The meeting was attended by the Director General of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence.  According
to Musharraf, Mullah Omar took offence to a remark by the Saudi, who was there to demand that the
Taliban cease their protection of Osama bin Laden.  Visibly furious, Mullah Omar left the room and
then came back a few minutes later -- wringing wet from having given himself a rapid cold shower.  
He evidently did that to quell his anger for, on his return, he announced more or less the following:

"If you were not my guest in Afghanistan, I would have done you dire injury.  I gave my word to bin Laden
that he could live in Afghanistan if no other country would accept him.  No other country has.  Osama
fought tirelessly and courageously to rid my country of the Soviet yoke.  Now what is he to do?  If he has a
grudge against the United States, my understanding is that he has good reason for it.

Although this announcement (a not unreasonable one from Mullah Omar's perspective) is my
paraphrasing, I have little doubt that it is essentially true to what actually happened.  Why do I
believe this?
 Pervez Musharraf was educated at the Artillery School of Pakistan, which my father
helped to found in 1947.  My paraphrasing conforms with the essential details provided in Mr.
Musharraf's book, where his terse ways of expressing himself remind me very much of the tersely
veracious ways of speaking of my father, who, in 1947, was attached to the newly formed Pakistan
Army -- as a Lieutenant-Colonel on loan from the British Royal Artillery.

Mullah Omar did not know about IHXENs, of course, but let me quickly make clear to readers that
whether Mullah Omar's views of religion and politics and society were apt for his country is not in
debate here.  The essential purpose of my presenting this illustration is to explain that, although
Mullah Omar’s taking a cold shower did enable him to overcome the worst of his anger at that stage of
the proceedings, his articulation of an IHXEN, or more likely a succession of IHXENs as he met with
rejoinders could have assisted him much more.  Not only might that course of action have saved a
change of clothes, but the IHXEN's association with the IHYNN process diagrammed in the chart
above would have empowered him to discover his immediate needs at a much more profound level,
and likely also then to articulate them in an attractively honest way.  I think this is probable because
what Musharraf tells us Mullah Omar actually did say strikes me as being at least reasonable in light
of his particular faith and culture.

If he had 'unpacked' his anger fully, perhaps by means of the rational process presented in the chart
above, Mullah Omar might well have avoided making a critical assumption that his mind, seemingly
automatically, had made for him.  
Before presuming that the Saudi had actually intended to insult
him, he might instead have reflected that the Saudi would have been obliged, both by diplomatic
tradition AND by Muslim tradition between guest and host (and in this case all three counted
themselves Sunni), to clarify his remark.  Only an interruption of a virtually automatic (reactive)
impulse to anger would have enabled the Mullah to do this.  And a powerfully attractive linguistic
way of doing so would, I believe, have been to say:

"I have anger now.  (Pause to let the undoubted authenticity of such an IHXEN be recognized and to provide
time to work through at least a part of the IHYNN process in the chart above).
 I confess that I have had
difficulty avoiding taking your remark as an insult.  Is that what you intended, Your Highness?”

The Saudi would then have been obliged to clarify his remark in such a way that it eliminated all
possibility of insulting the mullah.  We can’t be sure, of course, that the Saudi would, in that
hypothetical case, have responded by opening further “space” between the two principals sufficient to
keep them talking.  But, in principle, if Mullah Omar had presented the Saudi with that question, the
Saudi would have had that option, and as important, felt obliged to rise somewhat to the occasion of
such a combination of authenticity and grace.  Unfortunately, Mullah Omar’s cold shower was not
sufficient to keep present in his mind the possibility that, even if the Saudi’s momentary intent was to
insult him, his more rational and ongoing intention could be teased out otherwise by just such
questions.  The
curiosity to ask such a clarifying question, which is essential if one is to complete,
without presumption, the third and fourth columns of the process table above, did not, however occur
to him.

