Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Aikido”

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  • August 13, 2019

    Power Plays: How to Regain Power In Difficult Situations

    Power Plays: How to Regain Power In Difficult Situations

    All meaningful and lasting change begins on the inside.

    – Martin Luther

    I've been reading the first book I wrote in 2006, Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict, looking for a story to help you regain power in difficult situations. I'd forgotten that the book is peppered with anecdotes from students who tell their own stories about regaining perspective in difficult situations. It was fun to rediscover this feature of Unlikely Teachers, because that's what the book is about--the teacher hidden in the difficulty. The difficulty is the teacher.

    So...instead of sharing one story, I'd like to share four that struck a chord for me. The chord is one I play often and that you are probably familiar with, and one we all forget all the time...

  • July 30, 2019

    How to Rebuild a Damaged Work Relationship

    How to Rebuild a Damaged Work Relationship

    A friend and colleague asked for some advice about rebuilding her relationship with a coworker. The relationship used to be easy. The two worked well together, laughed often, and accomplished their department's goals cooperatively.

    When a change of leadership in the organization caused a realignment of roles, my friend Mary and her coworker Sarah (not their real names) got out of synch. Sarah's responsibilities with the new leader increased, which reduced her availability to support Mary. Trying to make things work, Mary stayed curious and open-minded about the change, asking for help when needed. Both the new leader and Sarah seemed to hear when Mary expressed her need for support, but nothing changed. Mary ended up finding other ways to get the department's work done, usually by staying late and working weekends.

    Mary also thought she noticed a change in Sarah's attitude--from friendly conversation to terse replies, minimal eye contact and limited connection. Trust eroded, and gradually they stopped talking unless it was absolutely necessary.

    As you might imagine, Mary began to dream up stories and interpretations for Sarah's changed behavior. I suggested Mary invite Sarah out for a cup of coffee, lunch, or a sweet and talk about the relationship. Mary emailed me asking how to begin the conversation. I thought my answers might be helpful to anyone in this situation, and Mary gave me permission to share her story and my thoughts...

  • July 2, 2019

    Another Lesson at The Pool: Being a Good Neighbor

    Another Lesson at The Pool: Being a Good Neighbor

    I'm a swimmer. Not a competitve one, but one who enjoys getting in the water for 30-45 minutes each morning to center myself and begin the day. I usually swim between 6:30 and 7:30 am. It's a busy pool at that time, and I often run into "unlikely teacher" lane partners--which I've written about in the past.

    I've been swimming at my pool for almost 40 years (since it opened), and I can get territorial. I have a favorite lane, which I think of as "my lane" (I know, I'm not proud of this, just telling it like it is). And I think new members should familiarize themselves with pool rules about circle swimming, showering, and the lanes designated for faster swimmers, leisure swimmers and so on. So I see myself as an elder at my pool, if you will, and do my best to respectfully enforce some of the etiquette. But today I received a well-timed and delivered etiquette lesson from Sam (not his real name), who didn't even know he was teaching.

  • June 18, 2019

    Two Steps, One Breath

    Two Steps, One Breath

    One of my coaching clients attends a weekly meditation class. We were talking about ways to return to center when we get triggered, and he shared a motto from the class--Two Steps, One Breath. In other words, feel your feet on the ground, and breathe.

    The motto came in handy during a challenging meeting the client had in which I was an observer...

  • June 4, 2019

    Listening When It's Not Easy

    Listening When It's Not Easy

    Many of my posts in the past few months have been focused on my new book, Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace. The four phase model starts with managing yourself, making sure your mindset and emotions are centered and purposeful, before engaging others. An integral part of managing yourself is the practice of active, aligned listening, sometimes when it's not easy. And I realized recently just how long I've been making this point.

    I had the occasion to re-read my first book, Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict last month. One of the stories--"Listening When It's Not Easy"--gave me pause. Because it's about listening when it's not easy to do so, I found it as relevant to our current cultural landscape as it was when I wrote it in 2006, maybe moreso. The story is about a conflict that arose as I was leading a workshop back in the day, and how I practiced metaphorical aikido by managing myself in order to manage what was coming at me....

