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Global Warming of the Human Kind

By: Patrick Williams, EdD, MCC

The world needs global warming- not the environmental kind, the relational kind! Throughout the news media we hear somber warnings of global warming and its potential effects on the environment. We are also beginning to see a quickening of global warming in the way individuals, families, communities and countries relate to one another. That this could grow so fast is a surprise to all the experts. What if the walls that separate us from genuinely honoring each other came crashing down? What if the measure of warmth in all relationships began to rise?

In the last 15 years as an ambassador of life coaching, I've had the good fortune of traveling to many countries around the globe for the Institute for Life Coach Training and for the profession at large. I have always noticed how people everywhere respond to human friendliness despite the politics of individual countries. If you act friendly, you are treated as a friend. If you are courteous, you are treated with courtesy. If you ask people about themselves with nonjudgmental curiosity and really want to know, they respond with openness and glee.

My graduate training in psychology in the 1970s was in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology. I pursued those fields because I believed in the possibility of learning and applying wisdom and tools that allow people to pursue happiness. I believe individuals can overcome life stressors that lead to the antithesis of peace. Yes, I was an idealist of the Love Generation. But what's wrong with idealism?

I still believe we need to pursue ideals more often, not the disconnectedness that seems so pervasive across our culture, but through a sense of global connection and people-to-people experiences.

Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals who can go it alone. I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. Simple, honest, human conversation. Not mediation, negotiation, problem solving, debate, or public meetings. Simple, truthful conversations where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well. Margaret J. Wheatley

The new EQ age

Today's research into Positive Psychology and Emotional Intelligence (EQ), we have strong evidence of techniques and outcomes that improve relationships. Using this knowledge and through coaching, we can help others:

  • Embrace diversity
  • Strengthen our ability to be open-minded and less judgmental
  • Improve the honest, clear communication that is necessary to foster good relationships.

Shouldn't we apply this research to global relations and community challenges so that we can bypass the typical political efforts among the leaders of countries?