The Getting Real practices help us free ourselves from the fears and limited thinking of the ego-mind, so we can meet each new moment with our open, authentic, loving presence.

In This Issue…

1. Blog: Holding Multiple Perspectives

2. Upcoming Events:  Getting Real Coach Training webinar, web-based Honesty Salon, free monthly group coaching call, how to subscribe to this newsletter

3. The 10 Getting Real Truth Skills:  Let’s make the 10 Truth Skills a household word, helping to create a beneficial human presence on Planet Earth.

Holding Multiple Coexisting Perspectives

When you hold the tension of opposites, something new emerges—a higher level synthesis. The best laboratory for learning to do this is an interpersonal relationship—like when you want A, and your partner wants B. You want to spend the day at the beach, and he feels like going hiking in the mountains. Or maybe you value consistency and familiarity, and your partner values variety and novelty. In dealing with differences or disagreements, you basically have three choices: you can try to get the other person to see things your way; you can accommodate to minimize conflict; or you can learn to feel and keep feeling the inner tension created by your wanting one thing and your partner wanting something else. Many people assume they have only the first two choices—to dominate or to submit. But in a world full of complexity and change, these first two options lead to solutions that are often simplistic or shortsighted. Holding the tension enables you to draw a bigger circle around two or more competing views so that you can see that they are complementary parts of a much larger whole instead of mutually exclusive. In the book, Getting Real, I call this the ability to Hold Differences. I think this is a rather advanced skill—but a very important one in these times of conflict and polarization.

We Fear Differences and “Being Different”

At some point in our histories, we learned to fear differences. We got the idea that if you see one thing, and I see something else, one of us must be wrong; or if you want one thing and I want something else, one of us must lose. We learned that if a person reveals his unique point, angle, or range of view, he is opening himself up to being challenged. Or maybe he will be judged as “different.” Many of us have painful memories of being judged as different in some way. I hear these memories often from clients and workshop participants. “Being seen as different” or feeling different is an emotional trigger for a lot of people….maybe even most of us. What do you think?

Valuing Learning vs. Comfort

So, if we fear our differences, how might we find harmony in this world of diversity? How might we get beyond win/lose and either/or? I think we first need to recognize both the inevitability of disagreement between people and the possibility of harmony through approaching conflict as an opportunity to see more of what is really going on. To see more, we have to want to see more. We have to be open to learning, and have learning as a higher value than winning or being right or protecting ourselves from discomfort. What prevents getting from A (comfort and being right as the priority) to B (learning as the priority)? Well, lately, I am seeing what a big role emotional triggers play.

Managing Emotional Triggers

While you are triggered, you’re operating from your lizard brain, where it’s all about survival. It’s not about understanding, or cooperation, or creative problem solving. Cooperation is the domain of the higher brain. But that’s off-line when you are triggered. (And most people are in a triggered state far more often than they realize–especially now, with so much uncertainty in our world.) So, when triggered, it’s very unlikely that you will be curious to learn more about the inner world of the person whose behavior triggered you. Being triggered limits your range of options and narrows your perceptual field. In that state, you’re just not going to be a very good problem solver. But real, long-term survival (of the relationship, the species, the company, the group) is best served when everyone has access to their higher brain capacities.

From Either-Or to Both-And

So how can a person get from being triggered to being resourceful and cooperative? This has been a major focus of my work for many years. The short answer is: learn to recognize when you are triggered; learn to regulate your nervous system; and learn to bring tenderness and compassion to the fearful places in your psyche. My latest book, Five-Minute Relationship Repair (co-authored with John Grey) lays out the longer answer. Using the book as a self-guided workbook will give you the skills you need to get from either/or to both/and.

Five-Minute Relationship Repair is available at or

Upcoming Events

Coach Training Webinar: Using the 10 Getting Real Truth Skills in Coaching

 A 6-week webinar for new and experienced coaches with Susan Campbell, Ph.D., author of GETTING REAL and other titles

Time: 6  consecutive Thursdays, beginning October 1, 2020, noon-1:30 pm PDT (3-4:30 pm Eastern time), and ending Nov 5.

Cost: $300 (visa, paypal, transferwise, and mastercard accepted)

To register or get more info, call or email Susan at (707) 829-3646 or


You will learn and practice how to use the 10 Getting Real Truth Skills to:

-work skillfully with clients’ resistances to change

-help clients build their capacity for self-witnessing

-use your perceptions and feelings as useful data in a coaching relationship

-use your feelings and responses to a client to further your own inner development and self-awareness—thus, refining yourself as an instrument for positive change

-help clients heal unfinished emotional business and past traumas

-guide clients in practicing the daily authenticity inventory

-guide clients in practicing compassionate self-inquiry

You will also learn how to integrate these tools into your existing coaching style and repertoire.

