Monday, July 26, 2021

Five Keys to Navigating Awkward Conversations


By Christopher Green

The awkward conversation has to be one the most challenging scenarios in our lives. Most people don’t like confrontation or conflict anyway. It doesn’t matter if the issue is a difference of opinion, the need to bring up an embarrassing matter, or to give bad news, most of us struggle with the basic uncomfortable nature of this type of conversation. Some people have no filter between their thoughts and their mouth, so there’s no such thing as an awkward conversation, at least to them. They don’t usually concern themselves with how they are abrasively impacting others. 

On the other end of the spectrum, others have a hard time being assertive in the best of times, and when it comes to an awkward conversation, it creates a near impossible wall for them to scale. From our many years of personal and professional experience with awkward conversations that have ranged from family members to clients, we offer these five keys. 

1. Pause: Whether you find yourself in a sudden and unexpected moment of awkwardness or if you’re anticipating a conversation, it’s important to first pause, step back and consider your thoughts and feelings. Awkward conversations are filled with feelings and multiple reactions. Those feelings can include embarrassment, anger, anxiety or frustration. Responses can include shock, defensiveness, denial, retaliation, or indifference.  Taking a pause is about self-awareness. It’s about recognizing and regulating your own feelings so you’re not swept away in the tide of awkwardness. 

2. Enlightened engagement: This is all about having the presence of mind to not only prepare yourself, but to also give some type of notification to the other person that the conversation is coming. Offer a simple text, email or quick comment like, “There’s something I’d like to talk with you about today.” 

With your self-awareness elevated, confront the unknown of the awkward with confidence. When you engage the person, be clear, be concise, be cautious, and be conclusive. Engage the person with CARE (compassionate awareness with respect and empathy). When your engagement is from this higher perspective, you can be mindful to determine where the conversation should take place, as well as when. 

However, if the awkward conversation is a spontaneous moment that breaks out in front of customers, in the office, or in the living room, you can diffuse a potential disaster by saying, “Let’s talk about this over here,” or “Can we step outside for a minute?” 

Enlightened engagement will cause you to be so self-aware and socially aware that you won’t be easily driven by your own fear of the unknown within the awkward. Instead you’ll be guided from a perspective of wisdom and concern for the person with whom you must speak. This can still hold true, even if the person is hostile and responding in a very negative manner. 

3. Ask Questions:  Do not assume that you know the answers, even when it seems obvious. Depending upon your relationship, ask questions like, “Are you aware that….?” or “Please help me understand why….” 

After you hear their response, be prepared to ask the second question. Sometimes we ask one question. The person answers, and then we react. However, we suggest that you ask a second question just to make sure that you are clear and understand their perspective.  It’s not about asking questions until you get the response that you desire. You don’t ask until they say something that you agree with. If you do that, you’ll turn it into an interrogation instead of a conversation. You are asking questions until you are sure that you understand their point of view. If you feel they are being untruthful or omitting some part of their story, please know that you’re not a judge and this is not a hearing. You’re simply giving them an opportunity to present their view. 

4. Listen to Learn: If you’re going to ask questions, then you must actually listen. We humans do not listen very well. We pretend to listen, we selectively listen, or we listen for pauses and breaks in the dialogue in order to state our opinions. Active, empathetic and facilitative listening is absolutely essential for navigating the awkward conversation. If you can provide reflective listening feedback during an awkward conversation, you can take away the power of the awkward and empower yourself and the other person to actually have a healthy, mutually-beneficial conversation. Your listening and feedback will communicate that you’re making a sincere effort to understand them and the situation surrounding the conversation. 

5. Respond: Instead of being reactionary, you can make a thoughtful response rooted in compassion, concern, and curiosity (a genuine desire to understand). Most people tend to merely react to the revelations that come out of an awkward conversation with a criticism or an immediate correction of the other person. We’re not saying that these won’t be part of your conversation, but they should not be your first responses. The punitive reaction will yield limited, if any change. However if a critique (without criticizing), correction or advice comes from a position of compassion, concern, and curiosity, you have a better chance of building bridges rather than erecting more walls in the relationship. 

