Archive for Conflict Resolution

Jun
05

TV Interview June 5, 2017

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Dr. Patty Ann interview June 5th on WTNH CT Style. Topic: How to avoid a Tiger Woods meltdown.

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Navigating life's transitions We all experience a series of transitions throughout our lives, both personally and professionally. Even when transitions are positive, they can be quite stressful.

Graduating from college, getting married (or divorced), having a baby, beginning a new job, entering a new relationship, etc. all create stress.

Since transitions and change are a constant part of life, they are impossible to avoid.

Therefore, the better equipped you are to handle and navigate life’s transitions, the happier and more successful you’ll be!

Following are four easy ways to navigate life’s transitions (so they don’t overwhelm you and stress you out).

1. The famous Greek philosopher Socrates said: “Know Thyself”. Different people can tolerate different levels of stress.

Understand your own limitations. Know how much stress you can tolerate – and respect it. This will help you avoid (or minimize) feeling overwhelmed and unduly stressed out during times of change. Naturally, it will be helpful for you to control what you can realistically control.

We cannot control everything that happens to us in life- but we are able to control some things.

If you are uncomfortable with a lot of major changes happening all at once, do your best to keep these changes to a minimum (when possible).

For example, if you are moving to a new apartment, perhaps you shouldn’t be looking for a new job at the same time.

If you are one of the fortunate few who can emotionally tolerate a lot of changes going on at once – you still need to recognize that transitions are stressful. Don’t be caught off guard and pile on the changes unnecessarily – just because you think you “can”.

2. Reach Out to Your Support System. Whether you are transitioning into a new job, a new intimate relationship or moving to a new city, etc., access your support system.

Reach out to the people who can emotionally support you during times of change. We all know who these people are in our lives.

It is very difficult to handle transitions by yourself – so don’t!

If you begin to feel overwhelmed by a personal or professional change, seek emotional support from others.

Whether it’s your friends and/or family that comes through for you in the clutch, reach out to them. Let them know what change(s) you are going through so they can ease the bumpy emotional roller coaster ride that comes with the territory.

This support can go a long way in helping you move ahead to see light at the end of what might begin to feel like a very long dark tunnel.

3. Be Realistic. Give yourself a realistic timeframe to get used to the change.

Your identity is changing – and it will take time to adjust to the “new” you. So give yourself the time it takes to feel comfortable in your new skin.

It might take a full year to feel comfortable or confident in your new job or relationship. Expecting to adjust sooner than is realistically possible will only add more stress to an already stressful situation.

Therefore, give yourself the gift of knowing it takes time to adjust and feel comfortable when transitioning throughout your life.

4. Expect to feel uncomfortable feelings. Even if you finally got that promotion you so desperately wanted, or you are a blushing bride or groom, don’t be surprised if you begin to feel somewhat overwhelmed and/or sad.

Transitioning implies closing one chapter in your life and opening another.

Even if the change you are experiencing is desirable, it may still take you out of your comfort zone – creating many unexpected and uncomfortable feelings.

Transitions, whether they are warmly welcomed or are suddenly imposed upon us, they present us with new challenges that create stress.

Knowing how much stress you can tolerate, reaching out to your support system, giving yourself a realistic timeframe to adjust to the changes while understanding that you might feel some sadness, are keys that will help you navigate life’s transitions as smoothly as possible.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

With unemployment numbers remaining stubbornly high (in spite of what some may have us believe), many employees will keep reasonable objections to company goals, objectives and strategies to themselves – for fear of recrimination, including job loss. Read this week’s newsletter to learn how keeping peace in the office -at all costs – does, in fact, become quite costly!

You know you’ve been there; you leave a meeting or read an email where the company’s strategic initiative is laid out – and you just shake your head in wonder! Unfortunately, you are not the only one who will not speak out against what you believe to be the wrong direction, often at a very high price to the bottom line! The inability to express – and subsequently deal with conflict or a healthy difference of opinion is prevalent in many organizations. Regardless of the organizations’ mission statement of welcoming dissent or its open door policy of reaching out to the executive suite, most companies just want their employees to sheepishly go along for the ride! (Yes, there are exceptions but this article is addressing the majority.) Research suggests even when leaders truly encourage dissent and the expression of different points of view – employees often refuse to do so. What’s going on here?

