Posts Tagged ‘resolvingconflict’

TEN TIPS TO DIFFUSE A VOLATILE SITUATION

We are living in a very volatile and dangerous age. Not only have issues of domestic violence, child and animal abuse, anger in the workplace and so on been more apparent, but we are definitely witnessing a rise of violence within our communities. Gangs and individual assaults seem to be taking a back seat to protests by militant groups claiming to seek justice but who in actuality are promoting and engaging in acts of violence themselves. What could be a peaceful gathering intent on seeking a reasonable solution to a problem escalates to one of violence and often bloodshed. Angry and passionate individuals determined to right an injustice only create further mayhem by advocating and engaging in the very acts they condemn.
But is it possible for large masses of angry individuals to successfully , reasonable, and peacefully find solutions to perceived issues of extreme injustice? Yes, if both sides follow these ten recommended tips:

1. Approach other party(s) in a non hostile non aggressive way. By taking a non threatening approach the other party feels relatively confident that they are not at risk physically or otherwise and therefore the need for a defensive response is unnecessary.
2. Be open minded and fair in the way you present your grievances. Refrain from using such phrases as “you always”, “we never” “it can’t”. In each case, one assumes a scenario that is not necessarily true, appears extreme and unrealistic, and creates a mindset of preconceived defeat.
3. Be respectful in the way you speak to and treat one another. Passion need not translate into disrespectful or degrading conduct towards the disagreeing party. Always be mindful that the amount of cooperation you receive from the other party is in direct proportion to the amount of respect you afford them. So be generous.
4. Deal with facts, not simply feelings. Too often we rant about how angry or hurt or offended we are. Dealing with facts enables us to more accurately see the true nature of the incident. Adding feelings to the dialogue lends a deeper level of understanding as to how the incident is impacting both sides.
5. Keep everything in the proper perspective. Exaggerating may add an element of drama but is only effective on stage. Deal with the serious issues and leave those of lesser importance for another time.
6. Remove any extraneous issues; stick to the original topic. When discussing a serious issue, refrain from going off on tangents. It’s easy to become distracted by related issues but only takes precious resources away from the primary one.
7. Refrain from any inflammatory or accusatory statements. Quickly diffuse any that may occur. Accusations, blame, assumptions, and exaggerations can all incite. There are those who will deliberately try to provoke the other into losing control. Be aware of the intent and nature of every comment and quickly diffuse anything that can escalate to something more serious. Don’t ever take the bait.
8. Listen objectively with the intent to understand the other person, to gain deeper insight into the nature of the conflict, and to extract any possible solutions or partial solutions offered by the other party.
9. Be willing to compromise, recognizing that each side believes their position is valid and correct.
10. Show appreciation for the time and effort the other side has put forth. A little appreciation goes a long way and can enable both sides to reach a peaceful resolution more efficiently and quickly.

With true concern for the well-being of each other and a sincere desire to resolve the issue peacefully, anyone can find a reasonable solution to any challenge by following the above Ten Tips. It can be challenging but with practice and determination and a sincere regard for justice, one can realize the path to coexisting harmoniously with others. And we certainly are all deserving of that.

Let me reiterate: “The amount of cooperation you receive from the other party is in direct proportion to the amount of respect you afford them.” Be generous.

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LAUGH AWAY ANGER

People take life far too seriously. There are important issues in our world such as child abuse, war, poverty, starvation, disease, etc. These are all matters critical for the well-being of humanity. Each one needs to be addressed and resolved quickly in order to protect mankind and eliminate unnecessary suffering. But we give too much credence to incidences of little value and in turn cause ourselves grief and heartache. Add to that the unnecessary anger we experience and it’s no wonder we’re all so miserable.

Elbert Hubbard: “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.”

Laughter is a powerful tool that possesses many valuable qualities and serves multiple purposes. On a physical level, it strengthens the body’s natural immune system, reduces stress hormones, improves cardiovascular health, reduces pain, relaxes muscles, and much more. On a personal level, it brings people together, boosts moral, alleviates depression and stress, minimizes negative conflict, puts people at ease by reducing tension between them or in a particular situation, and increases our overall enjoyment of life. It also alleviates fear and anxiety, energizes us and makes us feel more alive; it puts us in a more positive optimistic mood, encourages resiliency, and intercepts, minimizes, and even heals anger. On every level, it’s an attribute worth utilizing in all aspects of our lives.

