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“Advocating for Yourself with Compassion” With Melinda Lee
Episode 2628th September 2023 • Speak In Flow • Melinda Lee
00:00:00 00:12:26

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In this heartfelt episode of Speak In Flow, we dive deep into a powerful and emotional journey with our host, Melinda Lee. Melinda opens up about her personal experience with the loss of her mother to mouth cancer. Her mother was a true pillar of selflessness, always putting her family's needs before her own. Melinda shares her story as she reflects on the importance of advocating for oneself and how this tragic experience has shaped her perspective on compassionate communication.

Episode Highlights:

1. The Selflessness of Melinda's Mother:

Melinda starts by recounting the touching story of her mother's battle with mouth cancer. Despite her own suffering, Melinda's mother always prioritized the well-being of her family. This selflessness left a lasting impression on Melinda and became the catalyst for her exploration into the importance of self-advocacy.

2. The Need to Advocate for Yourself:

Through her personal journey, Melinda emphasizes the significance of advocating for oneself. She explains how her mother's reluctance to advocate for her own needs ultimately had a profound impact on her health and well-being. Melinda's story serves as a powerful reminder that advocating for oneself is not selfish but necessary for one's overall well-being.

3. A Framework for Compassionate Communication:

Melinda introduces a simple yet effective framework for compassionate communication. She outlines steps to navigate conversations that allow individuals to express their needs and desires while maintaining respect and empathy for others. This framework can help listeners start honest and meaningful dialogues.

4. Inviting Others to Help Meet Your Needs:

In this section, Melinda shares insights on how to create an environment where others are more likely to assist in fulfilling your needs. She highlights the importance of vulnerability and how it can foster genuine connections. Melinda encourages listeners to open up and allow others to be a part of their support system.

5. Conclusion:

Melinda concludes the episode with a heartfelt message, urging everyone to embrace self-advocacy with compassion and understanding. She reflects on her own journey and how it has inspired her mission to help others learn the importance of advocating for themselves while maintaining respect and empathy.

Closing Thoughts:

This episode of Speak In Flow with Melinda Lee is a touching and inspirational exploration of the profound impact of selflessness and the importance of advocating for oneself. Melinda's personal journey serves as a powerful reminder that compassion and honest communication can transform our relationships and enhance our well-being. Tune in to this episode to learn how to advocate for yourself in a way that is respectful and compassionate, and start having the conversations that invite others to help you meet your needs.

Listen to the full episode on Speak In Flow Podcast to delve deeper into Melinda's heartfelt story and gain valuable insights into advocating for yourself with compassion

About Melinda:

Melinda Lee is a Presentation Skills Expert, Speaking Coach and nationally renowned Motivational Speaker. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Psychology, is an Insights Practitioner, and is a Certified Professional in Talent Development as well as Certified in Conflict Resolution. For over a decade, Melinda has researched and studied the state of “flow” and used it as a proven technique to help corporate leaders and business owners amplify their voices, access flow, and present their mission in a more powerful way to achieve results.

She has been the TEDx Berkeley Speaker Coach and worked with hundreds of executives and teams from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Caltrans, Bay Area Rapid Transit System, and more. Currently, she lives in San Francisco, California, and is breaking the ancestral lineage of silence.

Website: https://speakinflow.com/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/speakinflow

Instagram: https://instagram.com/speakinflow

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mpowerall

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Transcripts

Melinda Lee:

In 2016, my mother passed away with cancer. And of

Melinda Lee:

all places those found in her mouth. She did not speak up for

Melinda Lee:

her needs. She was doing things for everyone else. Typical

Melinda Lee:

immigrant, came here to the United States, just in survival

Melinda Lee:

mode trying to do things for others find food, get money,

Melinda Lee:

and, and doesn't that feel like what we do. I we're constantly

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working and doing things for other people. And my mother

Melinda Lee:

didn't stop. And this is one of her deepest regrets. As she was

Melinda Lee:

laying on that hospital bed. She said, I wish I had more time for

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myself. So this episode is for all of you who are on the go all

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the time, and really not considering your deepest needs.

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And I invite you today to really consider are your needs your

Melinda Lee:

deepest needs being met? And how do you communicate that in a way

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that is compassionate, that is empathetic for yourself and also

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others. So we're going to go over a very simple structure on

Melinda Lee:

how to do that. And it's by Rosenberg, and the book I invite

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you to get is called nonviolent communication. And Rosenberg

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advocate that says that while most of us are using violent

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communication, we might not really be aware of it. But when

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we go into exhaustion, burnout, and we start fingerpointing

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saying you never helped me, or you don't care, those type of

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words and language will cause a divide and, and be considered as

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violent. And so alternatively, you have an opportunity to say

Melinda Lee:

what you need in a very empathetic way. And in the book,

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it talks about our deepest needs, my mother needed rest, my

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mother needed support. And so there are basic ones that all

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humans need. And Rosenberg talks about connection, love, empathy,

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joy, creativity, rest fun. All of these when we're depleted

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from it, we start to have emotion, we start to build up

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emotion on top of that. And then when we have a lot of emotion on

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top of that, we start to spew out words, if we don't get what

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we want, it becomes passive aggressive, or we start to use

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words and language that is violent and pointing fingers

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because you're not getting what you deeply need. So here's a

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simple framework that you can use to start advocating for

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yourself compassionately. four parts, first is stating an

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observation. Second, is stating your feeling around the

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observation. Third, is stating your needs just like I talked

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about, and fourth, is requesting not demanding. I'm going to

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break down each of them. The first one is stating an

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observation. You want to open up the conversation with facts,

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facts that are indisputable, versus blame, or evaluation.

