Posts Tagged ‘anger’

The “SO – What” Method: Six Steps to Resolving Conflict

Conflict: two forces in opposition. Resolution: the process of finding a mutually satisfying solution. There’s nothing threatening here yet for many they’d rather have a root canal rather than try to resolve a dispute. They either seek a quick departure or prepare themselves for an ugly battle. But conflict can be a very beneficial and productive force in any relationship if you have the proper skills and motives.

Too often when we begin the process we have one goal in mind – to find a solution to whatever the issue is. But somewhere along the way we become sidetracked with ideas of winning, getting what we want even at the expense of the other party. Other times our objective is to prove the other party wrong in an attempt to bolster our own self-image while simultaneously making them feel poorly about themselves. Furthermore, we mistakenly believe that because there are two opposing ideas one is automatically right and the other wrong. That notion is incorrect. Conflict is simply a matter of a difference of needs, opinions, or beliefs and very often has nothing at all to do with right or wrong.

Here are six simple strategies to smooth the process of conflict resolution called the SO-What Method:
SO: be Solution Oriented. Ask, “What happened? What needs to be done to resolve this situation?”

1. Always remember to attack the problem, not the person. Be respectful at all times.
2. Find common ground, a sameness, a link that bonds you to one another.
3. Approach as allies, not adversaries. Work together for the good of the whole.
4. Pay careful attention to your Attitude and Approach. Refrain from making inflammatory statements such as “What’s your problem?” Or, “This is all your fault.”
5. Choose a neutral location, one where both parties are on an equal playing field.
6. Know when to stop and take a break. Only issues of a life-threatening nature need to be resolved at that precise moment. Everything else can wait for a more suitable time.

In each scenario, we have the option to be part of the problem or part of the solution. SO-What? Be Solution Oriented. What can you do to resolve this situation to the satisfaction of all parties? It can be done with a few simple techniques and a thoughtful motive.

For more, read “Never Ever Ask This Question” @ and “M & M’s: Motive and Method @
Order your copy of The Secret Side of Anger and The Great Truth @

Sticks and Stones: Disarming Hurtful Words

I used to pride myself on being sensitive. The problem was I was easily hurt by the things other people said to me. I lived in a chronic state of pain which lead to a lifetime of unhappiness and low self-esteem. But the alternative (being cold and aloof) was less appealing so I resigned myself to a life of sorrow. But as I got older and more comfortable with myself, the criticisms and negative comments of others became less problematic for me. I realized that words have no power other than what I assign to them. The word stupid for example does not evoke any particular emotion unless I take personal offense to being called stupid.

If you are easily offended by what others say, consider working on building a healthier sense of self, one which allows you to listen to both positive and negative comments directed at you. There is much that can be learned from the unattractive remarks we hear about ourselves. After all, which one of us would not benefit from correcting some of our imperfections? Here are a few more tips:

1. Don’t take personal offense to what is being said. Their truth is more opinion than fact.
2. Listen objectively to their comments. Like a mirror, people reflect back to us what they see that we may not be aware of. This can prove to be of great benefit to us.
3. Pay attention to your internal reaction. What does it reveal about you? Are you too sensitive, insecure, opinionated, close-minded? Work on improving these.
4. Did you misunderstand or misinterpret what the other party said? Ask for clarification.
5. If they are deliberately being rude or hurtful address your concerns and set boundaries. Then forgive them for their poor behavior and let go of the hurt.

If you are the perpetrator of hurtful words, take into consideration the following suggestions:

1. Before beginning, consider your motives. Are they honorable? If not, do not proceed until they are.
2. Speak the truth and temper it with compassion and sensitivity.
3. Carefully choose your words making sure to consider all possible methods of expressing yourself.
4. Imagine how the other party is interpreting what you are saying. Put yourself in their shoes.
5. Remember that it is what you say as well as how you say it. Choose polite honesty over brutal honesty every time. You’re efforts will be greatly appreciated and you will earn the respect of all parties.

Words don’t have to hurt. It is the individual who gives them power. Choose your words carefully for once spoken they can never be silenced.

Some great articles to read:

“M & M’s: Motive and Method” @

“Tell It Like It Is” @

“The Looking Glass” @

Four Keys to Overcoming Anger

I facilitated an anger management support group for several years. One woman began attending shortly after our first meeting. Her name was Joan. Joan’s marriage of thirty plus years was in trouble. Admitting she had a bad temper, her husband recently filed for divorce. She was devastated. “I don’t want to lose him,” she said, fighting back the tears. “He’s such a good man and I really do love him. I need to learn how to control my anger. Can you help me?”

“Control your anger?” I asked. “No. I don’t teach people to control anger. I explain to them where their anger is originating (the root cause) and help them heal those issues. Once accomplished, the anger never manifests. But it’s going to mean being brutally honest with who you are, what your issues are, and how poorly you have behaved. Are you prepared to do that?” “Yes,” she replied. “I’m willing to do whatever I have to to save my marriage.” I assured her that I would as well.

Over the next six months, Joan drove an hour and a half to attend the Antidote to Anger group. Regardless of the weather, each week she bared her soul in front of me and a room full of complete strangers. Much of what she shared was painful and sometimes even shameful to her. Yet she was never held back. Each week, she revealed more and more about her troubled past and how her pain and fear repeatedly emerged in her relationship with her husband. “It’s not him, it’s me”, she said on more than one occasion. “He’s a good husband and father. I know these issues are mine.” Good, I thought. At least she’s taking responsibility and not blaming him for her behavior. There’s hope.

Joan quickly earned the respect of every member of the group and we were all genuinely elated when six months later she announced that she and her husband were back together. “He can’t believe the changes I’ve made in myself! Neither can I. It’s like a dream-come-true!” In spite of their recent success, Joan continued to attend our meetings faithfully each week for another year. Due to a change in circumstances, I had to terminate the group. It was hard saying goodbye to someone I had become fond of. I told her I would keep her and her family in my heart and prayers. I’ve thought of her often but never heard from her after that night.

So imagine my surprise when I recently presented a lecture in a church nearby and in walks Joan and her husband! Wearing a smile that lit up the room, I was greeted by a warm embrace from both of them. Her husband hugged me and thanked me for saving his marriage. “I cannot thank you enough,” he stated, as he wiped a tear from his eye. “We have never been happier.” “You need to thank your wife,” I replied. “She did all the work and deserves all the credit.”

Why is it that Joan was able to save a marriage on the brink of divorce while other couples fail miserably? There were four key elements present within Joan that are the keys for anyone making a major life transformation:

1. Motivation: Joan was highly motivated, willing to do whatever it took for as long as was necessary to resolve her personal issues and save her marriage.

2. Responsibility: she took 100% ownership in being the source of this issue. She did not blame her husband or anyone else for her anger and poor choices in managing it. And she made no excuses.

3. Solution: Joan was solution-oriented. She actively sought practical suggestions and strategies to put into practice.

4.Action: Without hesitation, Joan began making the appropriate behavioral changes that improved the quality of her life and ultimately her relationship with her husband.

Joan is a perfect example of what it takes to make a marriage work. I fully expect to get an invitation to their 50th anniversary party.

To order The Secret Side of Anger visit Pick up a copy of The Great Truth as well. Enjoy!