Chris and Carol Green are the founders of C and C Connections, LLC and creators of the CARE-Ready Life Coaching model.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Milestone: 90 CARE-Ready Life Coaches in 25 Organizations Across Five States


Pennsylvania, USA ---C and C Connections, in collaboration with United Graduate College and Seminary International, graduated the first CARE-Ready Life Coach Certification Class of 2021 on a live video conference.

“Congratulations to our new CARE-Ready Life Coaches," commented facilitators Chris and Carol Green. "This class had to overcome tremendous personal struggles, which included the loss of two family members, the continued challenges of the Covid-19 lock down, and other life upheavals."

The newest CARE-Ready™ Coaches worked through 10 weeks (15 hours) of instruction,  successfully passed an online exam, submitted their personalized life coaching field manuals, and made class presentations to express how they were each going to meet the challenges of implementing their coaching models in their communities.

With the successful graduation of this class, C & C Connections has now trained and launched 90 CARE-Ready Life Coaches, who are disbursed and embedded in at least 25 organizations or ministries across five states: Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, Missouri and North Carolina.

The newest CARE-Ready Life Coaches are: Patrice Grace, Winopa Mbakop, and Ronald Parsons.

Comments from the students of this graduating class of June 2021 included: 

"This class was truly awesome!  I thank God for being able to take the course." 

"I am looking forward to using all the tools and strategies that I have learned through the training."

"This class meant a lot to me. It gives me the opportunity to do things from a different point of view."

As affiliate members and International Statesmen with iChange Nations™, Chris and Carol Green have partnered with United Graduate College and Seminary International (UGCSI) to offer an accelerated, ministry-accredited life coaching certification program. Their collaborative purpose and mission has been, to offer leaders, working in underserved communities, high-quality tools that empower and equip them to be more effective in their humanitarian efforts. 

Editor's Note:

Watch the Graduation Video HERE

Learn more about CARE Coaching and Training at www.CandCconnections.com


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Community Life Coach Facilitates Fatherhood Academy Support Group Session

Pennsylvania, USA---- Community Life Coach, Chris Green was the facilitator of today's session for the Fatherhood Academy Support Group. These weekly sessions are sponsored by Life Esteem, Inc, for men 18 years and older. This support group is especially helpful for men who are reuniting with their families involved in separation or divorce from their family, or simply to improve their parenting skills. 

"We launched tonight's session by talking about the The Process of Success: 8 Key Elements to Fulfilling Purpose," Coach Chris explained. "The conversation was so engaging that we only made it through 3 of the 8 elements. That's because this workshop is all about a self inspection; not for tearing men down, but to rebuild, restore and renew them. I felt the conversation was powerful and impactful."

Dr. Nathaniel Gadsden, who leads the weekly outreach, invited Coach Green to return and continue the Process of Success workshop next week, encouraging the men to spread the word and bring a friend. 

"This discussion about process is real and raw," Coach Chris Green concluded. "And it is revitalizing for men: husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. I look forward to this opportunity to serve Dr. Gadsden and work with the men in this community."

Editor's Notes:

Chris (and Carol) Green are authors, educators, entrepreneurs, certified master CARE-Ready life coaches, leadership consultants, songwriters, poets, compassionate listeners, ordained ministers, traditional marriage and  family advisers, conflict resolution mediators, holistic wellness promoters, and human value advocates.

 

With over 30 years of urban community outreach experience, today they focus most of their energy and efforts connecting with local and international leaders who desire to make a meaningful impact when working in under-served and diverse communities. 

Through their CARE-Ready Leadership initiatives and their proven training models, they retool, equip and empower community, government and education leaders, human service organizers, business visionaries, and neighborhood dreamers, to be much more effective by embracing the principles of CARE-Ready Responding  (Compassionate AWARENESS with Respect and Empathy) and CARE-Ready  Coaching (Compassionate  ACCOUNTABILITY with Respect and Empathy) in their professional and personal lives.

