In times of stress one action, we can always do is go to the Balcony, or any place where you find yourself able to breathe a little more deeply. The metaphor for the balcony is based on leadership principles of finding an objective and place of deep understanding when dealing with a conflict. You can use this exercise when dealing with any difficult or important situation in your life.
Once you find your place comfortably stationed in the balcony, following a few minutes of deep belly breathing, find yourself surrounded by a Third Side of support. This is important because you are not alone going through difficult situations. You may have family and friends around you, you may have teachers, ministers, rabbis, and you may have therapists or coaches surrounding you. This is the Third Side. Please remember that one of the greatest challenges we face in our lives is loneliness. Knowing you are not alone, that you are protected and supported by a community that loves you is key in this exercise.
After you feel a sense of grounding in the balcony, your breathing is regulated, you are surrounded in deep love and protection, you can then invite any challenging personality into the balcony to sit near you. Adjust and regulate your breathing with theirs. Adjust and regulate your emotional states together. Now, begin listening to what is important to that person. Fully grok or understand this individual’s interests, concerns, and needs. It does not mean you have to agree with it. It means they know you fully heard them. Then reverse this and let the individual in the balcony experience and communicate what they understand your interests, needs and concerns are. This has to be done at a deep guttural level.
I cannot fully put into words the power that this has on the physical reality surrounding you and the individual who you might be in conflict with, but it works. Practice this every day for 10-15 minutes, preferably before bedtime, 5 days consecutive before your meeting with this individual.