To be fair, dealing with conflict is difficult for many people on a personal level – so it is not such a stretch to see how these same people have difficulty dealing with conflict on a professional level as well. The cost to an organization for not having people engage in open honest dialogue surrounding differences of opinion comes at an extremely high price. Financial investments (sometimes in the millions) are spent on programs, training, equipment, personnel, real estate, etc. for initiatives, expansions and/or promotions that some employees – who had their finger on the pulse – already knew would not work – yet they failed to express their legitimate concern(s) because well, they just couldn’t – for fear of …

Maybe you never learned how to deal effectively with conflict as a child, especially if you grew up in an authoritative home where children really had no voice. Or perhaps you are the consummate “people pleaser” who will go to the Nth degree not to upset the apple cart – fearful of hurting someone’s feelings. If you truly believe all conflict is “bad” or you’ve had poor experiences with conflict in the past – you hesitate to re-visit this situation again. This makes perfect sense. But whatever your individual reason for not expressing a conflicting point of view at work – try to understand its origins (hint: childhood – as mentioned above) and begin to work through it with a trusted mentor/colleague, executive coach or even a therapist (yes, you read that correctly – therapist – every problem cannot be solved by a coach – as some issues run just too deep!)

Learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. You can say almost anything to anyone – it just depends upon the words you use and the tone of your voice! Approach the conversation in a positive manner – and present your differing opinion as an alternative idea or another option, rather than stating the current position is dead wrong or just won’t work!

Begin by confronting small issues and then grow into the bigger, more complicated and emotional ones. Ask someone at work whom you trust how they handle conflict and model that behavior in a manner that is authentic to who you are. Remember when you address conflict – you are addressing an “issue” – not the person!

Avoiding conflict at the office can leave you and your company in a precarious position – creating the ramifications you were actually trying to avoid by not addressing up.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

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Most businesses and all relationships experience tension,  conflict and fighting. Whether these fights destroy your business or your relationship is found in one little secret. Differences of opinion in all areas of your business, from leadership style to strategic business plans, lie at the heart of many business fights. The secret to whether these differences destroy your company, or slow its growth is found in how you handle these differences  when they arise that counts. This is as true for your success in business as it is for success in relationships. In a healthy marriage, a couple views their relationship as a partnership – they are on the same team. In the pursuit of victory, what is good for one team member is good for the entire team. When conflict transforms your relationship from being on the same team and turns it into a competition, the relationship becomes adversarial and perhaps even toxic. You know you are in a toxic relationship if either partner has to win an argument or disagreement at all cost, taking priority over the integrity and intimacy of the marriage. Conflict within a competitive relationship creates a winner and a loser. In business, if conflict turns the relationship among team members into a competition – the company loses.

Conflict is an opportunity to grow your business by formulating creative ideas in search of a resolution to a problem; and in your relationship it is an opportunity to develop a deeper more meaningful relationship with your spouse based on the ability to understand and respect differences. Conflict handled in a productive, respectful, positive manner provides an opportunity for growth which eventually strengthens the bonds among business relationships and interpersonal relationships. Therefore, conflict is a necessity in business and life – rather than something to be avoided.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

Categories : Conflict Resolution
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Conflict between people can be viewed in very general terms, i.e.,  as a fight or battle. The word conflict may lead you to think of a nasty fight with your spouse, or a mild argument between business partners.  Regardless of how mild or severe, most conflicts in business and marriage are rooted in power struggles.  In other words, who gets to make the decisions?

Conflict arises from many sources but at its core conflict stems from differences – whether these differences reflect disagreement over values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, desires or goals.  In business and in marriage, these differences may appear trivial until they trigger a strong personal feeling, or a deep personal need to feel respected, valued, secure and/or a need for greater intimacy.

Conflict is an inevitable part of life; many people view conflict in negative terms. I find it helpful to think of conflict from a positive perspective since conflict provides your business and your marriage with the opportunity for growth. Conflict presents an opportunity to develop deeper more meaningful relationships based on the ability to understand and respect differences – creating trust. When you can successfully resolve conflict in any relationship (your marriage or your business) trust builds. It’s this very type of trust which is the foundation for success in your business because it creates trust among your colleagues and your clients. It creates success in your marriage because it strengthens the emotional bond between partners which enhances intimacy.