Dr. Bernie Siegel: “The simple truth is that happy people generally don’t get sick.”

But how do you use laughter to thwart anger? First and foremost, it’s critical to train ourselves to not take things so seriously. If someone comments that your homemade cupcakes are dry, rather than take personal offense, which leads to hurt feelings and anger, one can choose to respond with humor. “It’s my secret ingredient – sand.” Everyone can have a good laugh rather than becoming angry, putting people on the defensive, or escalating a simple comment into an argument.
Taking the proper steps necessary to be physically healthy, such as exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, etc. is critical to warding off disease. So is developing a “laughable lifestyle” necessary to protect us against the perils of anger. Here are some suggestions.

The Laughable Lifestyle:
Look for humor in every situation. ~ Associate with funny, playful people including children.
Watch funny videos, TV shows, movies. ~ Go to a comedy club.
Read the comics in the newspaper. ~ Learn some good jokes and tell them to your family, friends, and coworkers.
Share a funny story with others. ~ Read funny greeting cards in your local Hallmark store.
Attend a laughter yoga class. ~ Be silly with your kids/grandchildren.
Do anything and everything silly: wear a funny hat when you go out to dinner; sing and/or dance while food shopping; skip instead of walk.
Engage in fun activities (bowling, miniature golf, etc) and make them funny.
Make some silly memories now! Those inane moments are the treasures that bring us joy as we age. They become some of our fondest memories and will naturally stir up laughter when recalled.

Look at the Lighter Side:

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Too often, we beat ourselves up for making poor decisions or not being good enough. We are hyper-critical of ourselves whereas we might be more understanding and compassionate towards others. Whenever we create a blunder, unless it causes serious duress to another, make light of it. Laugh at yourself!
When I moved into my current house, I chose an interesting color scheme for the living/dining room. My husband suggested I paint a small area first to determine if in fact I’d like it. But I was so confident that I painted both rooms in their entirety only to discover I was not happy with my color choice. Not only did I make this error once, I repainted nine times in one month before settling on a basic beige. Rather than be embarrassed or berate myself, I made sure to tell everyone my hilarious story of indecision. I embellished it each time I related it to someone new. Twenty years later, I still get teased and twenty years later we’re all still laughing about it. We’ve gotten a lot of laughter mileage out of that one incident.
Say or do things in a humorous way. Whenever possible, use exaggerated movements, funny facial expressions, a silly tone of voice. Embellishing any situation adds an new dimension of wit.*

Don’t take others seriously, either. When others make mistakes or behave in a manner unbefitting them, laugh it off.
A driver made an illegal left-hand turn at an intersection, cutting me off and nearly causing an accident. When I honked my horn to show him the “no left turn” sign, he went ballistic. Flailing his arms like someone swatting bees and ranting hysterically, I found myself amused at what a fool he was making of himself. Surprisingly , rather than become annoyed at his childish behaviors, I began laughing at his idiocy. “He can’t be serious,” I remember thinking to myself.
Be warned that you must be sensitive in this area. Never make fun of the person but instead joke about the incident if it allows for it. Be certain that you know the individual well enough to interject humor into the equation. Be very cautious when proceeding because this could backfire if you are inconsiderate of the other person’s feelings and situation. And keep in mind that sarcasm is not humor – it’s passive aggressive anger and is never appropriate to use against another human being.

Look for the humor in a dark situation. With very few exceptions, one can find humor even in the saddest, loneliest, or scariest times. A cancer patient, after losing her hair from radiation treatments, quipped that she was grateful that she didn’t have to dye her hair any longer. “It was such a pain!” she joked, “and expensive!” Unless it is a moral issue or one of life or death, most distress can be alleviated with a joke or two.
When our basement flooded years ago, my husband and I spent a total of fourteen consecutive hours siphoning up water. He moaned and complained the entire time. I got a rubber duck out of my closet, placed it in the four inches of water that covered the floor, and while I vacuumed up the water with my shop vac, I sang the rubber ducky song from Sesame Street. I took a difficult situation and brought humor into it. The task was far less aggravating for me than it was for my husband.
I recently had company for dinner. While making homemade biscuits, I forgot to add baking powder. Needless to say, they did not rise and were hard as a rock. My son-in-law commented that they looked like hockey pucks. The next day, I called him to say that I put them outside for the squirrels to eat but even they found them distasteful. They were, however, having a ball playing hockey.

