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HOW TO EFFORTLESSLY WIN WHEN ARGUING

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every time we disagreed with someone we could actually win when arguing? For many, disagreements are viewed as a battle of intelligence between two opposing forces. Each having what they believe to be a strong and valid position on a topic, they engage in verbal and intellectual warfare determined to prove themselves right and their opponent wrong. Whether through the use of reliable facts, the support and validation of others, or a comparison of educational or intellectual levels, some people are willing to use whatever means necessary to prove their superiority over the other. A battle of egos can prove destructive yet short of conceding in defeat or threatening the other party to get them back down, is there any way a person can win when arguing? Actually, there are several options.

In any discussion each party begins by presenting their unique position on a topic. Both are passionate about the validity of their argument and after some time it becomes evident that neither is willing to budge. In order to win, you can choose one of the following options:

#1. Neutralize: The popular cliché, “Agree to disagree” is actually a valid approach to take. By realizing that continually debating what appears to be a no-win situation, you can chose to simply let the disagreement exist. Graciously allowing the other person the right to their own beliefs can stop any damage from occurring as a result of two highly charged egos continuing in a heated debate. Simply recognize that each party has the same rights as the other in terms of what they believe to be valid. Respect that and neutralize the tension by graciously stating that you’re intention is not to convince the other person that their perspective is wrong (even if you believe it is) and that you are fine with those who do not share your point of view. Express your sentiments in a non-condescending manner and state that it might be best to put this issue to rest. Choose a less divisive subject to talk about or move on to another activity. Being respectful is always a win.

#2. Walk Away: People can become very irate when others don’t share their beliefs concerning subjects they are passionate about. After making a sincere effort to have a rational discussion with them, it become apparent that they are becoming even more hostile and defensive. Recognizing when one is in an unhealthy, stressful or even potentially dangerous situation, removing yourself is a wise choice. The preservation of one’s emotional and physical safety must always be a priority. Walking away prevents either side from a possible meltdown or saying or doing something regrettable. Sometimes, in the heat of an argument, one can make false accusations or assumptions, only fueling the fire and possibly causing harm. Disengaging is a win.
Keep in mind, too, that once an individual closes their mind, any further discussion is futile and any possible progress is squelched. A mind is like a parachute: both only work when open. Walking away is not a sign of defeat but rather one of self-preservation and intelligence.

#3. Concede: Giving in in no way implies that you are agreeing with the other party if in fact you still hold fast to your own beliefs. By conceding I mean to simply acknowledge their position as equally as valid to them as yours is to you. With true respect and sincerity, express that you respect their point of view. Period. Avoid needing to point out that you still disagree with them. Conclude with a statement such as, “Yes, I understand where you are coming from.” Then move on to another activity. Integrity is a win.

#4. Reverse: Occasionally in an oppositional debate, one party has a change of heart. They realize that perhaps their way of thinking was somewhat skewed; that perhaps the other person has made some valid points. There is no shame or weakness in reversing one’s position whether entirely or partially. If this is the case and you have come to that realization, openly acknowledge the validity of what the other has shared. Let them know that as a result of this exchange, you have a new, better, or deeper understanding of the topic. Admit that you have found clarity in their position and are grateful for them sharing their knowledge with you. Courage is a win.

#5. Reversal #2: On occasion, the other party may have an ah-ha moment where they realize that what you have been saying suddenly makes more sense to them. They may now realize that their perspective was somewhat inaccurate or that there can be more than one valid argument for the same topic. However, it is difficult for many to openly admit this as there is typically concern of being embarrassed, ridiculed, scolded, make fun of, and so on. In this instance, how you handle yourself is critical. Always be gracious. Show your appreciation for their willingness to listen to your thoughts. Compliment them on their willingness to see things from a new perspective. Keep it light: make reference to a time when you were insistent on an issue only to realize you had made a serious error in judgment or came to realize that the opposing position was actually more sensible. Never embarrass, humiliate, degrade, criticize or make fun of the other person. Refrain from making such comments as “See, I told you so!” or “I told you I was right!” Always treat them with respect and allow them to leave with their dignity intact. Compassion and sensitivity are wins.

