Posts Tagged ‘conflictresolution’

10 PROLIFIC COMMUNICATE TIPS

It’s difficult for a lot of people to communicate with each other effectively. Unless you’re a recluse, communication is something we all do every day. Perhaps because I’m a motivational speaker, author, and radio host, I can talk ad infinitum. I actually find it enjoyable and relatively easy. Yet there is a significant difference between talking and communicating: talking requires only one person, communication includes at least one additional person. Although everyone may be speaking the same language, it’s not uncommon to become frustrated and angry with each other while dialoguing.
Communication is a skill most of us were not taught as children. Granted, we’ve all learned to assemble words in a coherent manner to convey a thought or make a statement. I politely instruct my husband to put the empty ice cream container in the garbage rather than in the sink yet somehow the package consistently needs my assistance in the morning. Either he doesn’t hear me (I don’t think so) or doesn’t understand my request (I seriously doubt that) or he’s not interested in granting my request (more likely).

Misunderstandings and miscommunication can easily lead to frustration and anger. However, being able to converse effectively involves not only a series of well constructed verbal expressions but equally as important are proficient listening skills. Without both, our levels of tolerance decrease significantly while frustration (a root cause of anger) begins to rise, lending itself to angry outbursts. Here are ten skills that will make communication significantly easier and more rewarding.

1. Customize your style. Readjust your level and style of speaking in such a way that the other party can relate to it. I speak differently to my grandchildren than I do to my children. Likewise, my style of conversing is altered when addressing the CEO of AT&T to discuss an upcoming training I’m about to conduct. Know the other party and adjust your style so that they can more easily relate to you and comprehend your message. Use common terms easily recognizable by the majority.

2. Be crystal clear and detail-specific. Carefully choose words and phrases that are easily understood. Itemize and list every detail to every component of the conversation in a clear, organized, and concise manner. There’s a news commentator that tries to be clever and poetic. I am always at a loss for what he is saying. I feel confused and frustrated when listening to him. When discussing a contract with a new client, I am extremely attentive while explaining my services in great detail so there is no question as to what I will and will not provide. Miscommunication leads to a host of problems including improperly completed tasks, hurt feelings, frustration and anger, lawsuits, missed opportunities and much more.

3. Be brief. When I’m with my best friends, Arlene or Michelle, we can talk for hours. With my husband his attention span is significantly shorter. Each individual has a point at which they lose interest or are unable to process any more information. Be mindful and keep your discussions brief when necessary. This is particularly true during conflict resolution sessions.

4. Non verbal communication speaks volumes. In fact, 85% worth. Make certain your body and mouth are working in harmony with one another. Pay close attention to the other party’s non verbal messages as well. Know when they are engaging with you or not. Pay attention to any indication that they are becoming agitated or disconnecting mentally and make the necessary readjustments.

5. Repeat back to the other person what you think you heard them say. We each hear things through the filters of our life experiences and beliefs. “So, what I heard you say is that you will take the garbage out after you’ve completed your homework?” In that way, I am allowing the other person the opportunity to correct any misunderstanding immediately. Ask questions to gain greater clarity if necessary.

6. Listen with the intent to understand. Too often, while the other person is speaking we are already formulating our response. Carefully digest each word they are saying. Ask questions if necessary to gain further clarity on what they are saying. Pause. Then thoughtfully respond.

7. Be a good listener. Too often, communication results in one person talking at the other rather than with. Listening is an art. Communication is a sharing of thoughts, feelings, and needs between all persons involved. Active listening sends a message to the other party that they matter to you; that what they have to say is important; that you value them and the message they want to convey. Be an engaged listener; don’t interrupt or disconnect. Pay attention and give them ample time to speak.

8. Always speak with kindness and respect. No one needs to earn respect. It is a God-given birth right bestowed upon each of us. Use both kindness and respect generously. They will serve you well. Practice my exclusive Heart/Brain Communication technique: hear with your ears, think with your brain, and feel with your heart (compassion) before responding.

9. Practice polite honesty. Most people prefer that you be honest with them. However, one can be crude and hurtful with their words or thoughtful and sensitive. Consider how your words may impact the other person. Remember, there are multiple ways of saying the same thing. Carefully consider all options and chose the one that is most respectful.

10. Disagree with dignity. Very often when individuals discuss issues it is clear that they each hold different opinions. Remember that your role is not to convince the other party to agree with you nor to prove them wrong. Respect them enough to appreciate their different point of view even though you don’t share it. Acknowledge their position as equally as valid to them as yours is to you. Then move on.

Communication is a skill we all need to master and when accomplished can make our interactions with others much less stressful and far more rewarding. A few simple techniques can make all the difference in the world. We all have enough stress in our lives. Let’s make our conversations with one another a joyful and effortless experience. And throw in a smile for good measure. It regulates your attitude.