The consequences of not clarifying the Saudi's intent, in favour of
believing that he could read his
interlocutor's mind, were profoundly negative for both Mullah Omar and his Taliban colleagues, as
they were also for many Afghanis and Pakistanis.  As we now know, the Saudi returned to report to
his principal that no progress was possible in apprehending bin Laden; and the United States
Government of George W. Bush then decided to bomb an already desperately suffering country -- thus
creating yet more Afghani refugees for Pakistan to support.
Have you ever noticed how, when experiencing a strong emotion, we often lose focus on our true
needs, and thus become confused as to our priorities?  Have you ever felt furious with yourself for
something you immediately discovered you wished you hadn't done?  Or railed at someone else who
did something you could only then judge very negatively?  Have you ever wondered how much life
wisdom might be contained -- in an unravellable mystery -- in your emotions, and how you might
benefit from working with the energy they comprise more skillfully as they pass through, or get stuck,
in your experience?  In short, have you ever wondered about whether you might be able to channel the
energy of your emotions to better, more vital and vitalizing, purposes?

Once I have articulated an IHXEN -- an "
I have 'X emotion' now" I-statement -- I have become sufficiently
conscious of the emotional energy animating my behaviour to begin to examine the information in it
so that I might discover information useful to solving whatever problem I have committed to solve or
help solve.  But before discussing how that can be done by means of trials at articulating an IHYNN
(an "
I have 'Y need' now") I-statement, I think it worth noting that a research team at the US National
Institute for Mental Health has proven, clinically with fMRI brain scans, that becoming conscious
enough of extremely negative emotions (such as anger and fear) to label them verbally does help
relieve some of one's immediate emotional pressure.  Here's a link to
the UCLA team's abstract of that
, which was completed in the year 2000.  

This research suggests that uttering an IHXEN is a step toward easing the pressure to express
whatever may then be on one's mind.  Might doing so in a relationship be a way of avoiding a
break-up?  Based on the many experiences I have had practising IHXENs in the presence of others, I
believe so.  The narrative of an instance of my using an IHXEN in a very tense situation in a workplace
where my emotion was far from any considered socially correct illustrates why I have come to this

I discovered this about 8 years ago while serving as a pro-bono consultant to the owner of a small
organization of 25 employees whose 'bottom line' was deteriorating alarmingly.  Before then, I had
been considering IHXENs as being only likely to be accepted as authentic if the emotion described fell
within a politically correct band near the emotion of concern.  This discovery occurred as the result of
my growling out the words "
I have anger now" -- when anger was indeed the quality of my emotion --
in a management meeting at this client's organization.  The upshot was that my client's leadership
team immediately fell silent.  What broke the silence after a considerable and quite electric 15 or more
seconds was that a person with whom I had already introduced to IHXENs gently asked: "
Why do you
have anger, Angus?
"  This person and I had previously developed enough trust in each other for my
IHXEN to have evoked his expression of concerned curiosity, and clearly my growl had simultaneously
captured at least some of the attention of the other members of the team.

The pause -- evidently induced by my resort to a culturally incorrect, yet very true while also
INOFFENSIVE, IHXEN -- gave me, and I suspect most in the room, opportunity to do some serious
thinking as to why I had interrupted the conversation with such a socially incorrect statement.  It had
also, I suspect, triggered a motivating embarrassment on the part of some!  In any case, the silence
and attention that my IHXEN evoked enabled me to figure out how to get across to the meeting at
least something of what the true, rather than presumptive, cause of my anger was -- in other words
to edit my explanation carefully to avoid blaming anyone else and to take responsibility for my anger.  I
don't remember much of the specific, substantive context, but I do remember having huge doubts
that my explanation would sound fully authentic.  Yet what was of no doubt at all to me was that I had
used the energy of my anger in a way that riveted the attention I believe was necessary in the
circumstances for everyone on me.