  • April 23, 2019

    Teaching the Power of Purpose: Aikido's Unbendable Arm

    Teaching the Power of Purpose: Aikido's Unbendable Arm

    In this last video of the five-part series about my new book, Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace, I demonstrate how easy life can be when we're clear about what we want for ourselves and our relationships. This feeling of flow, ease, and connection is demonstrated through The Unbendable Arm, a physical experience of the power of a clear purpose. 

    The Arm has become my metaphor for living powerfully, communicating with purpose, and expressing emotions with the intention to connect rather than harm.

  • March 26, 2019

    Resolving Coworker Conflict: Bringing the Parties Together

    Resolving Coworker Conflict: Bringing the Parties Together

    "When co-workers can't get along, what are some ways to bring them together to resolve the problem?"  -- a common question from the managers and leaders I work with.

    In this third video of the five-part series about my new book, Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace, I introduce "Phase 3—Redirecting", or how to bring the parties together.

    In Phase 2--Entering and Blending, the book talks about the wisdom of working with each party to the conflict individually for one or more sessions, in order to hear them out, defuse the conflict, and teach skills. Phase 3 offers ways to begin the joint sessions--now that the parties are more prepared and skilled--to talk about what they’ve learned, plan for the future, and keep the conflict from recurring. This phase also offers questions, ideas, and tools to resolve the conflict and redirect any remaining challenges...

  • March 12, 2019

    Resolving Coworker Conflict: Work Individually First

    Resolving Coworker Conflict: Work Individually First

    "When co-workers can't get along, should I work with them individually or bring them together?" This is a question managers, supervisors and HR professionals deal with frequently.

    Time pressures and the need to resolve the problem encourage us to get the parties together right away and help them talk things through. And while this strategy is tempting, it often makes matters worse, because the parties don’t yet have the skills or perspective they need to be open to any view but their own.

    Each individual pushes to have their perspective acknowledged. No one listens. Emotions run high. And the problem escalates. This is especially true if the conflict has a long history. Each party has fine-tuned their narrative about why the other person is the problem....

  • February 26, 2019

    Turn Enemies Into Allies: Introductory Video

    Turn Enemies Into Allies: Introductory Video

    When two valued employees can't get along, it affects the entire office. What do you do when terminating an employee isn't an option, but for the sake of productivity the problem can't go on any longer? How do you achieve workplace harmony?

    I know it's only February, and my new book--Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace--isn't due for release by Career Press until May 1, but I'm excited that: 1) it's available for pre-order now, and 2) I can give you a preview of what's in the book, so you can decide if it's something you might want to own and have on your desk or your laptop...

    So with professional help from my amazing friends at Seacoast Flash and Rayaonassignment, I created five videos last month that are ready for prime time on YouTube. You're seeing them before anyone else (except my mom), although later this week this first one will be on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn...

  • January 15, 2019

    Turn Enemies Into Allies: A Preview of my New Book

    Turn Enemies Into Allies: A Preview of my New Book

    How do I manage conflict between employees? ​ What should I do when coworkers don't get along? Should I intervene? Bring them together? Work individually? What do I say?

    In 2014, Ki Moments began a series of posts titled "The Manager as Mediator", designed to help managers and leaders deal with conflict between coworkers. When two valued employees can't get along, their team and the workplace suffer, and the posts offered tools to help resolve the conflict.

    That series of posts developed and became a book, which you probably know because you're a reader of Ki Moments. Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace became available for pre-sale last month on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound, and will be released in paperback May 1.

    In the next four posts, I plan to "early release" bits and pieces of Turn Enemies Into Allies, so you can preview the concepts, tools, and practices and decide if they might be useful in your workplace--although the conflict and communication skills I bring to organizations and relate in the book are just as applicable at the kitchen table, in the locker room, and on visits with the in-laws.

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