Groucho Marx: “A clown is like aspirin only he works twice as fast.”
“If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.” Bill Cosby

Surround yourself with reminders to laugh. Cut out cartoon strips or funny photos and place them on your refrigerator door, your desk, the bathroom mirror, etc., anywhere that they will remind you to find humor today.
Wear a clown costume while you’re mowing the lawn; spray paint your hair two different colors before visiting your mom; put smiley face stickers all over your shirt before going to work.
The more you seek humor the more you’ll find it; the more you pursue laughter the less you’ll focus on anger.

Have a laughing buddy. Like joy, humor shared is humor multiplied. Sharing laughter with others keeps relationships healthy and uplifted. It acts as a bonding agent that brings people together (unlike anger which causes a division). Relationships become more playful, vital, and supportive. It heals resentments, disagreements, and hurts, puts things into their proper perspective, and unites people in difficult times. Like chicken pox (only in a good way) laughter is contagious and when you share a good chuckle with another person, it magnifies your own joy as well.
Laughter at funerals used to be frowned upon but when my mother-in-law recently passed away, everyone was asked to wear crazy socks and ties. We all shared funny stories about Mary that soothed the loss and brought her family together. It was definitely what she would have wanted.
One of my favorite pass times is listening to my girls giggling with their cousins. Even though they’re all in their forties, they still laugh as they did when they were single digit ages. Their laughter is infectious and soon everyone within earshot is chuckling as well.
Don’t have a laughing buddy readily available? Pull up a video on Youtube of babies laughing. I guarantee it will activate your funny bone.

A smile is the beginning of laughter. So initially, you may want to begin with being conscious of your smile. Use is often; display it every place you go; share it with everyone you encounter. Make it the most important accessory you wear each day. It’s more significant than your makeup, hair style and color or wardrobe.

We are naturally drawn to laughter. It is our birthright and makes us feel good. And since you can only experience one emotion at a time, choose humor. It will prevent anger from arising and keep you healthy and beautiful at the same time. And it’s free. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Q** Will Rogers: “When I die I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did – not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.”
Rodney Dangerfield: “My psychiatrist told me I was crazy. I said I wanted a second opinion. He said, Ok. You’re ugly too.”
A.A. Milne “People say nothing is impossible but I do nothing every day.”
Walter Matthau: “My doctor gave me 6 months to live but when I couldn’t pay the bill he gave me 6 months more.”
Rita Rudner: “I love being married. It’s great to find that one special person you can annoy for the rest of your life.”
George Burns: “I’m so old that when I was a boy, the Dead Sea was only sick.”
Charles Lamb: “I always arrive late at the office but I make up for it by leaving early.”
Mitch Hedberg: “I wish my name was Brian. This way when people misspell it and call me Brain, it’s like getting a free compliment and I don’t even have to be smart to notice it.”

*See comedian Sebastian Maniscalco: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-004&hsimp=yhs004&hspart=mozilla&p=sebastian+maniscalco#id=1&vid=c8c50ba0daa711f73c07e0b6571fb0d7&action=click
**www.AZQuotes.com
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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A W-I-S-E APPROACH TO RESOLVING CONFLICTS

In college, one of my philosophy professors would frequently have the class debate a hot topic. He’d randomly divide the class in half and have each side present their best argument in support of their assigned position. Regardless of how you felt personally, you were expected to gather as many facts as possible to present the strongest argument. It was actually quite stimulating as it challenged us to be willing to see the issue from every possible perspective. This lesson has served me well in life as I have always tried to view a subject matter from all sides.
In relationships, disagreement are normal and healthy. They allow us to open our minds to new ways of thinking. In business, brainstorming is a common practice whereby team members contribute every possible idea relating to the project they are collaborating on. Even those suggestions that are deemed unworkable still have value as they oftentimes spark a fresh idea that actually proves to be helpful. In politics, when applied correctly, the opposing sides can actually use their differences to find common ground that will serve the good of the entire country. It’s only when egos get in the way causing people to become fearful, selfish, and closed minded do disagreements cause tempers to flare and a breakdown in the negotiating process to occur.

