Conflict Resolution Part 1

I had this week an argument with a colleague at work.
We disagreed on the topic and I perceived the tone in her voice as aggressive.
I told her I did not like the tone she had and I left the conversation where it stood.
The day after I sent her an email about the situation the day before.
We finally apologized to each other.
Now the conflict is solved.

This situation made me think that I should share with you some tricks about conflict resolution because arguing is a good thing. Allow yourself to go in an argument if you feel like it. The ending is what counts.

Arguing

1) Criticize the actions
The person is who she is. You have no right to judge her.
The facts are objective. You can evaluate their quality and compare the delivery to the original request. Your critics must focus on actions.
In my example, the tone of my colleague's voice changed from a sentence to another.

2) Talk about you and your emotions
You're not in the person's head. You have no idea what she thinks and why she reacts as she does.
But you know yourself and how you react. Talk about that!
In my example, I analyzed the tone of my colleague's voice as aggressive. And I did not like it.

3) Say what you want
It is easy to say what you do not want and what you dislike.
The other person needs specific indication about what you do want and what you expect from her.
In my example,
 I wanted to stop speaking with her the time she was using the tone I perceived as aggressive. I wanted her to use the same tone as previously in the conversation.

Calm down

4) Stay calm
If you feel that you are confused, take a break.
Keep a cool head when you are arguing. Structure your thoughts. It will help the other person to understand better your point.
In my example, I left the conversation where it stood and came back to my colleague the day after.

5) Apologize
The person argued with you because she interpreted one of your actions (words or behaviors) as a personal attack.
In my example, my colleague changed the tone of her voice because of what I told her. She interpreted that I meant she was incompetent. I apologized in my email for the formulation I used which was perhaps not the most appropriate one. And I reformulated my sentence assuring her I did not mean to attack her personally.

With those 5 steps, you will be sure to minimize and to dilute the frustration and the anger generated by the argument. Let me know about your successes in solving conflict in your comments!

Posted on September 6, 2014 .

"Speak like a pro"

Last week, I attended a one-week conference online.
Jenny Blake interviewed several professional speakers, actors, poets and invited them to share with us their experience about public speaking.

What they do:

Before the speech
- Train:
     1) Write the speech / Talk it out loud
     2) Give themselves or friends the speech
- Perform:
     1) Memorize the beginning (30 sec) and the ending (30 sec) of their speech 
     2) Work on transitions
     3) Read the less as possible their notes
- Think of their intentions:
     1) Why am I doing this speech?
     2) What are my goal and the audience's goal?
     3) How can I perform great?
- Relax
     1) Breath: belly breath, 4 sec in - 6 sec out
     2) Use a large gesture

During the speech
- Engage the audience:
     1) Use visuals (drawing, diagramming, mind-mapping)
     2) Give content-Propose practice-Ask for feedback and take-away
     3) Offer a physical experience (ask the audience to stand up, raise the hand, talk with other participants, etc.)
- Their speech:
     1) A clear structure (titles, parts, examples) and a changing rhythm (quick - slow)
     2) Personalized (stories, emotions, humor, quote yourself)
     3) Narrow the topic to few bullet points (Imagine you have only 15 minutes to talk to the world, what would you say?)
- Their attitude:
     1) True, authentic
     2) Fully in the moment, spontaneous (If you can't hide a fact, you have to point it out. For example: an annoying noise, When you forgot your thought you can ask "what was I talking about?")
     3) Respect the timing - Having someone keeping track of the time

After the speech
- Follow-up with attendees
- Work on your performance according to the feedback

 

What they recommend us to improve our performance:

- Ask for feedback
- Record your performance and watch it. Training in front of a mirror is giving you a distorted experience because you use yourself as a response mechanism.
- Work with a pro, a coach or a mentor. Contact speaking circles or a local/national speakers association.
- Have a strong knowledge of your self. The more you understand your self, the better you're prepared to deal with the emotions.
- Analyse others' practice and the impact on you as a listener. What are they doing that makes the presentation effective?
- Focus pro speech on one skill you want to improve

 

Personally, I have an important presentation to do next week. Wish me the best!

Posted on September 3, 2014 .

The wheel of life

The wheel of life is a tool which helps you to represent your life. Usually we use 8 or 5 categories. But you can adapt your wheel of life and use the categories you think are the best for you.

 

There are two ways of using the wheel of life.

 

a) The sky view

1) Choose for each category the level you think you are at currently. Connect the points together.
2) Choose for each category the level you want to reach. Connect the points together.
3) Give a current satisfaction note on 10 to each category.

Satisfaction notes on 10:     Romance: 8/10     Family: 9/10     Health: 6/10     Finances: 4/10     Career: 8/10
                                           Spirituality: 1/10     Recreation: 6/10     Personal Growth: 10/10

The two circles and your satisfaction notes help you to identify in which area you have to work on and which strategy you need to adopt:
- do not change anything but keep yourself on this level, focus on other categories of the wheel of life (Matching points or the current situation is above the expected one and a high satisfaction note)
- do more of what is working (Expected situation above the current one and high satisfaction note)
- change your strategy (Matching points or expected situation above the current one and dissatisfaction)

 

b) The proportional view

1) Give a percentage to each category. The sum must be equal to 100%.
2) Give a current satisfaction note on 10 to each category.
3) Draw your optimal wheel of life. That means give a percentage you want to reach to each category.

Satisfaction notes on 10:     Couple: 8/10     Work: 7/10
Family 9/10     Social: 5/10     Self: 7/10

The comparison of the two wheels of life and your satisfaction notes help you to  identify in which area you have to work on and which strategy you need to adopt:
- do not change anything but keep yourself on this level, focus on other categories of the wheel of life (Matching percentages or the current situation is above the expected one and a high satisfaction note)
- do more of what is working (Expected situation above the current one and high satisfaction note)
-  change your strategy (Matching percentages or expected situation above the current one and dissatisfaction)

 

You can use the wheel of life whenever you want. It is a good way to quickly assess your situation and get an idea of the actions you can plan.

Nota bene: Put a date on your wheels of life because they are a fair representation of the situation when you draw them. But they evolve quickly according to your environment changes and the actions you lead.

Posted on August 31, 2014 and filed under Tools.

My three favorite moments of the day

I propose you to try the following exercise: "My three favorite moments of the day". The impact on yourself is tremendous!

At the end of the day, before going to sleep, write in a notebook (or on your Facebook profile as the current challenge requests you to do) your three favorite moments of the day. 

Thereby you will end your day on a positive note.
Writing makes your idea more concrete. They are not "floating in the air" anymore.
If you collect all your favorite moments in a notebook, it is easier to read them in a row.

If you got nominated on Facebook, you need to write 5 days in a row your three favorite moments of the day on your profile.
Personally, I write my favorite moments in a notebook already every night since months. I notice my mood and mental state changed. Because I am focused on positive moments and experiences, I forget little by little the less good ones. I am more positive, more optimistic and happier.

Try this exercise and tell in the comment section how it affected you!

Posted on August 27, 2014 and filed under Happiness.