Advertisements

Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

I just thought you might be interested…:)

February 5, 2017

Hello folks!

I enjoy writing periodically. What I enjoy much more is the positive responses I get from the general reading public that keeps me going, doing something as solitary as writing….

Writing can be ‘alone’ time, ‘passing up a nice social event’ time, time on your own ‘creating, effecting, or somehow changing the world to make it a better place’ time.

A sincere thank you to my readers. Your comments are delightful, and I appreciate the time you take to give me your responses. From today you may see slight changes to the website as WordPress (to whom I am ever grateful!), for a reasonable fee, has allowed me to monetize the site.

Given the confidence I place in this wonderful organization, I am sure that it will result in nothing but positive outcomes. I expect there to be a generation both foreseen and unexpected ones. That’s what change does. It allows you to grow. One small change can seed future fruit aplenty!

I like to journal. Many writers probably do. This WordPress entry is inspired by the simple joy of writing ,being read, and giving thanks to readers, for this very gift that I’ve been given and for a special moment I wish to share with you. Permit me to meander and share recent experiences of life’s ups and downs a bit…I promise I will try to tie things up at the end!  🙂

Some people say that I’m a good writer. I now truly believe it to be so, although if you tried applying to a Federal government competition recently, you might not think  so! One of the reasons used to screen me out stated that, as far as the competition was concerned I did not meet their writing abilities criteria. LOL. Well if I didn’t meet it, then who did? And who says so?

It made me realize that we should take everything in stride, or as my father might say, “It’s not the end of the world!’ True. Judging by the positive feedback I’ve been given from work colleagues and reviewers of my site alike, I think it’s important both to believe in ourselves, and not to take feedback too seriously. There may be other factors at play. For example, there are many hundreds of applications made to Canadian federal jobs these days. So any slight slip on your part may get you screened out! It doesn’t mean I’m not a good writer, only that a screening tool has been used to consider other applications which meet the hiring criteria more closely, or the background characteristics that the organization is searching for. Sometimes I think that they are looking more for a ‘yes’ man, and not someone who can actually think, or go against the flow, turning it in another direction, in order to create a greater benefit for all. But I digress…

I guess I wish to stress that if there is some skill that you feel that you do particularly well, you owe it to yourself to pursue that passion, along with other enjoyable passions you may share with others. I happen to love sports! I’ve gotten pretty good at them. Given the fact that I’ve taught a Leadership course at school (with some wonderful feedback) and yoga at work during lunch time, I thought I could handle teaching squash to a newly-made friend from Meetup.com! Today I did just that! I went downtown to play, nay, teach squash, to someone who always wanted to learn!

The experience brought a lot of joy to both of us…she learned how to play squash (‘I always wanted to learn!’) from a patient instructor, and I enjoyed both the interaction and the scenery, both within and without the confines of her pristine building and her wonderful condominium strategically situated. You see, my friend happens to live downtown in one of the prime locations in Toronto, in the Queen’s Quay, Harbourfront area!

When we went out to celebrate my very first ever and also our very first ever and very positive squash teacher-student interaction,  afterwards we reveled in the scenery around us, taking in the sights, sounds, and the boat cruises along the lovely and serene harbour front. We had an enjoyable chat and a good bite to eat.

I am thankful that I have an open spirit, willing to learn from new experiences and from others… and I’m thankful that I made a new friend, and that we spent some wonderful time together. Memories that won’t easily be forgotten….

Well…I just thought you might be interested!

Now, how can you make your day or evening a better one?   😉

Good luck!

-Nilesh Shreedhar.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Laughter or Lecture?

June 6, 2016

I haven’t posted an article for a while but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy doing things that are fun and that help develop life skills.

For example, today I found myself counselling family members on leadership. I would have entitled the engaging discussion we had as “Laughter or Lecture.”

In this day and age when adult children are staying longer periods with parents, it’s really important that everyone gets along in a harmonious fashion. Without belabouring the point, in what way are you more apt to be able to teach such adults? With laughter or a lecture?

