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Posts Tagged ‘Health’

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.

 

 

 

 

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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

Just Do It!

January 10, 2014

That’s what Nike says….I agree!

Here are highlights from this past year (2013). When I decided to do this review exercise, I was surprised as to how eventful the year was…well, I’ll let you be the judge of how busy I was…

Dragon-boat racing. We had several Dragon-boat races, which is a team sport involving 22 paddlers. I’ve been doing this sport for several years now and this was the best year ever! We love the sport for what it is, but medals definitely add to the enjoyment! So do bright blue skies, sunlight and looking over part of Lake Ontario when we do our practices. O’ what fun it is (and was)!

Yoga at Trish Stratus. I don’t mind giving them a plug because their staff, environment and facilities are incredible! I did three months of yoga during the summer and worked on areas of my body that I never even knew existed. LOL. It has strengthened me and given me a new and deeper appreciation of this form of staying healthy and strong!

Rock climbing at h20rappelling (h2orappelling.com). Well, I must admit, I’m a bit of a peanut butter junkie. So my original search on the internet was for sales of peanut butter that I could buy cheap. That led to a wonderful journey into the world of Groupon Coupons (the same way I discovered Yoga at Trish Stratus and Photoartstudio.com…ah, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here)…. Needless to say I’ve never Rock climbed before and was a novice who quickly managed to learn how to belay and how to work in tandem with a partner who hoisted you up a sheer face of rock. At the end of the day you’ve met new like-minded people who you’ve had lunch with and shared a beautiful day and memories. Another great experience!

Photoartstudio.com photography course. Although my participation has been sporadic in this online course, I recommend it highly. I am already more knowledgeable about my Nikon camera and my awareness will definitely translate to great photos! I plan to keep up and have nine more months to complete the course!

O2 obstacle course (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRYU4mfSrRc) led by Tony, ex-U.S. military man. Another lucky pick from Groupon.com, I guess….. and boy am I glad I discovered them! I always wanted to try an obstacle course….. Me against the elements. How would I do? Hmmm….

Did I know that I would be able to keep up with an ex-military trainer, out to get the best from all his participants? After an initial warm-up of 30 to 40 minutes (I can’t hear you – oorah!) in mud – yes mud, holding up a piece of wood which approximated the weight of a rifle, we started a 10 km run. Oh, there’s more. Along the way we had to do push ups, then further down, sit ups, run up and down hills, carry heavy weighted pails in both hands, drag a cement block with a partner. It was a lot of work. At the end we were ‘greeted’ with a ‘high-wire act,’ having to grab our way along monkey bars from hanging ropes, to another section of the monkey bar where we grabbed rings, ending off with a similar ring grab at the next spot of the monkey bar. What a sense of achievement when I placed near the top of the pack, especially when this was my very first attempt at this ever!

Well, that explains my busy summer and why I haven’t been writing as much. There were other accomplishments. What I want to emphasize is that I was doing things that I always wanted to try and didn’t know that I could do. Exploring new areas of myself while entertaining myself over the summer….and this brings me to my final point….Just do it! You’ll never know what you can do unless you try….you owe it to yourself to know yourself better and to try new things.

Oh, I’ve still got two more Group-on coupons that I haven’t used yet. Haha. Yes! They’re waiting for this summer – I plan to go down to Toronto Harbour Tours – with another Groupon coupon of course!

So why not let 2014 be the year you try new things out and discover part(s) of yourself you never knew you even had in you!

Good luck, many blessings and may you prosper and succeed in 2014 like never before!

– Neil

Shreedhar on Healthy Living

April 1, 2012

‘And Now for something really important….’

Healthy Living

My thoughts…

Stick with something that you love…I started with stair climbing when I felt flabby and weak years ago…now I am hiking, playing hockey, soccer, weight-training, yoga, meditation, and anything else that comes my way…I discovered how much I love sports when I came to my new office, I don’t plan to give them up and I have never looked back!

Build in your priorities into your lifestyle…initially that may mean going to the gym with or without your partner….but you have to begin with yourself first!

A married friend of mine had some advice for me a while back. He said you must respect yourself to be respected by others. He figured out a way to get his spouse involved who was a total non-athlete. No interest in sports!

It can be done, perhaps slyly at first, like playing frisbee so that ‘she’ doesn’t realize how much fun (sport) exercise can be, or what hit her…What? Were we exercising? LOL. That was fun! Let’s do it again!

Emphasizing being out in the great weather with the wind passing by your faces might help, and the rest is up to you.

Going back to being a kid and remembering what it was all about when we were young and carefree is what staying young is about to me.

It’s an attitude or frame of mind….That way you never get old…..just my thoughts on the topic….an important one…..

Good luck!

– Nilesh (Neil) Shreedhar.


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