Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Leadership”

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  • 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.

  • December 4, 2018

    Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace

    Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace

    I began writing my new book, Turn Enemies Into Allies, four years ago here on my Ki Moments blog, with six posts on "The Manager as Mediator: 5 Tips for Managing Conflict Between Co-Workers". At the time, I was engaged in an intervention between two coworkers at a large insurance company, both of whom were highly regarded by the organization. The problem was that they were also mired in a conflict that was causing stress--to them, their team, and the organization. 

    After several months of individual and joint sessions, the dynamic between the two had so changed that they reported on the process to their team, and in an article for the company newsletter, describing the benefits of engaging conflict with positive intent, support and clarity of purpose.

    And so I began to write down the process....

  • November 20, 2018

    Celebrate Gratitude This Week

    Celebrate Gratitude This Week

    I'm grateful to the folks at VIA Institute on Character for today's post. I use the VIA Character Strengths profile in my coaching and training to help clients maximize strengths such as honesty, bravery, love of learning, creativity, curiosity, forgiveness, and zest. According to VIA research, there are 24, and one of my top strengths is gratitude. 

    I invite you to practice gratitude this week. Be more aware today of the good things that happen to you. And enjoy this post from the VIA institute:

    Celebrate Your Strength of Gratitude

    You know that feeling when something "goes your way", like getting a good spot in a a crowded parking lot or discovering an item you really want on sale. It might be quick and fleeting, but what you probably feel is a brief moment of gratitude. "Thank you for this small victory!" ...

  • 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....

  • 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.

  • March 27, 2018

    Aikido Off the Mat: Tenkan and Acknowledgment

    Aikido Off the Mat: Tenkan and Acknowledgment

    (from my new book, Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace, to be published April 2019, by Career Press)

    Quite a few Ki Moments posts over the years have focused on the power of acknowledgment in difficult conversations. I've even called it the "secret sauce" on occasion, because acknowledgment demonstrates respect for my partner’s position, and respect is a powerful thing.

    In aikido, there’s a body movement called tenkan, most often translated as “convert” or “change.” Tenkan “converts” the aikido attack into energy I can use, and is a physical embodiment of acknowledgment...

  • March 13, 2018

    Plus-Delta: Look for the Good

    Plus-Delta: Look for the Good

    They sat at the table, preparing for a phone call with their website designer. One by one, they enumerated all the problems with the site so as not to forget anything. The team member taking notes sat back for a minute and thought about the site as a whole. She visualized the new site, and saw there was a lot that was right about it. She asked the group if they thought so, too, and invited some feedback on what was working. There were quite a few things. 

    The mood of the gathering changed and became more appreciative. People were smiling instead of frowning.

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