With Guests Sharon Strand Ellison and Ami Atkinson Combs Episode on the Healing Ground Mindset Podcast
Review by Caitlin Meredith
Powerful non-defensive communication experts Sharon Strand Ellison and her daughter Ami Atkinson Combs were recently interviewed on the Healing Ground Mindset podcast in honor of the 25th anniversary of Ellison’s book, Taking the War Out of Our Words: The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication. In this interview with host Dr. Carly Hudson, Ellison and Combs discuss the data showing the dramatic effect power struggle has on our thinking in conflict. Recent studies indicate that the chemical impact on the brain when you are in a power struggle is actually identical to the chemical impact in the brain when you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. “Power struggle is actually the most pervasive and least recognized addiction on earth,” Ellison said. “That means all of us, to varying degrees, have this addiction.” Ellison and Combs describe the system they have developed to change how you use language to have the person you’re talking to drop their defenses, describing the four main areas: intention, tone of voice, body language and some parts of phrasing. Their approach and techniques are invaluable tools for conflict professionals (or just plain humans!) in any context.
If you haven’t read Ellison’s book, (or Combs’ book Taking Power Struggle Out of Parenting) this interview is a great overview of their work; if you have read it (or listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend) it’s a good reminder and update with the research they’ve done since the original publication of Taking the War Out of Our Words.