JJ's (May 2013) Tips in this issue:
1. Conflict - Opportunity for Change
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
What is a great way to turn conflicts with others into opportunities for change?
Everyone experiences conflicts, and they can quickly put you in a bad mood! It could be as simple as looking in your rear view mirror and finding the car behind you on the freeway is literally on your bumper tailgating you. You have choices at that moment. You can get angry and start a road rage war and possibly end up in an accident, or at least, very stressed.
Another choice might be moving over to another lane as soon as possible to let the "bully" go by, but you hate bullies and they make your blood pressure skyrocket.
You could speed up or slow down, or turn your caution blinkers on to retaliate, but now you are out of your comfort zone and probably irritating the tailgater even more.
Perhaps this conflict could be eliminated if you drive the speed limit in the middle lane and let the speeders whiz by in the fast one.
This is a quick example of how conflicts are opportunities for change. The end result would be less stress for you on the highway if that is important to you.
You can probably think of a number of other kinds of conflicts that are occurring in your life too. Sometimes you know what triggers them and other times you have no clue.
A related article written by Angela Hill for the San Jose Mercury News stated, "Nobody enjoys conflict but few of us naturally possess the tools to resolve disputes effectively. Yet there are practical steps that can be learned to flip problems into blessings for all involved, say Bay Area co-authors of the new book "Conflict — The Unexpected Gift: Making the Most of Disputes in Life and Work." ($17.95; Amazon.com). All four authors — Jack Hamilton, Elisabeth Seaman, Sharlene Gee and Hillary Freeman — have worked as mediators and facilitators for many years with Learn2Resolve, which provides training in team building, communication and conflict resolution skills in English and Spanish, assisting families, corporations, non-profits, public agencies and individuals."
Hill interviewed co-author Seaman on how her book was different from all the other self-help books out there. Seaman described the book as a "tool kit" to strengthen relationships and how to turn conflict into an unexpected gift to create change.
Hill further stated, "The main tool in the book is the "Ladder of Assumptions," which is a metaphor for how our minds work in situations that can lead to conflict. Our minds unconsciously move up the rungs of the ladder, making unwarranted assumptions about someone's words or actions. At the top of the ladder, people often further jump to conclusions by making generalizations or stereotypes, defining the other person as belonging to a particular group that behaves in a certain way, and the result of taking these mental steps often leads to conflicts."
The authors tell us that if the desire or need to improve is great enough, people can be motivated to make the necessary changes to resolve conflicts. Conflict is actually a gift in disguise that changes the mind toward a more positive outlook. Then with awareness of how the mind works, they can step down their mental ladder to clarify their assumptions and mutually reach better understanding of the conflict.
The authors provide activities in the book to practice the steps of resolving issues. They have successfully used these during mediation with their clients over the years.
Remember, conflict is an opportunity (a gift) for change!
"So many of us get stuck in our lives because of fear, making mistakes, or wondering what other people will think. It's what you think that's important. Perhaps these "McKinley-isms" will help:
If you don't get better, you get worse
~ Mike McKinley - Professional Speaker
DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE in an area? Service? Sales?
EVALUATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)
JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales,
and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human
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