Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Leadership”

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  • July 16, 2019

    Interesting Times: When Disagreement Is Good

    Interesting Times: When Disagreement Is Good


    "May you live in interesting times".

    This ancient curse, of unknown origin, speaks to the fact that the "uninteresting" times are generally quiet and peaceful, with not a lot going on. And the "interesting times" are often fraught with anxiety.  At best.

    The curse comes to mind a lot lately. One of those "interesting times" happened recently when a local teenager wore a T-shirt with a political slogan on it to a school patriotic day. What was most interesting to me was not that the principal asked her to change the shirt or cover the slogan, but rather the behavior of the girl’s parents. Instead of reacting with rage or self-righteousness, as we’ve come to expect these days in such circumstances, they responded with civility, reason, and respect...

  • 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....

  • May 21, 2019

    Finding My Better Self: How About a Cup of Coffee?

    Finding My Better Self: How About a Cup of Coffee?

    An article I wrote many years ago has seen a lot of play recently on various internet sites. It's called "Working with Difficult People: Turn Tormentors Into Teachers". The article has been generating a lot of comments from readers hoping to think differently about the unlikely teachers in their lives. It seems clear that most of us have these folks in our lives and just as clear that we’d really like to change them from tormentors to teachers.

    I’m certainly no different.  And maybe because of the article, and maybe just because I want to walk the walk as well as the talk, I decided to practice one recent day with a "tormentor" of my own...

  • 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...

  • February 12, 2019

    Delivering Difficult Feedback: Two Models, One Goal

    Delivering Difficult Feedback: Two Models, One Goal

    I'm reading a book by Shari Harley--How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships That Really Work. I've also watched a couple of her videos, which are easy to find on the Web.

    One of the things I like about the book is the title, which grabs your attention. Having written a couple of my own, I know how important that is. I also like Shari's simple 8-step formula, especially the "State Your Motive" feature, because it shows the speaker's positive intent....

  • 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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