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

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FIVE EASY STEPS TO INNER PEACE

One of my favorite authors, the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, once stated that “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” This seemed rather contradictory to the common belief that a peaceful state of existence is a destination we arrive at after traversing a righteous path. Wayne challenges us to view peace as a state of mind, a choice, a way of life. One who is serene makes different conscious choices in the way they live. Here are five steps you can take to create a more peaceful life:

1. Refrain from judging others. Judgment of those who are different from us in any way or from what we consider acceptable is arrogant and self-righteous. In comparing individuals to ourselves or others we deem them less valuable, less worthy or inherently wrong and in doing so create unrest within ourselves. Once we commit this infraction, we must then work through the process of forgiveness in order to reinstate serenity. Remember that we were all created equal by our Heavenly Father. It is our personal issues that are unique to each of us but we are not our issues. We are physical expressions of God’s love in this world. Recognizing such eliminates the need for judgment.

2. Be grateful. In all that you do, find things to be grateful for. Gratitude wards off bitterness and resentment and allows for joy to flourish. Recognizing all of the beauty God created that is available to us on a daily basis keeps us focused on the positive, on the blessings in life. It also enables us to find goodness in every situation, including hardships, loss, betrayals, and such. I am at peace with all that is and do not feel the need to change anything for nothing is lacking. Everything is exactly as it is meant to be in this moment.

I begin each morning in prayer: “Heavenly Father, thank you for everything you have given me, for everything you have taken away from me, for everything you have left me, and for everything that is yet to come. Amen.”

3. Re Evaluate. Put everything into its proper perspective. Very little that occurs in life with worthy of upset. Most incidences are relatively insignificant and only have the degree of importance that we assign them. Asking yourself, “Will this even matter in ten years?” enables us to release much of what distresses us. In that way, we eliminate worry, fear, anxiety, anger and other stressful emotions. Trust in God. He’s overseeing everything. What may appear initially to be damaging may in truth reveal itself at a later date to be a great blessing. Look beyond the obvious to the value within.

4. Always be kind. In any given situation, we have the option to be kind or cruel. Choosing kindness allows for a more positive outcome to the situation. It prevents hurt feelings, is inclusive rather than divisive, shows respect, values the other party, uplifts and inspires, encourages and heals, and invites others to respond similarly. And, it’s good for the soul (yours and theirs). Knowing you were polite and courteous enables you to feel good about yourself and at peace with your actions. Even in circumstances where others are being unfair or rude, you can maintain your dignity by enforcing reasonable boundaries and extending respect regardless.

5. Live for God. Most people do what feels good or what they believe is right for them. Since our knowledge is limited, a more reliable source for righteousness is our Heavenly Father. Doing what makes me feel good in the moment can have serious consequences for me and those around me later on. However, when I follow God’s directive and live my life in such a way as to always seek to do what is right by Him, then I never make decisions that I will later regret nor that may cause suffering to others for all of my actions are motivated by love. In this way, I am at peace knowing my life is a reflection of God’s Word. No God – No Peace; Know God – Know Peace.

As Wayne Dyer stated, peace is the way. But the key to living a peaceful life is awareness. Just as one much pay careful attention as they traverse down any path in life so as not to become distracted and lose their way, one must always keep their eyes on peaceful choices, making peace their way of life. It’s not so hard, really. And it is well worth the effort.

“Peace isn’t the absence of fighting; peace is the presence of kindness.” The Secret Side of Anger by Janet Pfeiffer

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ASSUME, ACCUSE, ASK

At some point in almost every person’s life, we have made false assumptions about another or blamed an innocent party for something they were not responsible for. Needless to say, both of these behaviors can lead to hurt feelings, people being offended and outraged or an angry defensive response from the targeted party. In some cases, it can prove extremely damaging to the relationship to the extent that an estrangement may occur or the offended party may seek retaliation of some sort.

Assumptions can be of a damaging, neutral or affirmative nature. Let’s examine each one:
There have been times when we have all assumed the worst about another person, particularly if it’s someone we don’t care for. You and your brother have never really gotten along with each other. He lent you his car over the weekend and a few days later discovered that the bumper was damaged. He assumes you are the one who is responsible since it was most recently in your possession. Without inquiring as to whether or not you have any knowledge of what happened, he automatically blames you. Regardless of the truth, he has declared you the guilty party and any investigation on his part is subsequently vacated. An incident such as this can be the catalyst that ends an already fragile brotherly bond.

A neutral assumption might look something like this: I presume that you will pick me up from work today as you have every day so far this week rather than ask you directly if you will be there as anticipated. While the assumption is neither favorable nor unfavorable, it can have a negative impact on the relationship should the other party fall to show up, not realizing that you were anticipating such. You feel disappointed or hurt by their actions; they are annoyed that you failed to ask them. While probably not serious enough to destroy the relationship, it can cause hard feelings that need to be addressed and resolved.

