Journey into Wholeness: Traveling in Connection Week Three Materials

Traveling in Connection

Week Three Materials

Questions to Ponder & Journaling Exercises

1. How directly do you communicate your thoughts, emotions, and perspective when in difficult conversations? Use a 1 – 5 Scale. 1 – I have difficulty directly communicating in conflict / 5 – I find it easy to communicate directly in conflict.

I Have Difficulty                               I Find it Easy

What habits, if any, do you have that “dance around” difficult subjects, or what methods do you use that avoid conflict? Reflect on a time where you were vague or indirect when expressing yourself. Reflect on a time where you were very direct and clear when expressing your thoughts, emotions, and perspective.

2. “When you’re criticized, it’s hard not to get defensive. But defensiveness doesn’t solve problems.” – Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D

Reflect on how easily you become defensive in arguments? What tools can you implement to decrease your defensiveness and find clarity and resolution in conflict?

3. “Before discussing what’s bothering you, it’s important to have all the facts straight, so you can approach the conversation proactively rather than reacting to pinches. . . Identify that you too have a part in the dispute. Relationships are a two-way street, and you never know how your behavior might be causing pinches to others.” – “Team Conflicts Are Unavoidable: Lessons Learned With The Pinch-Crunch Model

Think of a difficult conversation and ask yourself “what was my part in that dispute?”.  Mindfully sit with several potential answers. Reflect on how this question could influence future conflicts.

Best Practices

1. “Conflict, when effectively addressed, contributes to creativity and innovation and shapes a workforce and leadership who take responsibility for their own behavior rather than blaming others or circumstances. The Enneagram is an excellent way for employees and teams to utilize their reactions to conflict for their own self-development, as well as to know how best to approach others with whom they have concerns.” –Conflict and the Enneagram: The Pinch – Crunch Model

Use the article above to look at your own enneatype and its common “pinches”. Explore the “pinches” of those around you. Journal about how this information matches your experience and impacts your relationships.

2. “[Researchers] point out that the initial “Pinch” provides an important choice point and a path to growth and problem-solving without all the emotional baggage and waste that accrue when conflicts are ignored. The pinch point can be seen as a “system-danger” alert that provides an opportunity to gather new information, set new expectations, and continuously improve how we are working together.” – Kaleel Jamison 

Use the “Pinch vs. Crunch” model when facing challenging feelings, disappointments, and conflicts. Listen to Dean and Marlis’s description of this concept, study the visual of the model, and become comfortable with the premise.

Article Suggestions

1. “Conflict and the Enneagram: The Pinch – Crunch Model” The Enneagram in Business Website

2. MKG “Team Conflicts Are Unavoidable: Lessons Learned With The Pinch-Crunch Model” Medium. Aug 20, 2017

3. Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. “10 Tips for Solving Relationship Conflicts” Psychology Today. Apr 17, 2017

4. Elizabeth Hopper “Four Ways Gratitude Helps You with Difficult Feelings” Greater Good Magazine November 19, 2019

5. Nancy Davis Kho “What Happened When I Wrote My Mom a Thank-You Letter” Greater Good Magazine. November 22, 2019

6. Kaleel Jamison “The Pinch Model ‘Somewhere along the way of human interaction, conflict has gotten a bad name.’ ” Planned Problem Solving. 1988


Kyle Benson

I propose that love lasts when couples are intentional, deepen their capacity to be intimate and are committed to each other. I utilize research-proven methods to repair troubled relationships, heal old wounds, and strengthen bonds so love can last a lifetime.

Book Recommendations

The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships – John Gottman, 2002

From the country’s foremost relationship expert and New York Times bestselling author Dr. John M. Gottman comes a powerful, simple five-step program, based on twenty years of innovative research, for greatly improving all of the relationships in your life—with spouses and lovers, children, siblings, and even your colleagues at work.

Gottman provides the tools you need to make your relationships thrive. In The Relationship Cure, Dr. Gottman:

– Reveals the key elements of healthy relationships, emphasizing the importance of what he calls “emotional connection”
– Introduces the powerful new concept of the emotional “bid,” the fundamental unit of emotional connection
– Provides remarkably empowering tools for improving the way you bid for emotional connection and how you respond to others’ bids
– And more!

Packed with fascinating questionnaires and exercises developed in his therapy, The Relationship Cure offers a simple but profound program that will fundamentally transform the quality of all of the relationships in your life.


We Love Conflict: Pinch Crunch

Future Work Design

Published on May 20, 2019

WE LOVE CONFLICT Series We believe that conflict is one of the most important and underrated skills of any collaborative team. Future Work Design created a series of short videos to help you pitch conflict as a practice within your team, practice a simple 5-step process to get better at it, and be strategic about when and how to intervene in team performance (spoiler alert…it’s not always about interpersonal conflict, even when it feels like it). Pinch Crunch Conflict is one of the most important, and underrated skills of any collaborative team. If you think you don’t like conflict, it’s probably because you’ve experienced conflict as a “crunch” instead of a series of manageable “pinches.” Learning how to lean into conflict early and often is one of the best ways to collaborate across differences effectively.  We made this video to help you pitch a new way of thinking about conflict to your team.

Finding Confidence in Conflict | Kwame Christian | TEDxDayton

TEDx Talks

Published on Dec 11, 2017

Director of the American negotiation Institute, Kwame teaches us about an alternative way to resolve conflict. Kwame Christian is a business lawyer and the director of the American Negotiation Institute. In this role, he serves as a negotiation consultant for attorneys and for companies closing large business deals. He also conducts live training sessions for organizations. Kwame hosts the podcast “Negotiate Anything,” where he interviews successful professionals and shares powerful persuasion techniques. With over 140,000 downloads and listeners in 140 countries, it is the top-ranked negotiation and dispute-resolution podcast in the nation. Kwame is the proud husband of Dr. Whitney Christian and father of Kai Christian This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at



“What Do You Love” by Seeb

“Open Up” by Matt Simons