Intuitively we realize that laughter is the key. However, too many of us are tired or in difficult jobs, so sometimes we lack the energy to educate effectively.

Just remember, adults are more likely to learn things from older adults if they are taught in a fun way. This demonstrates real and authentic leadership. Don’t be the “prince of darkness” in your approach with them. All doom and gloom and lecure-y! There’s no quicker way to tune them out and to lose their interest!

Remember to laugh and to have joyous times with them, and they are much more likely to imbibe the important life lessons that you wish to impart to them!

Best regards,

Nilesh Shreedhar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HRPA 2016, Jan 19-22.

January 27, 2016

Brief nuggets of things gleaned at the HRPA Conference that I wanted to share with you folks…

Gender differences in processing information.

Scientific data proves men and women process info differently…if you want to make an excellent decision, include all stakeholders…a really good idea to ask women what they ‘see’ because of the way the process information. They have a more holistic approach with includes more factors, men in general have a quicker approach and make decisions faster based on the immediate factors they see before them. Both are equally intelligent, in different ways. Good decision making includes both approaches.

Mental health…

More and more an issue; panel discussion included famous lawyer (Malcolm McKillop was his name if I’m not mistaken), and Clara Hughes (6 x Olympian; Bell commercials raising awareness for this cause). She was plagued with these issues (father alcoholic, dysfunctional family interactions). She made a strong call to action for there to be more resources allocated to mental health, catching it in the nip. A timely intervention can make someone (she is an example) still be able to make huge contributions to society.

Creativity…

David Usher…singer, 6 time Juno winner. Consults universities, and other organizations as board member. Graduate of Simon Fraser University (Pol. Science). Son of Professor.

‘Creative collisions’ occur and composed of 95% work. We are all creative beings. You need a structure in order to use these creative collisions. There is no magic…creativity is mixing and matching to create that magic. He begins with a blank page and his source of inspiration (a picture of himself at 3 years of age with a bow and arrow) gleefully free to do (create) whatever he decided on.

Benjamin Tal. (Very educated economist who hobnobs with people like Greenspan (of the U.S.) and influential Bank of Canada representatives).

Yes the next year will be painful in that economy is dicey all over the world. However these are growing pains due to changes in the economy where money is shifting from oil to commodities. Ultimately, given that we’ve lost 10 to 20 pc of our manufacturing sector in Canada, opportunities will exist in the commodities sectors.

Gaming, gamification.

Gaming concepts are being used to provide training. This provides an interactive, fun and stimulating way for people to learn company material. You will see this more often being implemented in organizations due to its effectiveness and cost savings and other ripple effect benefits.

The above information helps us be calmer about the future (2016 economy) and opens us to what to expect in the near future (gamification – is this word in everyone’s dictionary yet?), as well as helping us to keep alert about mental issues (‘am I my brother’s keeper? Yes, I guess you are!). Free yourself to be your creative best in 2016 and use diversity to your advantage!

Best,

-Nilesh Shreedhar.

Inner self talk is critical to success in life.

December 2, 2015

Finding your voice.

Past voices….

As usual, Toastmasters never ceases to inspire….

Using a style of writing that I’ve used before, and tying in to my ending, I will tell you where I am headed with this piece of writing….to My goals (please use this as a work-through (or ‘workshop’) to achieve whatever happen to be YOUR goals! This is meant to INSPIRE YOU! LOL). I want to share how important self-talk can be to success in life….

I promise to get you there reasonably quickly via past voices (negative ones of course) that my Toastmaster mentor Dawna (short form To-rmentor? No, I digress)…I will keep her last name private, but she does exist and has inspired many) was able to work through…given her near-death experience. Yes, near-death. Don’t wait for life to take you there before you take life where you want to go!

Come, now let us work through this together. Dawna’s Toastmaster workshop (Jan 2015) took us through a time long ago in her life, which still resonated slightly in her mind. We could see that she still had a little bit more work to do (as far as positive self-talk was concerned).

