as Leadership, Communication, Creativity, Community Engagement and Play. His events are fun and interactive, leaving people inspired and with practical tools for work and life.