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Start off with the fact like the observation, the action that you

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noticed, I noticed that you turned in the report 15 minutes

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late over the past week. Right. So being very specific. I

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noticed that you didn't do the dishes for the fourth time this

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month.

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And so those are very specific actions. Alternatively, you can

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start off with saying something like you're always late, you

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never helped me. Right? How do you think that that's going to

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be received, even if the observation and action you

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notice validates your point, when you come at someone with

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language like that, because you've been holding it in for so

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long, and you can't take it anymore, that will cause

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defensiveness in the other person, and then you'll break

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the opportunity to even understand or come to some type

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of solution together. And so I invite you to to really open up

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the conversation with just observation. And not fact, there

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is an Indian philosopher who said, observing without

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evaluating is one of the highest forms of human intelligence. So

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encourage you to start observing. And then once you

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stated the observation, the fact that action that you've observed

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And then you can move into stating your feeling around it.

Melinda Lee:

When I saw that you turn in your report late for the third or

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fourth time, I feel disappointed. I feel concerned,

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because I'm not sure what's going to happen. I feel sad. So

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these are feeling words using very specific language, sad,

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concerned, disappointed. And the person is going to be hard for

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them to get defensive, because this is your feeling. They

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there, it's like, I'm owning my feeling, and I'm letting you

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know about it. If someone had come to you and say, and said to

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you, you shouldn't feel like that. I want you to really think

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about how you started the opening? Did you start off with

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a fact? Or did you start to do an evaluation, and then telling

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them your feeling. So when you can start off with an opening

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that is open, and not evaluative, then go into your

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feeling, then it's more genuine, and people are more open to

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hearing it because you're not there, they don't need to put

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their defences up. So observation, then your feeling

Melinda Lee:

around the observation, and then finally, staining your need. And

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I noticed that you didn't do your chores over the last three

Melinda Lee:

weeks, like you said you would. And that makes me so

Melinda Lee:

disappointed. Because I need to trust your words, I need to be

Melinda Lee:

able to trust you, I need to be able to know and I can count on

Melinda Lee:

you. So you stating the needs. And if you need more support, go

Melinda Lee:

into the book and look at all the basic needs, I need to rest,

Melinda Lee:

I want to be able to count on you to do the dishes so I can

Melinda Lee:

rest. So the more you're claiming your needs or claim

Melinda Lee:

your feelings or your needs, the more you're going to have a

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chance to get them and achieve them and obtain them. And you're

Melinda Lee:

seeing it in a very compassionate way. Finally, you

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go into requesting, can we talk about how you can do the dishes

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more often? Can we talk about how we can help you with getting

Melinda Lee:

the report done on time, not a demand. A demand causes

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defensiveness again. So if you say I want you to do the report,

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and I want you to be on time, people get defensive. So when

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you say there's a question, people at least have an

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opportunity to comment, people have an opportunity to give them

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give you their story, and give and then you can have a

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dialogue, right start to do deep listening, and start to

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understand perhaps if they're resistant, they might not have

Melinda Lee:

their needs met. And so you want to start asking questions about

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what are their needs? Maybe they are, they're not getting their

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need of autonomy met. They're a teen and they don't want to do

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the dishes because they want to be autonomous. And so really

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asking the questions about what are their deepest needs, not

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just the feeling, but also a need underneath that. The need

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is the root of all feelings. If you think about a plant, you

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have the plant and then you have the roots, the emotions that are

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happening at the top are all the feelings and then deep down

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inside, the feelings are coming up because a deep need the root

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is not being met. So I encourage you to go deep and find out what

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need is not being met. Using this powerful, simple framework

Melinda Lee:

that will allow you to speak compassionately, speak,

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empathetically, can you know being more compassionate, using

Melinda Lee:

this framework, to be compassionate, to advocate for

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your needs, your deepest desires, it is only when you

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advocate for your deepest desires and your needs, that you

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have the opportunity to be met by somebody. And when you say it

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in that way, you start to open up your heart receive with

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compassion, know that when you can believe that you are so

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deserving of receiving all that is available to you then other

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people will receive and want to get it's a beautiful universal

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law, the giving and receiving and most of us are constantly

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giving and then when you can only give yourself what you

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want. Other people will also want to give you what you

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deserve. So remember that. Remember, by using nonviolent

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communication, you can start to receive and receive what you

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desire. i I wish that my mom advocated for her needs. I wish

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that she was able to understand take A time to understand her

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deepest needs and allow herself to speak and allow herself to

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receive help people to support her. And I know that she's not

Melinda Lee:

here with us today. But it is my passion and my duty and my

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responsibility to impart how we can all do this together in a

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very empathetic way, so that we can better understand each

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other, better understand each other's needs, so that we can

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all be closer, have deeper, meaningful relationships, even

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when there's chaos, complexity, and know that by understanding

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each other more deeply, that you can build a more meaningful

Melinda Lee:

relationship and a better worlds. So take that those four

Melinda Lee:

simple tips and a framework to speak non violently. Until then,

Melinda Lee:

until I see you on the next episode, I wish you best and I

Melinda Lee:

am your sister in flow. Much love to you

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