June 2018 E-News
Crucial Conversations
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Greetings!
A crucial conversation is a discussion between two or more people where the stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. The term comes from the 25 years of research that Kerry Patterson and his coauthors did, which eventually became a best selling book. 

These kind of interactions happen in the workplace, our homes, places of worship, volunteer settings and just about anywhere else that people interact with one another. As Al Switzler says, “ Crucial Conversations skills are only applicable if you live or work with or near other people .” 

I’ve had (and avoided) many crucial conversations in my day, and my guess is that you have too. These are hard but really important conversations (thus the name), and how we handle them makes a big impact on our relationships. I think it is probably because crucial conversations are hard for me that I was drawn to this topic. 

The book outlines a number of strategies, but the first one may be the most important: Start with your heart. While we can’t control how another will respond, we can control our own attitude as we enter into a crucial conversation. Three basic questions to ask ourselves are 1) What do I really want for myself; 2) What do I really want for others, and 3) What do I really want for the relationship. Just the act of pausing and reflecting with these questions often helps the conversation.
 
Lumunos cares about crucial conversations because we care about relationships. We are a faith based organization, trying to follow Jesus' model for relationships. That means having caring, crucial conversations that have the potential to bring more healing and justice to the world. Whether it is in our interactions with family and friends, or the declining level of discourse in our public life together, we all can do better. I hope you will join me for our next Zoom Call on June 27 as we explore how to handle the crucial conversations in our lives (see info below for details about joining the call). I’m no expert at these interactions, but I will enjoy facilitating our conversation. Hope you can join us.   
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Reflection Question:
Is there a crucial conversation you've been meaning to have?
Speaking from the Heart
A good friend once told me that some relationships come with an expiration date. I thought this rather odd since my only experience with things expiring pertained to old milk or a forgotten avocado shriveled and alone in the back of my refrigerator. But unlike perishable food items, relationships if properly nurtured would last a lifetime. Change was inevitable and even though friends moved away, started new careers or got married, good relationships always endured.

I especially thought this to be true with my close friend, whom I will call Sara. We met each other one summer lying on our beach towels at the neighborhood pool. We began talking and realized we had much in common. After a few more chance meetings by the pool and many more lighthearted conversations, a friendship was born.

That summer we made plans to go biking. Each weekend, thereafter, brought new adventure. We hiked, jogged, and biked some more. We went to the movies and met for dinner. We talked about the men we were dating. When one of us suffered a breakup, the other would bring the tissues and ice cream. We were becoming more than friends. We were like sisters.

But as years passed, Sara became increasingly possessive of my friendship. When I planned activities with other people, she questioned why she wasn’t invited. She insisted on spending more time together, challenging the comfort level of our friendship. When I became seriously involved with a new love interest, she told me she felt lonely and neglected.

I was torn between nurturing my relationship with the new man in my life and tending to the emotional needs of my best friend. I felt split in two. Before long, I was overwhelmed.

No matter how difficult or painful our conversation might be, I decided to confront the situation and tell Sara how I was feeling. I went over and over what I would say and how I would say it. Soon it was time to make the call. My heart was pounding as I dialed her number. When she answered, her pleasant demeanor quickly turned to sadness as I shared my feelings with her. I told her that our friendship needed to change but it would never end. Unfortunately, for Sara it was all or nothing.

I wasn’t prepared for Sara’s reaction that turned our close relationship on its head, forcing me to come to grips with a painful and changing reality. The friendship I thought was etched in stone had ended. To my great sadness it came with an expiration date.

Alice Barbera
Inspiration
"Are you avoiding the Difficult Conversation?"
 Kathy Kiernan

"Mastering the Art of Crucial Conversations"
Joseph Grenny
"The Sounds of Silence"
Simon and Garfunkel
June Blog
Prayer for the Possibility of a Conversation

Last Sunday was my church's annual picnic, a day when worship leans toward the casual. Often on picnic Sundays ...

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www.lumunos.org
Poetry
Love in a Time of Conflict

This comes from John O'Donohue's book: To Bless the Space Between Us. Read by Lynda Weston

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Happenings
Spring Appeal

We'd like to say a heartfelt Thank You to all who helped make our Spring Appeal a great success! We came in a few thousand dollars over our goal of $30,000 . Going forward this momentum will allow us to make our "Retreat Mission" a reality. This year we are adding more retreats to the calendar -- both for the general population and for under-served groups like educators working in low income school districts. Check out the links below for information on the 2018 New England Women's Retreat and the Denver Area Men's Retreat.

It may not be appeal season any longer, but your support is crucial no matter the time of year. Click below to make a one time gift or contact d an@lumunos.org about planned giving options.
June 2018 Zoom Call

In this month's Zoom call, we'll explore how to navigate these 'crucial conversations' -- defined as a discussion between two or more people where stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. How we handle the crucial conversations ...

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2018 Denver Area Men's Retreat

Throughout the ages, river crossings have been important symbols of change, growth and transformation for men. While drawing from many traditions, this Lumunos Men's retreat will use the story of Jacob in the Old Testament as he encounters ...

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New England
Women's Retreat
During the season of harvest, join us as we honor what we've been given by the everyday saints in our lives. What we've received, whether we appreciated it at the time or not...

Keep in Touch
Please contact us. 
Let us know what we can do for you.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson  doug@lumunos.org     
Dan Quinlan  dan@lumunos.org  
Alice Barbera  alice@lumunos.org  
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org