Below are 5 tools for conflict resolution that apply as equally to your  business as it does to your marriage.

1. Acknowledge that the conflict exists – sounds like common sense; however, I have seen marriages fall apart because either one, or both partner(s) refused to acknowledge the existence of a problem;  many businesses have declined for failure to recognize a conflict within the organization or a conflict between what the client wants and what the company thinks the client wants.  Failure to acknowledge conflict puts your marriage and your business on the fast track for failure.

2. Communicate effectively – failure to effectively communicate creates misunderstandings and misperceptions.  Verbal and non-verbal communication along with the ability to actively listen will allow for the appropriate sharing of information – minimizing the chances for any misunderstandings to escalate the conflict.  Be cognizant of verbal and non-verbal cues and address any ambiguity between them to insure people are saying what they mean and meaning what they say.  Use your active listening skills – hearing what someone is saying to you is not the same as listening to what someone is saying.
Note: more than 50% of all communication occurs non-verbally so it is imperative you actively listen for what is not being said.

3. Take responsibility –  Many times conflict can only be resolved with a change in our behavior and/or attitude.  Yes, often we can be the only person that resolves conflict in some situations because we are either at the heart of the conflict or we are being totally unreasonable, rigid and unrelenting about our position within the conflict.  Be realistic and remember there is no such thing as a one-handed clap.  If there is conflict in your business or in your marriage – you are as much responsible for the existence of the conflict as anyone else.

4. Resolve to make conflict resolution a priority.  We all know people who thrive on conflict – sad but true. In your marriage and your business, be determined to resolve conflict from the perspective of what is good for the business and what is good for your relationship- instead of being “right” at all costs.  Do not make the mistake of winning the battle only to lose the war.

5. Compromise &  Negotiate – Compromise and negotiation is based on understanding the other person’s position.  Understanding does not mean you are in agreement; rather it means you understand what their position is based on where they are coming from.  Compromise and negotiation is the most effective response to conflict in your business and your relationship because all parties gain something – leaving all parties feeling heard and empowered. Compromise and negotiation can only be reached if the above 4 conflict resolution skills are artfully employed.

Conflict can be seen from a positive perspective because once conflict has been resolved, all parties will feel secure with the knowledge that their relationships (in business and marriage) can survive challenges and disagreements.  View conflict as an opportunity for growth through adversity.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

Most businesses and all relationships experience conflict and fights. Whether these fights destroy your business or your relationship is found in one little secret. Differences of opinion in all areas of your business, from leadership style to business growth plans (meaning – how to achieve your company goal), lie at the heart of many fights. The secret to whether these differences destroy your company, or slow its growth, is found in how you handle differences when they arise. This is as true for your success in business as it is for success in relationships. In a healthy marriage, a couple views their relationship as a partnership – they are on the same team. In the pursuit of victory, what is good for one team member is good for the entire team. When conflict transforms your relationship from being on the same team and turns it into a competition, the relationship becomes adversarial and perhaps even toxic. You know you are in a toxic relationship if either partner has to win an argument at all cost, taking priority over the integrity and intimacy of the marriage. Conflict within a competitive relationship creates a winner and a loser. In business, if conflict turns the relationship among team members into a competition for members on the same team, the company loses.

Conflict is an opportunity to grow your business by formulating creative ideas in search of a resolution to a problem; and in your relationship, it is an opportunity to develop a deeper more meaningful relationship with your spouse based on the ability to understand and respect differences. Conflict handled in a productive, respectful, positive manner provides an opportunity for growth which eventually strengthens the bond in business and relationships.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

There is not any business or romantic relationship which does not have its share of conflict and problems. Conflict is a normal part of life; it is impossible to avoid. People who run successful businesses and people who are in happy relationships are those who know how to effectively handle conflict (not avoid or deny it). Conflict resolution skill #5, which is essential for success in business and life, is the ability to effectively compromise and negotiate.