Years back, it was the teacher’s voice (Miller) that spoke to her and compared her negatively to her sister, older to her, and better at many things. This left her in a wake of comparisons made by other teachers who invariably knew her sister and made negative inferences too….

Lesson: ignore the negative voices in life (the ones that don’t fit in with a healthy self-image of yourself). For your benefit, and to personalize this story a bit more, here is an excerpt from the handout that Dawna provided us, so you get the point…idea is to work through your negative voices, so put this piece into practice, will ya! Do this by answering italicized questions….or absorbing the presented information to improve your thinking. Here are the excerpts (italicized):

My Mr. Miller is….

‘Certainly not as good as your sister are you?’  (This had a huge impact on Dawna’s life…  She gave up – she quit! Lesson: don’t listen to negative voices, DON’T QUIT! EV-ER! This is when you go Lalalalala in your head! As a child, or as an adult. Don’t listen! LOL.

In retrospect, what should Dawna (read ‘this could be any one of us, but we will use Dawna as our guinea-pig test person as per her workshop) have done differently? (Folks, this is where you are supposed to THINK and come up with some positive solutions – for the rusty, just substitute any positive affirmation)

‘It’s a product of what I did!  It’s my best work ever!’  Remember, whatever you have created (at school, work, or play), is PERSONAL expression and it is NOT – NOT to be compared with others….even (or especially) when you are a teacher (read mentor, parent, older respected sibling et al).

My nurse Amanda is…I should explain; nurse Amanda was the one who Dawna first heard say ‘we didn’t think you would survive!’ when Dawna ended up in the hospital due to serious stress related conditions. The italicized portion below will explain how she internalized this statement. (Backdrop: Shakespeare – remember, ‘nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so!’)

Dawna: through self-induced stress…. She was barely conscious.  Stressed.  Exhausted. She spent three weeks in a hospital!  Nurse Amanda: ‘Dawna, we didn’t think you would survive!’

So…Dawna felt she was not supposed to be here! (Yes – she meant on earth)… She stopped having fun.  It was a ‘Wow’ experience – in a very negative way!

My Jennifer is…again, this bears explanation…in Dawna’s workshop, Jennifer was a good buddy and best friend who helped her realize the positives in life; she offered Dawna heart-felt and sincere encouragement and helped her heal from her negative thinking and cloudy past.

My cheer-leading team: Who is yours? For example, one of mine is: Shelley U., David L., and Isabelle H.  They are my encouragers and I probably owe them a debt of gratitude. Not probably, I do. Thank the people that believe and encourage you….

Lesson:

Shakespeare:

‘ Nothing is good or bad… thinking makes it so….’

Now, as per Dawna’s workshop….we are going back and reliving those moments in life, (we all have them) using a NEW perspective and the introspective that Dawna provided us:

My future voices…

If I could go back to Mr. Miller I would….  Have the wisdom I now have, with conviction….

I now choose to tell myself….  ‘Nothing is good or bad thinking makes it so.’

If I could go back to my nurse Amanda I would….

Use more positive affirmations, and change the (negative) messages in my head. I’d meditate, be more healthy, associate with positive people, stay healthy, and have more purpose in life.  Live a renewed life as a second chance….for living in greater abundance!

I now choose to tell myself….my affirmations….

‘Nothing is good or bad thinking makes it so.’

If I could go back to my Jennifer I would

Thank her!

Realize ‘they’ (the negative ones) don’t know me….  hence they Gotta be wrong.

Watch serials Buddha and Suits. (I love them!)

My leadership voice…

I need to tell Trish P that she is quick and decisive.

I need to tell Kalida….thank you!

I need to tell Agee….hey! Thanks for being you!

Lesson:

Inner self talk is crucial to success in life.

BIG take-away from this workshop: How to turn negative talk into something positive.

PEOPLE, your self-talk is really important! It can ultimately be damaging or life-enhancing. At least be a good ‘Buddhist’ and ‘take the middle road’ and don’t be too hard on yourselves. (Talk out your negatives out loud to see if they sound ‘right’ or completely off the wall!)

