Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts with the tag “Difficult Conversations”

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  • January 31, 2017

    Naive Realism: Cornering the Market on Truth

    Naive Realism: Cornering the Market on Truth

    It's been a crowded few weeks since our new year began. I've been busy working on my second book designed to help managers, supervisors and leaders work with coworkers in conflict. I'm really enjoying the process and learning a lot.

    It's also been a turbulent and dramatic time in the U.S. and the world. As citizens of a great nation, we continue to take positions rather than work together to solve our differences. People ask me what they should do. I tell them to work their side of the street. Don't expect to change people--their beliefs, values, or politics--with physical or verbal force.

    The majority of the work in any successful conflict conversation is work you do on yourself. No matter how well (or poorly) the conversation goes, you need to stay in charge of yourself, your purpose and your emotional energy. Breathe, center, and notice when you lose center--and choose to return again. This is Aikido.

    To that end, this post offers some insight into a concept called naive realismNaive realism makes conflict conversations difficult, because we think we've cornered the market on truth...

  • December 20, 2016

    My Invisible Earphones

    My Invisible Earphones

    This holiday season if the conversation turns difficult, notice if you've tuned the speaker out with "invisible earphones" and are listening only to your own internal voice.

    Enjoy this brief post by Carrol Suzuki, recognized as one of North America's premier business and workplace listening coaches.

  • September 13, 2016

    Don't Tell Me To Relax!

    Don't Tell Me To Relax!


    “i am through you so I”— E. E. Cummings


    As Sue Shellenbarger wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal article,

    It’s a paradoxical fact: When someone is getting stressed out, one of the least effective (and perhaps most annoying) things to say is “Relax.”


    Have you ever done it? How did it turn out?

    I teach workshops and coach individuals on the art of centering: how to return to calm composure under pressure; how to hold a difficult conversation without stressing out, remain flexible with life's myriad attacks, and remove the hot buttons that hold us hostage in conflict situations.

    I was promoted to third-degree black belt in Aikido this month! Which should mean I'm pretty good at staying relaxed in most situations, right? Well, there's a cute Aikido quip that goes like this:

    What did the 10th-degree black belt say to the 9th-degree black belt?
    Relax!

    That's right--it never ends. And, it isn't the best way to encourage someone else to calm down....

  • February 16, 2016

    Being Heard in Difficult Conversations

    Being Heard in Difficult Conversations

    I've written extensively on how to hold difficult conversations and manage conflict in the workplace-- which you can find in my blog posts and on the Resources/Articles page of my website.

    I recently read another great post on being heard in difficult conversations on the Harvard Business Review blog, called: "How to Make Sure You’re Heard in a Difficult Conversation," by Amy Gallo.

    Amy writes in skill-building, practical language, offering her own awareness tips and strategic phrases on managing various workplace conflicts. I hope you'll also check out her post on "How to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague" -- a common question in my workshops. I found her thoughts on how to get help and protect yourself in extreme situations particularly useful.

  • May 12, 2015

    There Are No Guarantees

    There Are No Guarantees

    You spent time and energy preparing and holding an important conversation. You developed a useful purpose, acknowledged your conversation partner, and framed your message with skill. But, in spite of your best efforts, the situation does not improve: a direct report continues to be disrespectful; an important member of the team persists in showing up late or not at all; your teen's room remains a mess.

  • March 3, 2015

    Should I Bring It Up or Not? Purpose and Creativity

    Should I Bring It Up or Not? Purpose and Creativity

    You'd think that after 21 years, I might have heard every possible response to the questions posed by the Aikido activities I use to engage participants in my workshops. Never. There's always a new way to view the activity, because the viewer has his or her own unique experience. That's just one of the many things that make my work so enjoyable.

    I'd like to share two new insights with you today...

  • February 17, 2015

    Difficult Conversations: Getting Started

    Difficult Conversations: Getting Started

    Is there a conversation you've been putting off? Is there a coworker or family member with whom you need to talk - but don't? Maybe you've tried and it didn't turn out as you had hoped. Or maybe you fear that talking will only make things worse. Whatever the reason, you feel stuck and you'd like to free up that energy for more useful purposes.

    One of the most common reasons I hear in my workshops for not holding difficult conversations is that people don't know how to begin.

  • February 3, 2015

    A Difficult Conversation with My Husband Turns Into an Unexpected Gift

    A Difficult Conversation with My Husband Turns Into an Unexpected Gift

    It was a difficult conversation with my husband, one of many on a theme that had followed us over the course of our 40-year marriage. I had made a statement that I thought reflected appreciation. However, he interpreted it as criticism and became upset. I could immediately see how the statement was misinterpreted and wanted to interrupt and tell him the real meaning and the mistake he'd made in thinking I meant something else.

  • October 28, 2014

    Happier: Thoughts and Practices on Centering and Mindfulness (Part 4)

    Happier: Thoughts and Practices on Centering and Mindfulness (Part 4)

    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.

  • January 21, 2014

    Hold the Difficult Conversations: They Matter

    Hold the Difficult Conversations: They Matter

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
    —Martin Luther King, Jr.


    I read this quote yesterday — Martin Luther King Day — and began to wonder how often we are silent when we might speak about things that matter.


    What conversation have you been putting off?
    What matters to you, and where have you become silent?
    When you have something to say, why not say it?
     

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