Their community-supporting initiatives have included hosting free monthly group CARE coaching sessions in an unemployment center, on-call CARE coaching support and CARE-Ready coach training of the staff of a women's homeless shelter, CARE-Ready coach training of mentors in an ex-offenders program, consultation with local service organizations, and collaborating with various community outreach efforts.

 

For their community service, they were inducted in the 2021 World Book of Greatness. They also received the Harambee 2019 Community Leadership Award  and a United Way 2017 Volunteer of the Year Nomination. They received Urban Leadership Awards (2016) and Community Ambassador Awards (2015) from iChange Nations™, and Goodwill Ambassadors of World Peace Awards (2015) as part of the Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative to the United Nations through Golden Rule International.​​

 

They have also been the recipients of honorary doctorate degrees (conferred in 2016 and 2018) in Christian Leadership (Chris), Humanities (Carol), and Society & Human Rights (both) to acknowledge their many years of service and significant contributions to society and the field of life coaching.

 

Chris and Carol have been married over 40 years and have raised three sons. They have two daughters-in-law, two grand children, and a host of people throughout the world who call them 'mom and dad'. They make it a priority to give back to the community through their Network of Community Services.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Chris and Carol Green Launch Online Institute for Community Service

 


Pennsylvania, USA --- Today, Community Life Coaches Chris and Carol Green officially launched their online education platform known as the STEP Forward Life Prospectus Institute.

 

"A prospectus outlines something that doesn't exist, and describes what it will become," Professor Chris Green shares in giving the big news. "Therefore, the Success Through Experience and Process (STEP) Forward Life Prospectus is not just a business proposal, white paper, or mission statement, but it is a life development philosophy, process and education model that equips and empowers you to release God's solutions (that which does not exist) into your family and community."

 

STEP Forward will provide an online learning, faith-based, non-governmental, Biblical and educational platform that offers accredited ministry certifications that can strategically prepare and position students to fulfill  their Kingdom Ambassador roles in relationships, households, careers, business or community outreach initiatives.

 

"We have excellent biblically-based courses that will enable you to set yourself apart as an effective and creative contributor to the success of your community through Searcherdemics™  (Life education that is practical and relevant)," explains Professor Carol, "You can earn certifications through personal study, reading the required materials, accessing videos on demand, and completing assignments and/or exams. We encourage you to consider the STEP Forward Life Prospectus Institute for your community service and ministry education.”

 

The faculty and instructors include Head Professors Chris and Carol Green, along with team members: Madeline Clark, Certified Faculty and CARE Minister and Pastor of New Zion Agape Fellowship; Mary Dennis, Certified Faculty and Servant Leader, overseeing Intercessory Prayer; Maxine Wright, Certified Faculty and Ministry Leader of Open Arms House of Love; and Alton and Shavaun Jackson, Adjunct Instructors and Ministry Leaders of The Givers of Hope Experience.

 

In addition to their main roster of instructors, STEP Forward also provides guest instructors that include:

 

Dr. Raphael Green, (D.Ed.Min)

Presiding Bishop of Metro Christian Worship Center

St. Louis, Missouri, USA

 

Bishop Paul Veney

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

 

Frank King, (D.Jur.)

Senior Pastor of Refreshing Waters Worship Center

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

 

Amethyst Roberson, (MA, LPC, NCC)

A R Therapy and Consulting LLC

St. Louis, Missouri, USA

 

John and Kerry Shuey

Kingdom Quest Ministries

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA


"Establishing this online platform is just the first phase of a long-term strategy to collaborate with a team of professionals who have been tasked with redeveloping the economic and educational infrastructure of at least one African country," explains Chris Green. "This institution will help us serve an overlooked demographic locally, nationally and internationally."

