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Jeanne Tippetts Personal Change Report

Doing this project was such an incredible journey for me. I wish that I had been able to do a documentary on it or been able to tape some of the situations that came up. The positives, the negatives, the heartbreak and the joy were so many of the emotions that came up, but the sheer elation shown in a breakthrough was absolutely priceless. My goals for this personal change process were to be able to be more aware of the way that I handle myself during conflict. I tend to let my emotions get the better of me when it comes to conflict and it usually does not end real well. I needed to work on keeping this in the back of my mind and process through with self-talk (Beebe p.45). I need to keep in mind that my perceptions are just that, mine and not necessarily someone elses. I also have a habit of shadowing, which is taking a past experience and applying it to current situations. In laymens terms, I would make it all about me. Within the scope of this assignment, I started out slow at first by rethinking how conversations should have gone and what I should have said or done differently. The way the text put it was for me to go back and re-frame (Beebe p.46) By doing this I became more and more aware of the non-verbal cues that I was giving off as well as receiving. (Beebe p.191-210) This process started to trigger a response to stop in my mind and check myself. By stepping back and making sure I was on course. I would re-direct my focus, thoughts and say what needed to be said according to the present conversation not what my past experiences had shown me. By doing this I was able to break through with my step-children in was that I was struggling with before and was pretty hopeless in finding a solution. Allowing a present situation to be present and not fix it for the past is allowing me to actually make more progress than I thought I could. During this semesters project I also went back and did a few things to hopefully gain closure and mentally be available and capable to make these changes and move forward. Saying goodbye to loved ones that I feel we didnt particularly part on the best of terms, was also very freeing and helped tremendously with this process. (Beebe p.47, 77-85) Having a blended family has also been a huge part of this challenge. Overcoming such differences was a major accomplishment in my opinion. Not only was I able to achieve my goal and actually cause quite a shift it was like breaking a language barrier from another country. Think of the skills you have learned as options to consider, rather than as hard and fast rules to follow in every situation. (Beebe p.253) These are great tools and ideas to use when dealing with communication and conflict resolution. I mentioned that there was a shift. This happened by me becoming more aware of my own reactions, I would stop and change the norm. This caused the others in my family to have to react differently. It is not changing them; it is just giving them a different choice with what ways they can react. I would like to liken it to the old choose your own adventure books. You can read page 43 which ends with you either going to look for your friend, Carlos or you could re-read page 43 and stay with the leader of the excavation and continue your journey, which was the other option at the bottom of the page. When presented with a conflict to manage, I could react as I

normally did or make these changes. In turn they could get upset and fight or work with me and communicate a way that would maybe work better for both, giving them the option or control of the situation. This took not only the responsibility off of me to have to do it right (at least by my perception) but allows me to accept the outcome and for the other person to take the responsibility that is uniquely theirs and should have been theirs in the first place. I plan on reviewing more of the concepts from the book and implementing them into my communication at home. Being able to clearly communicate is such a blessing. I have seen my stepchildren go from distant and unresponsive to an active player when it comes to discussions and making good, solid decisions. The end of this project was amazing to say the least. I am able to look back and see the growth and changes not only in myself but the other individuals that I was interacting with on a daily basis. I noticed not just the communication changes but the vibration or tension levels that were no longer there. Inclusion and feeling a part of something makes a huge difference, like in High School, being part of the in crowd. Your family should be the in crowd and that is the ultimate goal that I am striving for. My recommendation is to definitely continue on this path of striving for better communication. By practicing what I have learned from this course and not only working on more with my family but these strategies and skills will definitely help when I am in a professional setting at work.