You will be given homework assignments to practice with a homework buddy on a separate phone call during the week.  This will require an additional hour per week of your time.

All webinars will be recorded and archived on the web, so you can re-listen or view a webinar if you have to miss a session.

Honesty Salon in Webinar Format 

In Sept and Oct, I will offer a six-session Honesty Salon in webinar format (zoom). It is scheduled for 6 consecutive Thursdays, 4-5:15 pm Pacific time, beginning Sept 24.

Cost is $200 for the 6 sessions. An Honesty Salon is a small group experience where we practice the 10 Truth Skills with one another, sharing whatever arises in the present moment. We use a set of simple communication guidelines that assist us in un-hooking from identification with mind chatter and being innocently open to whatever arises.

Between sessions, participants will have the option of meeting in dyads or triads to de-brief and do practice exercises. All sessions will be recorded and archived on a private page, so if you miss a session, the recording will be available to you.

To register or get more information, email me at  If you are interested in this offering, and the announced  time is not convenient, I may be able to change the time.  So please contact me about that at the email address above.

Free Monthly Group Coaching CallI will be hosting my free Getting Real group coaching call  Tuesday, Sept 1, 4-5pm Pacific time. We use a telephone conference line. To get on the conference line  from the US or Canada call (712) 770-4010 and then enter pin number 781976 (plus #).

On the call, I will respond to everyone’s questions re problems you encounter in your relationships—whether they be in marriage, dating, work, friendship, or child rearing. As I address your questions, I will also invite sharing from the group regarding your best practices for dealing with relationship problems. These calls always involve lively discussion and deep sharing. I hope you will join in.

To call in from the UK, dial: 44-330-998-1227 (local access number)

To call in from Germany, dial: 49-209-8829-4402 (local access number)

From France: 33-1-7890-0674

From Australia: 61-2-8077-0511

To find other local access numbers outside the US, contact

Replay Available 

If you miss the call and would like to access the recording, call (712) 770-4019 and then enter pin number 781976 (plus #).


Every month I send this newsletter containing a lead article with useful tips for conscious communication. I also announce upcoming events, including a free monthly group coaching call and other free offerings. If you received this as a forward and want to subscribe, click this link:

The 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live Authentically

Here is a summary of the 10 truth skills detailed in the book, Getting Real. For those of you familiar with my latest book, Five-Minute Relationship Repair, you may see that that entire book is about truth skill #6, Taking Back Projections. This is such a complex and often difficult-to-master truth skill. So I thought it deserved a whole book. 

Now here’s the list:

1. Experiencing what is  You have a felt body-based sense of your present feelings and sensations. You can notice and not identify with your judgments, projections, and interpretations.

2. Being transparent  You can disclose to others what you are feeling, sensing, imagining, or saying to yourself—with the simple aim of “knowing and being known,” free of the need to explain or defend.

3. Knowing your intent  You can consciously reflect on the intent of your communication. Is it to relate or to control? Are you revealing yourself in the interest of transparency or are you managing and strategizing in order to avoid discomfort?

4. Asserting what you want and don’t want  You can express a desire clearly and impactfully, without expecting to get everything you ask for. You mark boundaries when you need to.

5. Thriving on feedback  You are open and curious about others’ impressions and reactions to you.  This is different from being dependent on others’ reactions.

6. Taking back projections  You know how to learn from situations where your buttons or “favorite fears” get triggered. You can differentiate your fear-stories from what really happened.

7. Revising an earlier statement  You can re-visit an interaction if your feelings change or if you discover later that you have mis-spoken or were on automatic. You can say, “If I had it to do over….”

8. Holding differences  You can hear and empathize with someone else’s feeling or viewpoint while at the same time holding a different feeling or viewpoint. You can “be with” the tension of holding both in your awareness at once.

9. Sharing mixed emotions  You can communicate your multiple feelings about an issue or situation, e.g. You may wish to clear the air with someone while also fearing that your words might feel hurtful to the other.

10. Embracing silence  You can allow some space after you have spoken. You do not fill in the space with explanation or justification. You can experience the nonverbal emanations in the silences during a conversation.  You can tolerate uncertainty, ambiguity, not knowing.

Practicing these skills brings you to a deep and abiding sense of serenity, presence, and compassion. These three words that describe the qualities that we begin to embody when we practice Getting Real.

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