 

This online institute was officially endorsed by World Civility leaders, H.E. Sir Dr. Clyde Rivers, who is also the founder and president of I Change Nations.

 

The Life Prospectus educational model was endorsed by the 2020 I Change Nations Educator of the Year, Professor Michal P. Pitzl, who is also the Chancellor of United Graduate College and Seminary International.


The STEP Forward Life Prospectus Institute offers two paths of learning:

 

1.) Students can begin investing in their future by building academic and spiritual capacity through the Professional Development tract.This is where you can obtain accredited ministry certifications that will give a solid foundation for taking one's place of leadership in the community.

 

2.) At the same time students can begin a tract of self-care and Personal Development. Although these courses are free of charge, the quality is high because the experience and wisdom of the instructors is tested and proven.

 

"The STEP Forward Life Prospectus Institute has been in the works for 16 years," Chris and Carol Green concluded. "We believe we were being prepared all along to provide this tangible way to strengthen, equip and empower people to do effective works of service in their communities."


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Community Coaches Facilitate Online Occupational Wellness Session for Opioid Recovery Program

Pennsylvania, USA ---- Community Life Coaches, Chris and Carol Green were the main presenters and facilitators of an online Holistic Wellness Presentation for Life Esteem Holistic Wellness Center in Harrisburg, PA. This session’s topic was Occupational Wellness.

Occupational Wellness is one of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, which are all deemed to be necessary in order for an individual to experience and have a healthy, balanced and meaningful life. The Eight Dimensions of Wellness are: Social Wellness, Emotional Wellness, Spiritual Wellness, Intellectual Wellness, Physical Wellness, Financial Wellness, Occupational Wellness, and Environmental Wellness.

 “Occupational Wellness is connected to a healthy view of what it means to be successful,” according to Chris and Carol Green, who have been married for 40 years. “We see this wellness connected to success in every area of our lives, starting with our family. Our process of success took us through a journey of detours, disappointments, and discoveries that were all necessary for our overall wellness.”

The objective of the session was that all participants would:

1. Have an understanding of what is meant by the term “Occupational Wellness

2. Recognize the four components of Ikigai.

3. Have an opportunity to consider their personal occupational wellness.

Carol Green brought forth a masterful presentation as she helped the participants understand the Japanese concept of Ikigai: the reason for being or purpose.  

“There are four main components of Ikigai” she explained, “Passion-what you love, Mission-what the world needs, Vocation-what you can get paid for, and Profession-what you are good at.  The goal is to have a balanced sense of Ikigai, which can enhance occupational wellness in our lives.”  

In concluding, Chris Green gave practical advice on how to achieve success and Occupational Wellness. He recommended that the online audience embrace eight key elements in their process of success:

1. Discernment

2. Direction

3. Discipline

4. Diligence

5. Determination

6. Devotion

7. Documentation, and

8. Duplication

“We think about the different seasons that we went through in our life, and how we had seasons of prosperity and seasons of leanness,” explained Chris Green. “We describe it like the natural four seasons. We have been through seasons of autumn, when the leaves were falling and then there were seasons of winter, when everything just seemed to be dead. There were seasons of spring when life was returning. And then the seasons of summer when it was hot and things were happening. Understanding how to flow in all seasons is key to understanding both perspective and the process of success.”

The Wellness Series host, and founder of the Life Esteem Holistic Wellness Center, Pat Gadsden, concluded the online session with one of her well-known questions:  ”Do you live to work or work to live?”

Editor's note: Watch Chris and Carol Green’s Presentation HERE


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Community Coaches' Spiritual Wellness Hub Receives Certificate Program Accreditations

Pennsylvania, USA---- United Graduate College and Seminary International (UGCSI) has granted Community Coaches, Chris and Carol Green, the accreditations necessary for them to launch certificate courses and programs through their Online Education for Ministry and Community Service.

"S.T.E.P. (Success Through Experience and Process) Forward Life Education will be an online, faith-based, non-governmental, Biblical education platform that offers ministry certifications,"explains Head Professor Chris Green. 


