Happy Thanksgiving. May it be full of good friends, wonderful food, and warm memories. And may the inevitable conflict be handled with peace, power, and presence!
"No bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." So says Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, author, and motivational speaker. This simple mantra has applications in all aspects of life. Things happen. The attitude we bring to those happenings either gives us power or robs us of it.
It's important to have fun with centering and mindfulness practices, and to know that you may not see a difference today or even tomorrow. Keep practicing, and look back in a year or two. You'll see what's changed.
I snapped at my husband: "We're going to do it." (Subtext: whether you want to or not.) He snapped back, escalating conversation into confrontation--a common occurrence in uncentered conflict.
I don't snap that often, so I had to take a look at my reaction. To do that I had to center myself. As Tracie Shroyer put it in her recent post that began this series on Centering and Mindfulness: "Something about intentionally taking a deep breath slows everything down. It brings perspective, quietness and calmness to a crazy situation."
- How do you get centered, become grounded, mindful and present in life's difficult moments?
- How do you know when you're centered?
- What makes you lose it?
- How can you catch yourself and re-center sooner?
Today's post is about the connection between centering and emotions. Sometimes our emotional energy is strong enough to hijack our best intentions and damage important relationships. When emotions are high, it's like being in a car that's out of control.
One of the questions I'm most often asked is: How do you center yourself, especially in a difficult moment?
I found Doug Silsbee's core body practice on centering thoughtful, practical, and easy to understand. As Doug suggests, you center yourself in difficult moments by practicing an excercise like this one over and over again until it becomes your default under pressure. Centering is not automatic. A strong center is similar to any strong muscle. It is developed through practice.
Today, Ki Moments begins a series of posts on practices to increase centering and mindfulness.
Its purpose will be to answer these questions:
- How do I actually do it?
- How do I get centered, become grounded, more mindful and present in life's difficult moments.
- As Dan Harris puts it in his new book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--how do I know when I've achieved it?
In the next weeks, invited guests and I will share thoughts and practices for achieving a more balanced, aware, and centered life, at work and at home.
We start with a review and quotations from Dan's' book ...
This month there are parents all over the country with a need to find center. Maybe you’ve left a child at school or maybe your youngest is starting kindergarten and you’re faced with your first day of not knowing what he’s up to every single moment. Perhaps this is the first year you have no children at home, or even are longing for a child you can send off to school one day.
How do I manage conflict between employees?
What should I do when coworkers don't get along?
In May, Ki Moments began a series, The Manager as Mediator, designed to help leaders address organizational and personality conflict involving coworkers, management, and leadership teams. The 5-step model offers a coaching intervention and step-by-step process for developing skills in yourself and the people you support.
This post focuses on the last step in the process: Step #5: Bring the Parties Together.
In the last Ki Moments post, we left our Manager as Mediator 5-step model in the middle of Step 4: Build and Teach Conflict and Communication Skills. Step 4 has two parts:
- Quality of Being: With what attitudes and awareness do I approach the conversation?
- Communication Strategies: How do I communicate my point of view and willingly entertain and acknowledge another?
We covered Part 1 in the last post. Today the focus is Part 2: Communication Strategies.
We are preparing the parties to meet jointly. When that happens, you'd like them to be able to listen to each other, propose alternatives, and build solutions. You don't want them reacting emotionally, shutting down, or pretending things are all right when they aren't. This means they've learned and practiced some skills.
I’ve seen in my work the difficulty leaders and managers have dealing with personality conflicts between employees. In workshops and coaching, leaders most often tell me they want to:
- help employees get along better.
- skillfully address disagreements between coworkers.
- model the conflict skills they want for their team.
Recently, Ki Moments began a series, The Manager as Mediator, designed to help leaders address organizational and personality conflict involving coworkers, management, and leadership teams. As a coaching intervention, the 5-step model offers a step-by-step process for developing skills in yourself and the people you support.
We’ve offered an introduction and posts on:
Step #1: First Manage You
Step #2: Measure and Gain Commitment
Step #3: Meet Individually First
This post focuses on Step #4: Build and Teach Conflict and Communication Skills.