I once worked with someone who was always late. His idea of being on time was leaving the office when he was supposed to be at the meeting. It drove me crazy. I knew others who had great ideas, but they never implemented them. The concept was great, but they just couldn’t get it together to make it happen. What is going on?
Showing Category: Relationships
Will you encounter any conflict in your relationships over the holidays?
Would you like to talk so people listen and listen so people talk?
Would you like to zap conflict in your family now?
The 4 time award winning book, Don’t Carve the Turkey with a Chainsaw: Resolving Family Conflict will be officially launching Wednesday, Nov.14. On that day only, you may purchase the dispute resolution book through
It is with profound sadness that I learned of Steven Covey’s recent death. As a cyclist, it is disturbing that complications from a bicycle accident were the cause. At this time of worldwide loss it may be appropriate to recall the seven habits of effective people.
- Be proactive: take initiative and responsibility
- Begin with the end in mind: clarify your values and goals
- Put first things first: prioritize
- Think win/win: strive for mutually beneficial solutions
- Seek first to understand then to be understood: listening to others first creates respect
As I write, the High Park fire burns 15-20 miles from our mountain house. This is the third largest fire in Colorado history and so far has burned 46,600 acres. Over 1,000 fire fighters are battling the blaze and it is only 10% contained.
It strikes me that wild fires and conflicts have a lot in common.
- Sometimes a small insignificant spark that has been smoldering for days sets off a horrendous blaze that destroys everything people have worked years to build.
- The heat rises as the fire builds, just as the conversation becomes heated during conflict.
I just received word that my book, Don’t Carve the Turkey with a Chainsaw: Resolving Family Conflict was a winner in The National Indie Excellence Book Awards. It won in the “Relationships” category, and also was one of eight which won a Sponsor’s Choice Prize. My prize was worth over $1,300.
My “Book Shepherd,” Dr. Judith Briles says, “NIE celebrates overall excellence, including design and promotional text, so that discerning readers know an NIEA winner or finalist is something special. What’s more, award announcements receive extensive media coverage you can leverage to your sales advantage.”
Effective conflict resolution is really very similar to fly-fishing. Think about the button-pushing children and adults who know just what to say or do to upset you. They are like the fly-fisherman carefully selecting the best lure to hook you. They have carefully chosen their words or deeds based on past experience. They know where you are vulnerable and how you will react. The more irresistible the lure is, the more likely you are to get hooked. If you fall for it, you will end up sizzling in the skillet.
Relationships thrive on sincere questions, but whither in the face of interrogating questions. What is the difference?
Interrogating questions do no seek to clarify, they accuse. They are frequently statements disguised as questions.Like a policeman confronting a criminal under the blazing lights, they are designed to extract an confession of misbehavior. In response the accused will respond defensively.
Questions help us understand our partner’s beliefs and feelings. But what makes an effective question? Certainly, accusing or interrogating statement will make people defensive. But what does it take to sincerely learn about their interests? Here are some possibilities.
- What did or did not happen? e.g. “Did you complete your homework?
- How did your arrive at your conclusion?
- Clarify terminology: e.g. “What do you mean by uncooperative?”
- Clarify quantity: e.g. “When you say I always come home late, do you mean that there are no times I have been home on time?”
I watched Celebrity Apprentice last night as Donald Trump destroyed the unity within two teams. How did he do it? While both teams worked well together, he demanded that each team pick one or two people to blame. They protested, saying that all team members contributed. Trump insisted that they pick a couple people to blame. Naturally, the blamed person defended themselves and the bickering began. When the women’s team leader tried to focus on the future, Trump shut her down. Unity and harmonious relationships makes boring TV.
The Conflict Coaching Guild on LinkedIn is discussing How do you create “safe space”? See link below.
It is a good question because everyone wants a positive climate to live their lives, but for many, a safe space to live and work eludes them. Judgmental colleagues and bosses inhibit honest expression of concerns. Bullies and saboteurs wait to ambush them. What can you do to make your living environment a safe place for honest expression?
In my book, Don’t Carve the Turkey with a Chainsaw: Resolving Family Conflict, I list nine strategies to promote emotional safety.