UGCSI is a Christian Educational Institution that's been equipping leaders within developing countries on the African continent. However, in a special online meeting with its Chief Chancellor, H.E. Sir Clyde Rivers and Chancellor, Professor Michal Pitzl, the Greens and their faculty of instructors were given the official OK to move forward in under-served communities in America.

"Our courses and classes have been approved," says Professor Green, "And we are excited that we have the full backing of UGCSI for the certification and training programs that we have produced."

Students will earn their certifications through independent study, accessing videos on demand, reading the required materials, having conversations with their instructors, and completing assignments and/or exams based on their studies.

"We encourage people who don't have access to traditional education systems to consider STEP Forward for their community service training," shares Chris Green, "We will have an excellent biblically-based curriculum that will be taught by faculty instructors, adjunct instructors, and guest instructors who have experiencial success in their growing process. Our students will be empowered to become creative contributors to their communities through our Searcherdemic and Life Development Education models."

STEP Forward Head Professors, Chris and Carol Green, are also Professors with United Graduate College and Seminary International (UGCSI), where they provide professional development for its global consortium of Searcher Professors. 

STEP  Forward Life Education is planning an official opening in the Spring of 2021.


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Community Coaches Facilitate Online Environmental Wellness Session for Opioid Recovery Program

Pennsylvania, USA ---- Community Life Coaches, Chris and Carol Green facilitated an online Holistic Wellness Presentation for Life Esteem Holistic Wellness Center in Harrisburg, PA. This session’s topic was Environmental Wellness and it featured special guest presenter, Dr. Vikram Parrarkine, the founder of PEACE, USA.

Environmental Wellness is one of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, which are all deemed to be necessary in order for an individual to experience and have a healthy, balanced and meaningful life. The Eight Dimensions of Wellness are: Social Wellness, Emotional Wellness, Spiritual Wellness, Intellectual Wellness, Physical Wellness, Financial Wellness, Occupational Wellness, and Environmental Wellness.

“We found the session to be fascinating and enlightening,” said Chris Green, “Dr. Vikram brought tremendous insight and understanding to all as he connected us, in a fresh way, to the world around us.”

The objective of the session was that all participants would:

1. Have an understanding of what is meant by the term “Environmental Wellness”

2. Identify and/or confirm at least one area where they can improve their relationship with environmental wellness, and

3. Recognize the connection between exercise, nutrition and rest to physical wellness.

According to Dr. Pattarkine, a recognized international leader in environmental sustainability and renewal energy, “Environmental wellness is realizing we are a part of the environment and the environment is a part of us.”

Dr. Pattarkine brought forth a masterful presentation as he helped the participants understand such concepts as Assimilative Capacity,  which is the ability of the environment or a portion of the environment (such as a stream, lake, air mass, or soil layer) to carry waste material without adverse effects on the environment or on users of its resources. He showed how pollution occurs only when the assimilative capacity is exceeded. He also showed how the covid-19 lockdowns have given the environment the opportunity to recover. 

In concluding, Dr. Pattarkine gave practical advice on how to respond individually. He recommended that the online audience:

Live simply – at the need level

Do not hoard unnecessarily

Eat well – eat to live; not live to eat

Exercise regularly

Help others (as possible)

Meditate, contemplate

The presentation was followed by Q & A and then Chris and Carol Green led a discussion about the changes the participants have noticed in the environment, and even in the behavior of the animals in their neighborhoods and communities. They also focused on the parallels between environmental wellness and physical wellness. Then they related these thoughts to what people can do in their personal lives, to make informed decisions regarding the environment and their health and wellness.

The Wellness Series host, and founder of the Life Esteem Holistic Wellness Center, Pat Gadsden, concluded the online session with high praise for Dr. Pattarkine and thanked all of the participants for their contributions to an outstanding session.

Editor's note: Watch Dr. Vikram Pattarkine's Presentation HERE