Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts with the tag “Difficult People”

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  • September 10, 2019

    How to Influence the Way People Act During Conflict

    How to Influence the Way People Act During Conflict

    I was delighted when my friend Tammy Lenski agreed to let me reprint her post on "How to influence the way people act during conflict" because I think everyone should read it. I'm fond of saying we have more power than we think, and Tammy's well-researched article on behavioral confirmation reinforces this point. Tammy is a conflict resolution strategist, teacher, author, and mediator, which is why her post ends with "Two special notes for mediators". 

    Tammy's website--tammylenski.com--is full of skills for communication and the self-mastery needed to transform conflict into opportunities for relationship building. You can also read Tammy's original post and subscribe to her podcasts.
     

    How to influence the way people act during conflict

    If you believe someone is aggressive, could they behave more aggressively with you than with others? If someone believes you are a hostile person, are you likely to act more hostile when you interact with them? It’s called behavioral confirmation and if you’re interested in your own or others’ conflict behavior, it’s worth understanding.

    ~ Tammy Lenski


    A man gets on an elevator with his dog. At the next floor, a second man gets on the elevator, scowls at the dog, and says angrily, “Dogs don’t belong in this building!” The dog growls at the man.

    Several floors later, the annoyed man exits the elevator and a third man gets on. He smiles at the dog and says enthusiastically, “You are such a cute fellow!” The dog wags his tail happily at the man.

    So where does the problem lie? Is the dog a “difficult dog”? ...

  • 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...

  • April 24, 2018

    Defusing Customer Disputes: 7 Strategies

    Defusing Customer Disputes: 7 Strategies

    Defusing difficult or angry customers calmly and assertively benefits the company, the customer, and the service representative. Managing any difficult situation requires clear communication and intention. You improve with practice. And the rewards, both in terms of personal comfort and bottom line profit, are great. The key lies in your ability to manage yourself so that you can manage and support the customer.

  • December 19, 2017

    Don't Take Anything Personally: Three Suggestions

    Don't Take Anything Personally: Three Suggestions

    There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

    When I ask workshop participants and coaching clients what they're hoping to gain from our work together and we begin to write down goals, they often say they want to learn how not to take the conflict personally. It's a very common theme.

    I look at this a lot, because I want that, too. In Don Miguel Ruiz's insightful book, The Four Agreements, one of the agreements he suggests we make with ourselves to have a happier life is just this: "Don't Take Things Personally."

    Benjamin Zander, author, motivational speaker, and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, often quotes his father as saying, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."

    I live in New Hampshire where winter can make each day a challenge. And, especially when I have to travel in snow and ice, I can even take the weather personally! 

    So how to we actually do it--not take things personally?

     

  • February 14, 2017

    Conflict as a Gift

    Conflict as a Gift

    A key belief and teaching in conflict resolution is that conflict can be useful--an opportunity to learn, grow and see something the conflict is trying to show us.

    Why then do we run from conflict or turn it into life- and relationship-threatening wars? Why do we behave as if conflict is the opposite of a gift--a terrible, negative thing? Some reasons are fear, poor role models, and lack of skill, to name a few...

  • November 10, 2015

    Unlikely Teachers and Hidden Gifts

    Unlikely Teachers and Hidden Gifts

    November is an inspirational month. I find the cultivation of gratitude a powerful path to centered presence and to finding the gift in every moment. Thanks-giving permeates my thoughts. And there is so much to notice....

  • September 1, 2015

    The Enduring Question: What If They Won't Change?

    The Enduring Question: What If They Won't Change?

    Trying not to change someone--in fact realizing you can't--and holding that space from center may feel like you're suspended in mid-air, not knowing, just taking one breath at a time, one step at a time, relinquishing control. As challenging as it may be, this is a place of learning and growth. Being comfortable with discomfort, as my yoga teacher says.

  • May 13, 2014

    The Art of Noticing: 3 Steps for Returning to Center

    The Art of Noticing: 3 Steps for Returning to Center

    My mind is going a million miles a minute, in a dozen directions. As I lie on the yoga mat, I think:

    Stay here.

    I manage it for 3-4 seconds and then I'm off on some thought train.

    Find your Stillness.

    Yes, for 3-4 seconds more, and off again.

    When meditating each morning, I count my breaths. I'm lucky if get to 5 before I lose track and have to start over. As I count, I'm present. I feel the breath come in and out. Then ... I'm not.

    That's the point. To notice and come back.

    To return to center. 

    On the mat ... and in life...

  • March 5, 2013

    It Takes Two, Correct? Resolving Conflict By Yourself

    It Takes Two, Correct? Resolving Conflict By Yourself

    Judy – I read your Clear Communication article today. What happens when the other person just isn’t seeing or acknowledging my intent, despite trying multiple ways to state it clearly? What if that person continues to come back in defense no matter how much centering I do? What then? When is it time to just let it go, stop trying and just move on? Are there some conversations that just won’t work no matter? It does take 2, correct?

    Sincerely,
    Sincerely frustrated :O

    It Takes Two, Correct?

    I hear this question a lot. Workshop participants, Ki Moments subscribers, and coaching clients all want to know: “it takes two, correct?”

    I wonder, when we say this, if we are expecting more from the other person than they can give.

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