Unfortunately, many people associate the words compromise and negotiation with the idea of losing. These people think if you compromise – then you have given up something – therefore you have sustained a loss. This is a very detrimental and non-productive way of thinking about compromise, especially since the only way any conflict can be effectively resolved is for you to compromise on what you want – so the other person will be willing to compromise on what they want. Lead by example! You give a little and you get back a lot. Once all parties are willing to compromise on what are considered to be their acceptable terms, the process of negotiation can begin. But if no one is ever willing to compromise and move away from their original position, a stalemate ensues; this is a disastrous situation for a marriage and a business.

The most effective way to begin the process of compromise and negotiation is to understand your partner’s position (whether it be your romantic partner, business partner, client, etc). Understanding your partner’s position does not mean you are in agreement with it; rather it means you understand their position based on where they are coming from. Understanding allows you to see conflict from their perspective; it also sheds light and gives you a deeper awareness on how you have come to your own position. Understanding your partner’s position makes them feel heard and respected (even while disagreeing with them). Therefore, when the negotiation process is finished, both parties walk away from it feeling as if they have gained something, as opposed to having “lost” or “given in”.

Conflict understood from a positive perspective gives you the opportunity to experience mutual growth and change – a win-win for all. When conflict is resolved based on respect and understanding of the other person’s position, whether it is in your business or your romantic relationship, you can feel secure in the knowledge that your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.

Conflict can be framed as an opportunity for growth through adversity and resolved through the 5 conflict resolution skills discussed over these past few weeks!

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

Categories : Conflict Resolution
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This week we are going to learn about conflict resolution skill #4 needed for success in business and life. Following is a quick re-cap of the conflict resolution skills discussed (in detail) during the previous three weeks: 1) acknowledge the conflict exists; 2) communicate effectively about the conflict and 3) take personal responsibility for the conflict. Conflict resolution skill #4 is resolving to make conflict resolution a priority. Think about this for a moment. We all know people who seem to thrive on conflict; this is sad but true. It seems as if for every person who avoids conflict at all cost, there is a person who never misses an opportunity to create it. Regardless of the circumstances which created the conflict, conflict cannot be resolved unless you make it a priority to resolve it.

In your relationships and your business you must be willing and determined to resolve conflict from the perspective of what is best for your business and what is in the long term interest of your relationship. The mistake many people make is they fail to prioritize their business or relationship and get bogged down on the specifics of the conflict and who is “right” and who is “wrong”. Focusing on the minor details of an argument instead of focusing on what is at stake for the business or your relationship from a long-term perspective makes us run the risk of losing sight of the forest from the trees. When this happens, conflict remains unresolved and ill will is perpetuated.

Tenacity is an admirable quality when it provides resilience for learning something new. But when tenacity gets us stuck in a conflict, refusing to let go of it, it can be responsible for leaving our conflicts unresolved – which eventually destroys our relationships and the productivity of our business.

The next time you are faced with a business or relationship conflict that you are having difficulty letting go of or resolving, ask yourself this question: “Is maintaining the conflict worth your relationship or the productivity of your business?” Chances are you know the answer to this question. If you make it your priority, all conflicts are resolvable.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

Categories : Conflict Resolution
Comments (0)

Although we have never had more methods by which to communicate with each other than ever before due to modern technology, i.e., blackberries, iphones, laptops, droids, etc, our ability to effectively communicate is not at such a great place these days. Listen to TV, talk radio and the media in general, when conflict – or a mere difference of opinion arises – effective communication goes out the window. People yell at each other, talk over each other, insult each other and nobody appears to be actively listening to each other. The only thing I ever hear communicated during these conflicts is anger and the fact that nobody is effectively communicating anything! Lack of effective communication usually plays a very big part for why conflicts never seem to get resolved.

The ability to effectively communicate is the linchpin for conflict resolution in our business and our relationships. Last week we discussed the importance of acknowledging a conflict exists, and now we will discuss what you need for effective communication to take place to begin to resolve the conflict.

1. Verbal communication – words have consequences so choose your words carefully. You can pretty much say anything to anybody if you choose your words wisely. The more emotionally heated the conflict, the more important it is to select non-inflammatory words – ones that do not push anyone’s “hot buttons”.

2. Non-verbal communication – perhaps even more important than the words we use to communicate our message is our nonverbal communication, i.e., body language, tone, attitude and overall demeanor when speaking. More than 50% of all communication takes place non-verbally so remember it is really important to be cognizant of how you deliver your message. We have all been involved in conflict with someone where we have said to ourselves “it is not what they said as much as how they said it.”

