Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Conflict”

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  • November 6, 2018

    Civil and Respectful: How to Argue Civilly

    Civil and Respectful: How to Argue Civilly

    I'm a subscriber to the VitalSmarts Crucial Skills newsletter. VitalSmarts is a training company and a team of authors responsible for excellent books and trainings, like Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability. and The Influencer. You can find them all on Amazon and on their website, along with downloadable free resources.

    In a recent newsletter, Joseph Grenny's post on "How to Argue Civilly" is a brief summary of best practices for the kinds of emotional conversations we might have with loved ones, especially around the holidays. I got curious about who else is writing on this topic, and did a little research on "how to argue civilly." A quick Google search returned pages of possibilities. I list three here that I found particularly useful.

    In this time of unrest and polarization, I'm doing what I can to engage my own difficult conversations with respect, curiosity and compassion. If someone thinks or feels differently about a candidate, a policy, or a party, what harm can come from learning how they arrived at their opinions? Most of the time, I find differences fascinating, not frustrating. 

    That said, I've written a lot recently on how to communicate successfully, so I'll stop here and let you read what others are saying.

  • September 25, 2018

    A Failure to Communicate: Part 2--Find Your M-C

    A Failure to Communicate: Part 2--Find Your M-C

    Did you happen to read my post earlier this month? When There's a Failure to Communicate: Choose Love can be summed up in this paragraph from the post:

    Let's turn the tide. Change the momentum away from the contest and toward connection and problem-solving; toward learning and seeking to understand what fears and hopes underlie the views of those who think and believe differently from--and may even oppose--us.

    I appreciate the comments I received thanking me for speaking out about choosing love over fear. One reader said, "We haven't heard this voice enough--the voice that speaks for respectful communication. You're not just saying it's a good idea, you're standing up for decent process and respect."

    Decent process and respectful communication can be cultivated and practiced, like any muscle we want to strengthen....

  • September 11, 2018

    When There's a Failure to Communicate: Choose Love

    When There's a Failure to Communicate: Choose Love

    We appear to be taking sides on everything.

    • Immigration
    • Gun control
    • The economy
    • Our schools
    • Workplace and family issues 

    Even Nike commercials. 

    We've stopped talking with each other. And we must find a way to reverse this trend--somehow....

  • August 14, 2018

    Internal Aikido: Being and Doing

    Internal Aikido: Being and Doing

    The new owner and chief instructor at Portsmouth Aikido, Aaron Cass, gave a seminar at the dojo recently on "Internal Aikido." It was enlightening, and fun. You may say this is what I do, and to some extent you'd be correct. I help individuals and organizations use the aikido metaphor to think and act more purposefully in stressful situations, like conflict. I teach them how to incorporate aikido principles, such as blending and redirecting energy by using words to listen, acknowledge, and express a point of view.

    However, Aaron was teaching something else--specifically  how to carry ourselves physically so that our posture is aligned in a way that allows for efficient and effortless body dynamics.

  • July 31, 2018

    Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Framing

    Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Framing

    I was interviewed last month by Tom Rosenak of Diamond Mind in Evanston, Illinois. Tom helps people engage in transformative conversations in order to strengthen relationships and drive results. You can hear or download our interview, Conflict Transformation and Aikido on the Diamond Mind site.

    Tom's podcasts arrive every couple of weeks, and I highly recommend his interview with Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres on their new book, Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement.

    Jackie and Cheri are internationally known for their work in Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a problem-solving tool introduced in 1987 by David Cooperrider, known for his contributions in the fields of leadership, change management, and organization development. Interestingly, AI solves problems by focusing on the question "What do you want?" and not on the problem, maximizing the power of noticing what is already working rather than on what is broken.

  • July 17, 2018

    Questions in Service of the Asked

    Questions in Service of the Asked

    I first heard the phrase--"questions in service of the asked"--as a participant in a workshop with Essential Partners, originally the Public Conversations Project, in Boston. It took me some time--and a lot of practice--to figure out what it meant and how to do it.

    I've written previously about the power of inquiry, curiosity and discovery, of asking useful questions, and of acknowledging what you hear to make sure the "asked" knows you're listening. After almost 25 years of teaching, coaching, and my own experience in conflict situations (yes, I have them, too), I can still get stuck on what questions to ask. What would help unravel this conflict knot? How can I better see where this person is coming from? What needs to happen here to find resolution?

  • June 19, 2018

    Making "I Statements" Easy: A Feeling, A Need, A Request

    Making

    Reading a recent online post, I was struck by the author's thoughts on the "I-statement." She was referring to the sometimes tricky communication technique by which I express to you a need, a feeling, or a request, by putting the responsibility for clarity or understanding on myself, rather than on you. It helps me communicate the impact of your behavior, whether positive or otherwise.

    Think of a recent verbal conflict. Did you make accusations like "You always ___! You never ___! You are such a ___! You make me feel ___!"

    Notice how the focus of those statements is on the other person--the "you" you are facing in the fight. An "I" statement shifts the focus and helps you express what's going on for you, as in, "I'm feeling surprised at your remark. I need to hear more in order to understand what's behind it. I'm asking you to elaborate." Your conflict partner is less likely to feel defensive, when you leave the "you" out. And you're more likely to connect by stating the need behind your feeling.

  • June 5, 2018

    Make That Pit Stop

    Make That Pit Stop

    Race car drivers – make pit stops to go at top speed.  To get top understanding in a conversation — do the same thing.

    Many thanks to Carrol Suzuki (www.listeningbetter.com) for the gift of this post....

  • May 22, 2018

    How Not to Take Yourself So Seriously: 5 Practices

    How Not to Take Yourself So Seriously: 5 Practices


    "Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." -- Elbert Hubbard


    Last week I was offered another lesson at the indoor pool where I swim. Sunday, it seems, has become everyone's favorite day. The pool was packed. Lane designations are important when it's crowded, and two lanes are reserved for slower, leisurely swimmers--like me.

    So, I was in the first leisure lane with two other swimmers, while another very slow swimmer was in the second lane. Things were flowing well until three guys got into the second leisure lane with the slower swimmer. They were much faster and kept running into him--literally.

    I got upset and finally spoke to the guys...

  • May 8, 2018

    Get Up and Get a Drink of Water

    Get Up and Get a Drink of Water

    I learned an emotion management technique from my local paper, in a story about Charles Donald Downing, a centenarian living in York Beach, Maine. 

    He and his wife--his "precious Irene"--were married 78 years. Although Irene died earlier this year at the age of 97, Charles reported they "never had a fight in all those years." I agree it's hard to believe. Their secret is that they made agreements with each other, and one of them was this: whenever a disagreement arose or they got angry, one of them would get up and get a drink of water. Then, after the pause, they would begin again, discuss things, and come to a conclusion on what to do.

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