However, there is a very W~I~S~E approach to resolving conflicts and disagreements with a high degree of success and minimal disappointment to all parties:

W – Wait: wait before you respond. A moment of pause can prevent a lifetime of regret. When the other party presents their position, if it differs from ours or what we were expecting, we can easily become upset or angry. An immediate response can cause an innocent situation to rapidly escalate into an argument.

In my book, The Secret Side of Anger, I teach people to practice the SWaT Strategy: Stop, Walk, Talk. When you find yourself become upset, Stop what you are doing/saying. In that way you can prevent yourself from saying/doing something regrettable. Secondly, Walk away. Out of sight, out of mind. Give yourself some space between you and the other party. Thirdly, Talk yourself calm. What you say to yourself will either cause your emotions to intensify or to subside. Once calm, return to the conversation ready to listen and respond rationally and fairly.

I – Intellect: use your rational brain to think about what is transpiring: the importance of the issue, what each party wants, how each person feels, and what it is that you each want to accomplish with the discussion. Oftentimes, we allow our irrational emotions to control our actions and comments. But emotions cloud rational judgment. It is critical that we remain calm so that our intellectual brain can gather all relevant data, process it, and determine the best possible course of action. Just as emergency responders need to put their feelings on hold in order to deal effectively with the crisis at hand, so must we be willing to do the same. And in doing so, we will make smarter more solution-oriented and all-inclusive choices that benefit all parties.

S – See and Smile: Always try to see things from the perspective of the other party. In this way, you are better able to understand their position and proceed in a more compassionate manner. It is imperative that we truly try to understand where the other person is coming from even if we don’t agree with their way of thinking. All people need and want to be understood and validated. This simple gesture begins laying a foundation of trust that enables both parties to move forward in a fair and timely manner towards a mutually agreed upon solution.

Smile: Did you know that the simple act of smiling releases endorphins in the brain, those feel-good chemicals that enable us to keep a positive attitude? A smile keeps your face friendly and your voice cheerful as well. While this may not sound like a significant gesture, it is in fact a powerful one. Would you not prefer to converse with someone who had a friendly face as opposed to one sporting a scowl?
Smiles are contagious and make us appear more attractive to others. They can lift our mood as well as the moods of those around us and have been shown to lengthen our lives as well. A smile wards off stress which in turn enables us to remain calm and focused. Our bodies relax making us less threatening and more welcoming from a physical perspective. All things considered, a smile is one of the most powerful tools we have in maintaining healthy inviting relationships and getting those differences resolved peacefully.

E – Express: Throughout the entire process, be certain to always express with respect – speak to one another with dignity and reverence at all times. Even those we don’t care for, who can be obstinate or rude, deserve respect. Ironically, many believe that respect must be earned or given to us before we are willing to reciprocate. However, Divine Law dictates otherwise. “Let all that you do be done in love.” “Love one another.” By our very nature, we are perfect beings deserving of respect. The very word respect means “to value”. Our Creator imparted equal worth to each of His sacred children.
One can be passionate, upset, angry, disappointed, or disagree with the other person while still expressing themselves in a respectful manner. I cannot expect others to treat me with regard if I am not first willing to do so for them. Ghandi’s inspiring words remind us to first be the change we want to see in the world. I must be the example of reverence that others may aspire to emulate.

I’ve always admired those who possess the gift of wisdom. Now each of us can be W~I~S~E in how we resolve our differences. If each of us followed these four simple steps, by example we could have a dramatic impact on reducing the amount of anger, fighting, and negativity that occurs in our immediate circles. Gradually, this would impact us on global level as well. Put some good vibrations into the universe by keeping conflict resolution peaceful and productive. Be W~I~S~E and be triumphant.

Q “Speak from the heart. Let all your words be tempered with kindness and in doing so you will garner respect and cooperation from all.”

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
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