Disagreements can open doors to immense personal growth when both sides remain open minded and fair, eager to learn from the opposing side. But they can also become volatile and dangerous when egos control our decisions. One of mankind’s greatest needs is to be heard and acknowledged, not necessarily to have others agree with them. Something as simple as a acknowledgment can be enough to reassure the other party that you are not the enemy but rather an ally supporting their individuality. This enables them to remain calm and relaxed as they trust that you will be fair and respectful of them at all times.

People want to be their own person and some clearly march to the beat of a different drummer. It is an admirable quality that one is confident enough not to be threatened by those who oppose their views. So when discord arises, Disagree with Dignity; Attack the Issues not the Individual.
Remember, I stated that you would win when arguing, not win the argument. There is a critical distinction between the two and when understood you will ultimately emerge victorious, a winner, in the sense that you have maintained your integrity, preserved the dignity of the other person, prohibited stress from manifesting, and safeguarded the integrity of the relationship.

Q: “Disagree with Dignity; Attack the Issues not the Individual.”

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

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PUSHED TOO FAR: WHEN PEOPLE SNAP

We are all too familiar with headline stories about people who are pushed to their limits and snap. Whether on the job, within their own families, or even children in school – everyone has their breaking point. In 2010, Omar Thorton, a 34-year old employee at the Hartford Beer Distributors in Manchester, CT, reportedly stole a truck. He was given the option of either being fired or resigning. He chose the latter. However, before being escorted out of the building, he pulled out a handgun and began firing. Two people were wounded, eight were dead including himself. Later on, his girlfriend revealed that he felt he had been a victim of racial harassment.

And none of us will ever forget the massacre at Columbine H.S. on April 20, 1999 executed by two students, Dylan Kliebold and Eric Harris. Well thought out, these boys claimed to have been victims of prolonged bullying. Their anger and rage manifest in a violent rampage that claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher and injured 21 more.

Who’s to blame?

In each of these cases, the individuals blamed others for how they felt and subsequently their course of action. None took responsibility for their own feelings and behaviors. Blame renders one powerless and gives others the ability to control us. Feeling powerless in a situation we’re uncomfortable or unhappy with is the very definition of anger. We seek to regain control and an angry outburst will surely get the ball rolling. People pay attention. They will often concede in an effort to to calm us down, making us feel powerful in the moment. However, the consequences of our actions can prove devastating in the long run. Individuals fail to seek more appropriate means of correcting an unsatisfactory situation.

Why do people snap?

Everyone gets angry but not everyone allows their anger to turn into rage or go on a rampage. Most people can, in time, let go of what’s bothering them. Even for those who don’t, there is an unspoken rule that raging on others is simply not permissible either from a religious or cultural perspective. They may keep their anger bottled up inside them causing a host of other problems.
Anger is often the result of a person’s perception of an event regardless of the actual truth. If one believes they are the target of discrimination, they will subconsciously seek every incident which can be interpreted as such. Couple that with their inability or unwillingness to process their hurt or anger in a healthy way and the feelings are sure to escalate. Obsessing over the incident, holding on to negative feelings, and replaying it over and over again in one’s mind causes it to grow in intensity. Feelings of victimization, i.e. helplessness, powerlessness, and hopelessness that circumstances are never going to improve, feed the need for revenge in order to establish equity between the parties and to stop others from causing you pain. The image of victory over one’s circumstances becomes the driving force behind the violence.

For those who seek to better understand the purpose of the experience, rather than label themselves victims of injustice, they choose to view themselves as students of the experience, here to learn one of life’s valuable lessons. Every situation has the potential to teach an important lesson that will enrich one’s life. They are then able to replace anger with understanding and acceptance. (Let me state here that this in no way implies that one must allow others to continue to mistreat them. Setting and enforcing fair and reasonable boundaries in relationships are crucial to establishing healthy interactions and are most effective if established from the get go.)

In my book, The Secret Side of Anger, I clearly illustrate how anger is the direct result of unmet needs and expectations. We all have specific needs and expect things to be a certain way: to be heard, understood or treated fairly. We all need sleep, food, opportunity, companionship, love. We expect to be treated with respect, to be appreciated for our efforts, and rewarded for our accomplishments. When we believe, whether factual or imagined, that our expectations are not being met, we become agitated, irate, hurt, frustrated, or angry. Each of these, if left unaddressed, can escalate and eventually manifest in the form of destructive behaviors.

