Thursday, July 25, 2013

One of the beliefs that are very counter-productive in resolving conflict is them vs. us.  That means that you think in the terms of win or lose, right or wrong, good or bad and them vs. us.  If you have that notion, it is very unlikely that you are ever going to resolve conflict because it’s now them vs. us.  So, think about us and us.  Think about demonizing "them" less and about trying to work with "them," whoever they are.  When you do that, you are much more likely to resolve conflict and them vs. us will become less toxic.
Thursday, July 18, 2013

When it comes to resolving conflict, most of us are ill-equipped and unskilled to deal with it effectively.  Most of us do either “fight” or “flight.”  “Flight” is where you run away from the conflict hoping that it will take care of itself.  “Fight” is an opportunity for a contest where there is an adversarial outcome that goes on and on.  The first thing to think about when it comes to resolving conflict is the “third option.”  The “third option” is to resolve.  Resolving the conflict means we have to have the skills to do it and we want to come up with an outcome that we can live with, something that is less than perfect but still workable.  So think about resolving conflict rather than flight or fight. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

It is curious that all the surveys continue to confirm that everyone wants more listening… listening from your partner, a service provider, from a manager; the reality is rarely do people actually listen.  When you listen, its more than just hearing what someone says.  It means that you play back to them what you thought they said.  When you do that, you reduce the margin for error between what you heard and what they said.  And, more important, when you play it back, they feel understood. If they feel understood, they are much less likely to get defensive.  Spend more time listening to what people say and then play back to them, particularly when it is important what they said. When you do that, you actually make progress because listening is the best way to get your point across. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Think about the way in which your spirit can soar when you do something wonderful for someone else, particularly someone you barely know.  For example:  it looks like someone in a public place is very unhappy; buy a flower and give it to them.  If there is someone in front of you at the supermarket and they are fumbling for change, pay it for them.  Go to the hospital and spend some time with a sick person who wants company.  It is really remarkable how you feel so much better about life when you perform a random act of kindness.  So pay it forward, show some love, show some care, and your spirit will benefit enormously.