In sum, Donna was shy and timid….  Her sister was an athletic and an academic star.  Jen was a best friend and star athlete.  Donna was part of a big family of children who were special from top to bottom yet Donna felt stuck in the middle, forgotten and unimportant.  Birth order can be determinative of how you feel – if you let it! Donna felt like someone stuck in the middle.

To overcome her difficulties though, she changed her mind set and the way she talked to herself….

Here’s one final positive thought for us to all take away…. to be more mindful of, and kinder and gentler with ourselves… what Donna learned from a positive role model, mentor and good friend….

Her friends said that though she was not the end pieces in her large family of siblings…she was the peanut butter…. the jam that made the whole sandwich sweet! (Aww!’ So sweet! No pun intended.)

So be good to yourself, and everyone else will too! We can be our own worst enemies, or our own best friends. It just takes a mental adjustment! You know….

Inner Self-talk can be critical to success in life!

Nilesh Shreedhar.

It’s Not About You! Vegas gems from TM International Conference.

September 2, 2015

Here is another of the wealth of ideas gleaned from the recent Vegas convention I attended (I still have many more pieces of writing I want to post!)

Well you know the format…if you’ve been following….Here it is once again, in case this is a ‘one-off’ for you and you happen to have just ‘dropped in,’ so to speak. (No hyphens). J

Organization: Toastmasters.org (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Patrick Hammond, Toastmasters, Las Vegas Championship Entry Speech.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

 

It’s not about you

Patrick Hammond.

A thief stole sentimental things from his home….Patrick, a youth leader learned from his youth group that such thieves, due to the way they operate, are called ‘flockers,’ –  a new word for Patrick, juvenile care worker. ‘Think about the effect on those you are connected to,’ he said….
He spoke of broken promises; of his own mother who had colon cancer. His brother had broken the law. Their mother was now on her death bed, but was hanging on. The possibility of mother and incarcerated brother being able to speak was remote, but she wanted to hang on only to speak to this son….

Patrick, asked his juvenile kids the important question, ‘why did she hang on before she passed?’

Practically shouting at us in a dramatic finish to his speech, (as he must have with those under his care). No! not just to have closure with the son – but the more important lesson here was that your actions have serious consequences -on those you love….and… whether they can live or even die… in peace! It’s not about you!

In the end – literally at the very end in the case of his mother’s life – it’s not about you!  It’s more about the effect you have on the people in your life.

The story was an excellent instructional tool for kids… no… for us all, actually….worth thinking about!

That’s today’s post folks!

Best regards,

Nilesh Shreedhar

What is a Thought Ninja? (More Vegas TM Content)

August 30, 2015

Here is a concept I learned from the recent Vegas convention I attended (I still have 14 or so more pieces of writing I want to post!)

Well you know the format…if you’ve been following….Here it is once again, in case this is a ‘one-off’ for you and you happen to have just ‘dropped in,’ so to speak (I hate hyphens, sorry). Let me reword that, I can’t be bothered….no hate involved. That wouldn’t be very equanimous…apologies…inside joke for Vipassana meditators http://www.torana.dhamma.org/) . LOL.

Organization: Toastmasters.org (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Ed Young, Toastmasters, Las Vegas Championship Entry Speech.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

This speech was done by Ed Young and it was about keeping your promises, during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A. As such, if it inspires even one person today, I think it will have accomplished it’s goal….

What is a thought ninja? Ed Young, asked?

He accomplished the commendable goal of staying sober for 16 years.

As I quickly tried to take notes at the convention, it soon became obvious that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all the messages from all the different speakers. So I aimed for content….this one had a significant message:

The point of his story was that Ed was able to stay the with girl of his dreams….He did that by ‘assassinating the negative thoughts.’

So he called upon us to ‘dare to achieve your dreams,’ as he said, others may be depending on you….like a little girl, or a bride to be, someone who believes in you. Important to do so…so they keep theirs….too.

Before we let our dreams get compromised, analyze the content in your minds. Is it being sabotaged by little ‘thought ninjas?’ You must assassinate them upon contact!