Thorton reportedly told his supervisors about the harassment and claimed nothing was done to stop it. Was he, in fact, harassed? Did the authorities legitimately fail to protect him, or was it a matter of his own perception rather than fact? Others reported that he had been accused of stealing items off of the trucks along with other performance issues. Thorton’s uncle reported to CNN that he had been pushed to the limit stating that he killed “the five racists that were bothering me”. Fact or perception? Either way, he reached his breaking point.

Prevention:

If you’re being pushed:
It’s imperative that you don’t take personal offense to what others are doing/saying. Their behavior reflects who they are; it is never about you.
Work on building your self esteem. Those who truly admire themselves are less impacted by what others think of them.
Build your self-confidence as well. Know that you are capable of handling and surviving every experience that enters your life.
Learn to identify hurtful or disrespectful behaviors in others, stand up and speak up for yourself. Set strong and reasonable boundaries if necessary.
Remove yourself from those who are causing you harm, emotionally or otherwise. Reach out to others for their support and help if necessary.
Develop positive people skills: learn to interact with others, to be sociable, and develop a strong network of friends and/or a support system.
When anger arises, don’t become stuck on what’s bothering you. Identify the issue then seek all possible solutions to your situation.
Be proactive. Understanding that unfairness, such as prejudice, exists allows one to decide how they will handle themselves when confronted with it. (Similar to inclement weather, the better prepared one is the less likely they will be adversely effected when the situation presents itself.) Either take action to correct it, allow it to roll of your back when it does occur, or remove yourself from it. Each option allows you to make the decision that is in your best interest. It restores your personal power and alleviates feelings of victimization.

If you’re the pusher:
Be more compassionate; treat others with kindness, dignity and respect, even those you don’t care for.
Be inclusive – invite others to be a part of your life on some level; show concern for who they are, what matters to them, how they feel.
Always find something positive to say to the other party – be complimentary and appreciative of who they are.

Intervention:

If you’re the observer:
Reach out to offer assistance and/or resources to those you are concerned about. Intervene as long as there is no risk to you and you are qualified to do so. Ask questions to determine if there is a potential risk. Inquire if you can be of any assistance. Seek professional help if warranted. Alert the family, close friends, coworkers, supervisors if appropriate. This is not about becoming hysterical or spreading damaging rumors or for the purpose of getting someone in trouble. It is solely for the purpose of preventing a possible tragedy from occurring and getting necessary help for one in need. This must be carried out in a respectful manner as an act of concern for the well-being and safety of all parties.
Summary:

The way we treat one another in today’s world can be described as nothing short of inhumane. Remember that we are all struggling with personal issues and behavior is a reflection of what those issues are. Never define a person by how they act. Intrinsically we are all perfect creations of God; our very nature is love but the hurt, loneliness, frustration, etc that we wrestle with masks our authentic nature. Be aware; be helpful; be kind – always. That’s how we prevent unnecessary tragedies from occurring and how we begin to heal our world.

Q: “Every action is either an expression of love or a cry for love. Recognize the cries of others and offer them the cure.”

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

Resilience Leadership in Times of Turmoil

Join us this Thursday at 5pm ET for the Future-Proof Workplace show!
Resilience is a hallmark of great leaders today. In the turbulent times that we live in, leaders must be able to lead through change. They must have self-reliance to deal with chaos, make sense out of confusion, and create clarity of purpose for the path forward. This show will help you learn the keys to create a powerful future for yourself. We will be discussing how to overcome challenges by strengthening resilience. Our guests, Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos, are leading experts in developing powerful leaders around the world and are co-hosts of The Leadership Podcast. Join us for this what will be a powerful discussion to sharpen your leadership skills!
Jan Rutherford has over 25 years of business experience and has held executive roles in business development, marketing, sales, training, product management, and as a CEO. In 2011, Jan founded Self-Reliant Leadership, LLC – a leadership development firm focused on helping leaders and teams develop self-reliance to grow their business through advising, facilitating, coaching, and wilderness expeditions.
Jim Vaselopulos is a C-level business advisor with a proven record as a leader, strategist, rainmaker and new business development expert. Jim has been a consultant to many companies across nearly every industry.  As the founder of Rafti Advisors, Inc., Jim helps early stage companies get off on the right foot, growth stage companies push through plateaus and mature companies with strategic shifts and complex challenges.

Jim Vaselopulos, Co-host of The Leadership Podcast

Jan Rutherford, Co-host of The Leadership Podcast