3. Actively listen – how many times have we been in an argument or heated discussion with our spouse, business partner, friend, etc, and we say to ourselves: “they are not listening to a word I am saying.” This happens when people are not actively listening to each other. Hearing what someone is saying is not the same as actively listening to them. During conflict, most people are not actively listening; rather they are listening with their own hidden agenda – often to find faults with the speaker’s argument or to just silently wait for them to finish speaking so you can finally say what you have to say. In order to actively listen we need to listen with an open mind and an open heart. Try not to interrupt and make every effort to honestly listen to their side of the conflict. Understanding one’s side of an issue doesn’t mean you agree with them, but it can become a starting point for compromise and negotiation.

The ability to effectively communicate is the single most important variable that dictates the overall quality of our lives – and without it, conflict in your business and marriage will never be resolved.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

Categories : Conflict Resolution
Comments (4)

Conflict between people can be seen in very general terms – as a fight or battle. The word conflict may lead you to think of a nasty fight with your spouse, or a mild argument between business partners. Regardless of how mild or severe, most conflicts in marriage and business are rooted in power struggles. In other words, who gets to make the decisions in the family and in the business?

Conflict arises from many sources but at its core, conflict stems from differences – whether these differences reflect disagreement over values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, desires or goals. In marriage, and in business, these differences may appear trivial until they trigger a strong personal feeling, or a deep personal need to feel respected, valued, secure, or a need for greater intimacy.

Conflict is an inevitable part of life; many people view conflict in negative terms. I find it helpful to think of conflict from a positive perspective since conflict provides your marriage and your business with the opportunity for growth. Conflict presents an opportunity to develop deeper more meaningful relationships based on the ability to understand and respect differences – creating trust. When you can successfully resolve conflict in any relationship– either your marriage or your business – trust builds and it is trust which is the foundation for success in your business and your marriage.

Below are 5 Tools for Conflict Resolution that apply as equally to your business as it does to your marriage.

1. Acknowledge the conflict exists – sounds like common sense; however, I have seen marriages fall apart because either one, or both partner(s) refused to acknowledge the existence of a problem; many businesses have declined for failure to recognize a conflict within the organization or a conflict between what the client wants and what the company thinks the client wants. Failure to acknowledge conflict puts your marriage and your business on the fast track for failure.

2. Communicate effectively – failure to communicate creates misunderstandings and misperceptions. Verbal and non-verbal communication, and the ability to actively listen, will allow for the appropriate sharing of information – minimizing the chances for these misunderstandings and the escalation of the conflict. Be cognizant of verbal and non-verbal cues and address any ambiguity between the two to insure people are saying what they mean and meaning what they say. Use your active listening skills – hearing what someone is saying to you is not the same as listening to what someone is saying.
Note: more than 50% of all communication occurs non-verbally so it is imperative you actively listen for what is not being said.

3. Take responsibility: Many times conflict can only be resolved with a change in our behavior and/or attitude. Yes, often we can be the only person that resolves conflict in some situations because we are either at the heart of the conflict or we are being totally unreasonable, rigid and unrelenting about our position within the conflict. Be realistic and remember there is no such thing as a one-handed clap. If there is conflict in your business or in your marriage – you are as much responsible for the conflict as anyone else.

4. Resolve to make conflict resolution a priority. We all know people who thrive on conflict – sad but true. In your marriage and your business, be determined to resolve conflict from the perspective of what is good for the business and what is good for your relationship- instead of being “right” at all costs. Do not make the mistake of winning the battle only to lose the war.

5. Compromise & Negotiate – Compromise and negotiation is based on understanding the other person’s position. Understanding does not mean you are in agreement; rather it means you understand that their position is based on where they are coming from. Compromise and negotiation is the most effective response to conflict in your business and your relationship because all parties gain something – leaving all parties feeling heard and empowered. Compromise and negotiation can only reached if the above 4 conflict resolution skills are artfully employed.

Conflict can be seen from a positive perspective because once conflict has been resolved- all parties feel secure with the knowledge that their relationships (in business and marriage) can survive challenges and disagreements. View conflict as an opportunity for growth through adversity.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

Categories : Conflict Resolution
Comments (3)