Wonderful speech. Still a winning one in my books…for its content! So defeat your thought ninjas and achieve your goals, your dreams!

That’s today’s post folks!

Best regards,

Nilesh.

 

 

 

 

Aditya Maheswaran’s “Scratch” , 2nd place finish at Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking.

August 20, 2015

Speech giver: Aditya Maheswaran

Organization: Toastmasters.org (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Once again, here is my mantra – the purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

Congratulations to Aditya Maheswaran of Mumbai, India, District 41, on finishing in second place for his speech, “Scratch.”

This speech was given by Aditya Maheswaran…..called ”Scratch”….about lessons learned after buying a new car…then going out right after with the girl who made his heart sing….

Driving with Neha, in his beloved new car, he parked it at the beach where they walked together….. He looked back – what should he see?

Aghast, he saw the Man walking at the beach scratching his….brand…. new…car with a pair of skis as he walked by! Completely neglecting Neha….he forgot about her and attended to car instead, running off, not caring about her….until much, much later. Alas, the damage was done – and not just to the car!
Depressed and at home, still thinking about it, he also hurt mom as he was still upset about the car, which was hard to get over…even saying leave me alone to his mom! The next day, with a wise mechanic’s help the car – was looking new again! Once again beautiful, sleek, and elegant…..The mechanic proffered ‘a scratch stays only as long as you don’t polish it.’ Using this wisdom, knew exactly what to do! He hugged his mom. After so much effort – realizing the errors of his ways – he persisted, and called Neha…12 times! He sincerely apologized for his behaviour saying, “I’m sorry, you are my precious!”…putting to use the significant wisdom that he had gleaned only days earlier from a mechanic!

2014 in review – NeilShreedhar’s Blog.

January 31, 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 790 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Learning from Toastmasters(.org).

January 30, 2015

What did I get from Toastmasters? Nothing; did I get to meet new, interesting and exciting people? Nope! Did I get to hear workshops worth paying hundreds of dollars for in terms of life experience and know-how? Nah! Did I learn anything, or am I now able to articulate myself in a clearer and more concise to-the-point manner? Who are you kidding?! I was plenty able to artwhatulate before! Huh? I mean I could really gab in front of a crowd in a semi-coherent manner!

Those of you who actually  are Toastmasters know me as someone who has his own unique way of communicating….and so it is here….

Yes! Toastmasters does all of those things and I am very proud to be an alumni with possibility of rejoining at any time. I lead a busy life and TM has enhanced that lifestyle as I feel I bring joy to others in being able to tell my ‘motivational stories’ to them.

I told one today (to a Rogers employee) and I might just have started her on the road to hand-gliding! It’s fun to be able to add a little excitement to people’s lives and TM is a big part of being able to to that! If this isn’t a huge endorsement for TM, then I don’t really know what is: it’s sincere and from the heart, ‘cuz you know, I’ve been told ‘I wear my heart on my sleeve…..’ All the best with TM, where leaders are made – it could change your life! I mean for the better – of course! LOL.Happy Toastmasting! (Can you say that? Well, I just did, call it poetic license…).

Best regards,

https://neilshreedhar.wordpress.com

 http://neilshreedhar.wix.com/goodenergy

Four Ways to Deal with Conflict.

June 23, 2014

This information is relevant at any time. It always makes me wonder why people think conflict is actually abnormal given the fact that even in a given household where one would expect a fair degree of homogeneity, you have different values and opinions. So then why is it so unusual to find the clashing of opinions? Yes, mishandled it can be potentially disastrous, but not more than a festering wound left completely unattended – that’s even worse….Read on to find out how this might be so….

 

Refer back to your Conflict Journal and match the five different types of conflicts with real conflicts that you have witnessed or been personally involved with.  How were these conflicts resolved?  Pick one of the conflicts that you witnessed (i.e. were not personally involved in).  How did you know it was a conflict?  If you could have acted as the mediator, role-play the steps you would have taken to help resolve the conflict.