There are also times when we may make an affirmative assumption as well. Though less common, they often occur when someone we care about appears to be involved in an unsavory incident, for example. Imagine if someone witnesses a child doing drugs who bears a striking resemblance to your son and informs you of such. You become defensive and initially assume this person is only making these accusations because she dislikes your child, is a gossip, or wants to hurt your family. Negative assumption of the neighbor followed by an affirmative assumption of our child: you respond, “That can’t be possible. My son would never do drugs.” Wishing to believe the best about someone you care deeply about propels you to draw a positive conclusion without having any data to prove or disprove your theory. You look no further than your love for him and belief in your child’s innocence. You have formed an affirmative assumption.

As for accusations: when others accuse or blame us for something me may or may not have done, we feel as though we are under attack and our natural reaction to defend ourselves quickly goes into effect. Our anger escalates as we feel we are not being treated fairly. One serious accusation, regardless of its validity, can lead to a permanently damaged reputation and/or put the individual at serious risk. Consider accusations of sexual improprieties as an example. A person can lose their job without any proof of wrongdoing, can find themselves under investigation for a serious crime, and/or face the scorn and possible expulsion from their family. Accusations of any degree need to be given careful consideration before engaging them as they can have devastating consequences for the alleged offender.

In the case of a less serious personal interaction with another party where some matter has gone wrong and we are accused of being the sole party at fault, we naturally become agitated. Our perception is that the other party sees themselves as blameless, without having any accountability at all for what has transpired between them. Rarely when more than one person is involved does the fault lie with only one. Only when each party takes full ownership for their feelings, words, and behaviors can positive change occur. Personal responsibility is where our authentic power lies: our ability to choose (how we think, feel and behave).If my actions are problematic, I can choose to act in a different way, thereby effecting a different outcome. However, when I accuse and blame others I hold them fully accountable and in essence relinquish my power, thereby having no authority to effectively impact the situation.

When the tables are turned and we are the ones accusing or blaming others we fail to hold ourselves accountable on some level for the conditions around us: our financial struggles, our marital issues, joblessness or homelessness, poor health, lack of strong friendships, etc. We render ourselves powerless as we believe our circumstances are the result of some outside force rather than our own volition. Keep in mind, too, that powerlessness is one of the very foundations of anger.

Those who assume operate from a place of arrogance or indifference (to truth). When we make an assumption about an individual, in essence we are claiming to know without asking. “I possess superior intelligence, having the ability to assimilate information randomly. Therefore, I need not initiate in the inquiry process. I also have psychic abilities and can discern the motives behind your actions. I instinctively know that ‘why’ behind the ‘what’.” Assumers have no regard for truth. They only seek to support their own agenda; that is, they form a belief based on their feelings of those involved, collect all data to verify their claims, and avoid anything that may disprove their beliefs.

One would have little regard for a doctor who assumes to know what is ailing you. We would fully expect that they ask questions to uncover precisely what is causing you distress so that they may accurately diagnose and treat the condition. Anything less from them would be irresponsible and possible cause for legal action.

A police officer never assumes that the person holding the gun is the one who fired it, causing injury or death to a bystander. As obvious as it may appear, a responsible officer proceeds with an investigation, questioning anyone and everyone who may have any possible information that would lead to the prosecution of the rightful party.

Even in our judicial system, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. A prudent attorney will gather as much proof as possible to accurately locate and convict the person responsible for the crime and to protect the innocent party from a conviction.

Both assumptions and accusations are disrespectful to the other party as they show little interest in knowing the truth about them. Those who are truth seekers ask questions. They refrain from judging others or forming conclusions about a situation without first obtaining as much information about it or the individual as possible. They concern themselves with not having a scapegoat to hold accountable but rather for uncovering the facts so they can best address and resolve whatever the issue at hand is.

A fair minded person would never accuse or assume for fear of being grossly mistaken. One who is truly concerned about the well-being of others asks questions to be certain they know all of the facts before reaching a conclusion and deciding what steps to take next. It is the way in which each of us wants to be treated. As Ghandi so eloquently stated, “I must first be the change I want to see in others.” The Golden Rule instructs us to “Treat others as we wish to be treated.” The Bible commands us to “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

Therefore, be respectful of others as you would expect them to be of you. Refrain from assuming, accusing, and blaming. Ask questions instead. Be a seeker of truth. And only when you have obtained as much accurate information as possible, draw s just conclusion.

Q: “Those who seek the truth ask questions. Those who fear or are uninterested in the truth make assumptions or accusations. Always be a seeker of truth.”

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
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