In other words, my resort to an honest IHXEN provided an opportunity for me to express myself
clearly authentically, yet without either denying my own pain or triggering another's by a frank blurting
out of a criticism or diagnosis of someone else.  I suppose also that the words I found in that moment
of electric silence sprang from a hope deep within me, far interior to my anger, that a positive change
in the behaviour of my client's leadership team would follow.

Indeed that is what happened for after several such 'moments of truth' over the next few weeks,
IHXENs became accepted by this group-forming-into-a-team as a reliable means to
begin facilitating
resolutions of disputes among them; and it was only after a few further weeks that the bottom line of
my client's distribution and service enterprise began to rise -- in a couple of months quite sharply.  It
seems that utterance of an IHXEN has the potential, depending how well one has developed rapport
with others in a conversation, to buy time for the participants in a heated discussion to restore such of
our faculties as we have developed for more rational and reasonable problem-solving:  This happens
when we become sufficiently aware of learnings from our more emotionally charged states which help
us isolate the rational ones from the irrational ones and also to find words to express ourselves that
are likely, to be received as more reasonable by others than first come to mind.

Eye-Zen English coaching involves articulation of the IHXEN linguistic, by both coach and client, in
order that both become more conscious of his/her emotions than simply being aware that one or
another's experience is either strongly pleasant or strongly unpleasant.  The client then becomes able
and thus willing to practice the IHYNN linguistic to identify his or her longer-term needs, i.e. wants.  
IHXEN exchange partnerships, partners learn that the application of what I have begun to call
Eye-Zen English
principles, practices, and processes of language usage is an excellent way to
accomplish this end.

Although the mild emotions we notice
usually do help us become aware of our true needs, extreme
emotions often require considerable 'unpacking' before they do so.  We often believe we must
suppress expressions of strong emotions.  But when we do so often, they rigidify into longstanding
moods, which will then obscure (disconnect us from) what we truly need in a future moment of
challenge.  We can, however, learn how to unpack such moods rationally, and the chart below
indicates how.  Starting with an "
I have 'X emotion' now", where 'X emotion' is a noun, or a modified
noun (but not a clause having any verb), we can discover accurately what we next need by working
through the following rational process:
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Suppose now, as a thought experiment, that Mullah Omar had learned IHXENs in his native Pashto,
and that the Saudi Intelligence Chief had learned IHXENs in his native Arabic.  Suppose that before
this meeting they had intensively practiced IHXENs with a coach.  Might they have reached a level of
proficiency where they had learned, on feeling anger within, to discover the specifics of the needs that
anger so often obscures by its usual manner of expression in most cultures: a strong desire to punish a
'wrongdoer'?  Might the Saudi then have returned to tell his principal that Mullah Omar had expressed
his needs for help in maintaining both his pledge to bin Laden and his desire for friendship with the
United States and its allies?

The process in the schematic above is known as the IHYNN process, after its end-result which is an "I have 'Y'
need now".  In this context, I do
not suggest that we try immediately to restrict the options we have for what
our needs might truly be, but I do suggest that we study a way of distinguishing what is genuinely a need
from what might more accurately be termed a want, interest, or preference.  My paper on that subject is at
this link.

The IHYNN process outlined in the schematic above can be iluminated, I believe, by reference to a
story narrated by former President Musharraf of Pakistan.  It is of a meeting in Afghanistan shortly
after 9/11 between
Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader and at that time head of the Kabul Government,
and the Saudi prince who was in charge of Saudi Intelligence.  The following narrative is drawn from,
but in my words, “
In the Line of Fire”, a book by Pervez Musharraf that was published in 2006 while
Musharraf was still the President of Pakistan (Free Press, New York, pp 212-214):
For an account of Mullah Omar's negotiations
with Saudi and Pakistani officials in the
aftermath of '9/11', see below.
Beyond IHXENs -- The IHYNN Process:
Unpacking IHXENs to Make True Needs More Conscious

Angus Cunningham
Principal, Authentix Coaches