 

What follows is a reply to a question posed during a Conflict Resolution class I attended for courses I took a while back…It is insightful and immediately practical! Good luck with it…

One of the conflicts that I witnessed is one in which the employee complains about the employer and how he doesn’t like the way the employer manages the office, in other words, he feels that things shoud be done differently. This person is fairly experienced and makes valid points, but just may lack the full perspective that comes with positions of higher authority. He also feels that he is not being listened to, or that his (in his view valid) concerns are nto being addressed, just ignored.

 

Steps that I have taken include emphasizing the positive aspects of the relationship of workiing for the employer, requesting him to take a more active role in union representation so that he doesn’t get himself in trouble with the employer, and just staying positive with him, making recommendations to attend any type of training available, such as one that was recently offered on Change Management.

 

This seems to be the way to go about dealing with these issues, according to Howard Guttman, author of The Art of Managing Conflict, and who states that, When you stop to think about it, there essentially are four ways in which the players in a conflict-laden situation can deal with it:

 

• Playing the victim: saying nothing, acting powerless, and complaining. Such behavior clearly is corrosive and often subversive. It leads to griping and sniping and tends to drive discord underground. Injured parties can sap the vitality from relation stops–whether at home or in the office–as sufferers focus inward on their unresolved issues and reach out to recruit supporters to their point of view.

• Flight: physically removing oneself from involvement. Face it; walking away or leaving is always an option. We can turn our backs on our friends, get divorced, or quit our job and head for greener pastures. How many times can we run away however? It is better to learn how to mediate conflict.

• Change oneself: Move off one’s position; shift one’s view of the other party; “let it go.” Sometimes, we can change ourselves by changing our perceptions of a situation. For example, you might try to achieve a positive outcome by altering your “story” or interpretation of another person’s behavior. Of course, being forced to modify one’s story often rankles. Moreover, what happens at those moments of truth, when all the attempts to reframe your perceptions simply do not work? The only option remaining is to confront conflict.

• Confronting: addressing the issue openly, candidly, and objectively; communicating with the other party. This approach is ideal. One executive we know uses a colorful metaphor to illustrate the concept. He likened the tendency to let disagreements fester to having a dead elephant’s head in the middle of the room. It is unsightly, disturbing, and takes up a lot of space, but no one is willing to acknowledge its presence. It distracts people from more important work. The longer the elephant head remains, the worse its effect will be. The elephant head will not get up and go by itself. Only when people admit that this distasteful object is present and needs to be dealt with will they be able to remove it and move on to more productive activity.

If you decide to end your conspiracy of silence and work out your personal or business conflict by confronting, we recommend using the Four C’s approach:

Connecting. In conflict resolution, timing and location are next to godliness. Before attempting to connect with another person–to establish a rapport that is conducive to discussing your mutual needs–always check with the individual to determine the best time and place to have a meeting. Do not forget to set the stage. Make sure you have privacy; will not be interrupted; are in a neutral, non-threatening environment; have scheduled enough time to cover all the salient points; and that both of you have had adequate opportunities to prepare for the dialogue. At work, this might mean repairing to a neutral conference room. At home, you might head for the nearest Starbucks.

Using the proper phrasing

Finding the right words to begin a potentially adversarial discussion can be difficult. We suggest using “partnering phrases,” which convey the idea that you are ready to address the issue candidly and objectively and that you are serious about resolving it. For example, “I have some concerns about the way we are making decisions relating to one another that I would like to explore with you,” or “I have an issue with your attendance. You are not keeping up with your commitment. We cannot afford to let this continue,” or “I am having some difficulties with the way you are managing the ‘so-and-so’ project. They really are going to get in the way if we fail to deal with them,” or “I am uncomfortable with your approach to performance reviews, and I want to work my concerns out with you.”

