It’s time for family gatherings that are ripe for ‘opportunities for growth’.
Tensions at work and at home are challenging. Choose how you want to respond. Take action to change the way conflict affects you and possibly those around you.
Identify what you can control: yourself and your response.
When you have a disagreement with someone try the following steps.
Find common ground.
Show that you heard the other person’s point of view.
Listen for the emotion being expressed
Empathize with them, even if you don’t agree with them
“It sounds like you are angry with ____________ (me, politicians, causes) because ________ (I wasn’t very attentive during our last discussion, politicians are all crooks, global warming is hurting your business.)
Look for similarities.
“We are both human beings.”
“We drive blue cars.”
“We like gravy.”
“We are both watching football.”
Identify points you both agree on.
Having a profitable business supports the family and community.
Getting a good night’s sleep is beneficial.
Dogs are wonderful.
“Isn’t that interesting.”
“You may be right.”
“I hear you.”
“That doesn’t work for me.”
Set a goal and intention.
Goal: “I’m going to find 10 similarities with this person
Intention: “My intention is to be open minded, curious, and happy.”
Assume ‘good person in bad circumstances’.
We have lots of conscious and unconscious assumptions about others. These influence our interactions with them.
Instead of thinking, “There they go again” try,
“I wonder what could be going on with them?”
“What might they be feeling or fearing?”
Come up with two possible reasons for the behavior you’ve observed. Maybe they didn’t sleep last night, or their boss gave them a written warning, or they received an unexpected bill they can’t pay.
Follow these steps and make it easier to be in control of yourself and your emotions.
The need to know exactly how to proceed in all areas of your life causes worry and anxiety. It negatively impacts your health, self-esteem and relationships. “I should know this,” is a belief that needs to be changed.
Kristen recently joined a writer’s group. She dreamed of getting her historical fiction novel written and published. At the first meeting, she listened to the others share their successes, critique pieces of work, and commit to actions to take. As the meeting went along, she felt heavy, like she had molasses in her veins. Her faced reddened and she nibbled her nails to the point of pain. Her belief that she should know how to write a novel was stopping her from writing.
No belief is neutral. They dictate each decision you make and drive behavior.
Change your belief about what you think you should know. Try the following belief statements for one day:
“Wonderful surprises happen when I ask for and accept help.”
“I’m really good at sales, connecting with people, and learning new skills. Successful people embrace the discomfort that goes along with learning new skills, such as spending time learning how to write a storyline, and I’m a successful person.”
“Lifelong learners are open to new ideas, learning new and different ways of making their lives easier, and I’m a lifelong learner.”
Act as if you believe it’s not only OK to not know how to do something, it’s beneficial that you don’t.
Just Do It.
Be All You Can Be.
Because You’re Worth It.
Nike. California Milk Board. U.S. Army. Loreal.
Use Top-of-Mindphrases to help you focus on your priorities.
A top-of-mind phrase is something that reminds you of something you want to focus on and achieve.
Jeff wanted to maintain focus on advancing his sales pipeline. His typical day is filled with meetings, conference calls, and a barrage of emails. By the end of the day, he has spent little time advancing the pipeline. Frustrated and concerned he thought, “What if I don’t hit my targets? Will I keep my job?”
A sticky note, the password phrase on your laptop, or an alarm on your phone are examples of top-of-mind tools upon which to place a key word or phrase.
Change the password on your screen save to the key word or phrase.
Set an alarm on your phone to go off three times a day. It’s an auditory cue to remind you to focus on your goal.
Download an app that allows you to have a word or phrase prominently featured every time you unlock your phone.
Change the location of your top-of-mind tool. Your brain stops seeing your word after a week.
Jeff wrote the word ADVANCE on two sticky notes. He placed is one on his bathroom mirror and another on the dashboard of his car. Every morning he read the sticky on the mirror. This helped him focus on the top three actions he would take during the day to advance his sales pipeline.
One word or phrase kept top-of-mind can help you focus on your priorities.
Use sticky notes, passwords, and alarms as top-of-mind tools to stay focused on your priorities.
Alan Mulally was the CEO of Ford Motor Company from 2006 until he retired in 2014. Fortune Magazine ranked him as one of the top three greatest leaders in the world, behind Pope Francis and Angela Merkel.The year Alan arrived at Ford, the company had posted a record $12.7 billion loss. He used structure as one key element to turn it around. He instituted a weekly Business Plan Review meeting (BPR) with his top sixteen executives. His rules were simple: mandatory attendance, no side discussions, no joking at the expense of others, no phones, and each executive was responsible for developing their own presentation – no delegating it.
He started each meeting the same way and he asked leaders to follow his format. “My name is Alan Mulally. I am the CEO of Ford Motor Company.” Then he reviewed the company’s strategic plan, forecast, and his top 5 areas that needed focus, using a green-yellow-red scorecard to represent the status of each: good-concerned-poor.
Each executive was required to use the green-yellow-red scorecard. They listed their top 5 priorities and graded their performance for the previous week. Most of them agreed and followed the structure. A few did not and eventually left the company.
Just as checklists help surgeons remember to wash their hands, structure such as the green-yellow-red scorecard help executives be transparent and honest with themselves and their colleagues. This visibility encouraged everyone to take responsibility and accountability.
Under his leadership, Ford was the only American major car manufacturer to avoid a bailout fund provided by the government. Ford came back even stronger, profitable, and recaptured its position as No. 2 automaker in terms of US sales from Toyota.
Create your own BPR.
List your top 5 priorities.
Grade yourself at the end of each day.
Share your week’s results with another person.
Practice this for 30 days.
Your relentless focus, visibility, and accountability gets you the results you want.
Shaking, I slumped against the cold door in the frozen food isle at Whole Foods. Tears stung my eyes as I fumbled for a crumpled Kleenex in my purse. I called my friend Elizabeth.
“Hey Moira. How are you? Moira? Are you there?”
Elizabeth and me at Gordon’s Pond, Rehoboth Beach, DE
“I don’t know what to buy.” Tears drenched my face. An intense pressure covered my chest. “I don’t know what I want. I don’t know when to eat. I’m so confused. I miss Pat.”
“I hear you. Having Pat gone is a huge transition for you.”
I dropped my youngest son at college last month. I miss him. I miss the structure of making him a meal every night. Now it’s just me and my crazy rescue dog. Cooking for one.
My friend listens to me cry. She doesn’t try to fix me. This gives me the space to feel the grief of letting go of a huge part of my life; being a full-time mom.
Change happens. Some are big, like sending your child off to college. Some are small, like switching dry cleaners. Some you can anticipate while others you cannot. Change is situational. It involves new processes or routines, a new boss or team member. It is external and focused on the outcome.
Change also involves transitions. Transition is the psychological process you go through to come to terms with the new situation. It is internal. It depends on letting go of the old reality and the old identity you had before the change took place.
The key to successful change is to think through what you will have to let go of when the change occurs.
When change happens in your life:
Identify what you have to let go of
Allow space for feelings that come with letting go
I wrote a list of what I am letting go of; shopping and cooking for my son, scheduling my time around his comings and goings, and daily conversations over meals. I made a decision to make more space for feeling the loss.
I’m grateful for Elizabeth. She held my hand in the frozen food isle of Whole Foods.
Friends help with transitions.
Ask the Universe to bring you friends like Elizabeth.
She will ;).