Clarifying. All the breast pounding and good intentions will not rescue a situation in which clarifying is not employed properly. Static is an agreement buster. Encourage the other party to open up about the real concerns he or she has. Describe the behaviours and the reasons you find them troubling. Choosing the right words is crucial. Try these phrases: “Let us take a minute to clarify what we hear each other saying about the way we have been making decisions,” or “It is important for me to understand where you are coming from. What do I need to know to understand what has been happening with your attendance?,” or “Regarding the assigned project, what feedback do you have for me about my contributions to the situation?,” or “I want to know what you think. What is your point of view on performance reviews?”

Confirming. This entails summing up the facts, restating the issues to ensure that nothing has been misunderstood or omitted during your discussion. Equally important is a summary of the emotional progress that has been made–the commitment to finding a mutually agreeable solution. While both parties usually are eager to move to action at this point, investing a few additional minutes in confirming will make the next step much easier.

These are especially useful confirming statements: “Here is my understanding of our differences and where we are right now on the issue of the ‘so-and-so’ project,” or “Do you have any other concerns about our performance review?,” or “I really appreciate your willingness to work through this issue with me,” or “I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise here.”

Contracting. This is the final stage in managing disagreement by interaction. It entails finding the illusive win-win solution that both parties can commit to. Let us take this example from the business world. Deborah, the project manager at a major pharmaceutical company, has authorized overtime to keep a key project on schedule. Sam, her supervisor, has just learned about this from another manager. Sam might sound something like this in confronting his subordinate: “Deborah, when you authorize overtime without telling me, you put me in a difficult situation. I am the one who is responsible for staying on budget, and if there are any cost overruns, I am the one who will have to explain them. From now on, I need you to come to me before authorizing any overtime.”

Sam is using a three-part “I” response in which there are a trio of essential components: a description of the troublesome behavior; the disclosure of your feelings about the act; and stating the effect it has on you. In other words, the focus of the message is on “I” and not the other person.

At this point, Deborah is likely to respond with an explanation of her actions, such as: “You were away for the weekend; you said you could not be reached; and I had to make the call. I figured because you did not give me your phone number, you did not want me to bother you. If you want to make decisions, I have to be able to get in touch with you.”

Now Deborah is the one asserting herself, making it clear that she, too, has needs. The negotiation should proceed, back and forth, until both Sam’s and Deborah’s needs are met. If Sam is not willing to give up his privacy by leaving a phone number, maybe he will agree to call Deborah for a daily update the next time he goes away. Or, he may decide to give Deborah more leeway, arranging for her to authorize overtime up to a certain number of hours without his approval.

Some useful contracting phrases are: “I think the whole team/family needs to be involved in budget decisions. What do you think?,” or “Having you here four 10-hour days does not work for me, but having you come in at 10 a.m. and stay until 6 p.m. would. Does that work for you?,” or “One thing we can do to move the project ahead is …” or “What would you prefer that I do differently in the future regarding the way I conduct my performance reviews?”

Managing conflict effectively is a learned behaviour. Conflict-resolution skills are not part of any high school, college, or business school curriculum. Yet, the potential for discord exists whenever we interact with others. As Pat Parenty, senior vice president and general manager of Redken, U.S.A., points out, “Expecting people to resolve their differences without giving them conflictmanagement skills is like giving a computer to someone who has never seen one before and saying, ‘Have fun using this.'” Do not count on having a good time.

 

 

Proquest. Newsweek. Aug 6, 2007. pg. 43. A Math Makeover; OMG! Actress and mathematician Danica McKellar wants girls to know that being good at numbers is cool.; [U.S. Edition Edition] Retrieved  at 12:49 pm from http://proquest.umi.com.centhsally.centenarycollege.edu:2048/pqdweb?index=0&did=1312311471&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1185899880&clientId=10301

 

Reference:

Guttman, Howard M., The Art of Managing Conflict. USA Today Magazine, 01617389, Jan2004, Vol. 132, Issue 2704. Retrieved at 7:45 am on August 20, 2007 from:http://web.ebscohost.com.centhsally.centenarycollege.edu:2048/pov/detail?vid=5&hid=112&sid=b02acd8a-f7d1-4c0e-afbb-686e5d4ef027%40sessionmgr109


%d bloggers like this: