It was the most upset I’ve ever been at work. Years ago, a part of my job was to negotiate contracts with vendors. One negotiation reached an impasse. The vendor raised his voice slightly and accused me of personally derailing the process. My reaction was intense. I shouted something back at him in my defense,
Browsing tag: conflict
Psychologists say that anger is a “secondary” emotion. It safeguards you from dealing with harder emotions, like shame, sadness, or fear. It also generates a powerful, self-soothing neurochemical. And it creates a heightened sense of control. As the anger expert Dr. Leon Seltzer says, “If anger helps you feel in control, no wonder you can’t
After my post last week about a difficult conversation I’d had with a colleague, several people reached out to me to share their own experiences. They told me things like: We have tense dynamics like that in our partner group. I’m struggling to have a hard conversation about performance with an employee. I’ve been there.
I was confidently rolling through my day when I got an email intended for someone else. It was a strongly worded message criticizing my leadership, sent by a colleague who felt they’d been poorly treated. Seeing that felt like a punch in the stomach. And the discussion that followed was really hard. But, like many
Competing priorities are very evident when dealing with a two-year-old. Adults compromise, negotiate, persuade, enforce and request. Two-year-olds demand. Responding to those demands requires great diplomacy. Two-year-olds don’t have patience for unsatisfactory answers. And they don’t take the high road by letting you off the hook. One night last week, my two-year-old told me she
Are you aware of how the tone of your communication impacts others? It might be far more than you think. In a recent study, researchers at the University of Southern California analyzed the acoustic features of couples’ dialogues and, based on that analysis, were able to out-predict marriage therapists on which couples would remain together.
The past week brought communication of conflict and crisis. I read news of human violence, learned about friends in difficult circumstances, and I had hard conversations. My mind was on high alert. As situations arose, I was one part anxious, one part awkward, and one part focused. Have you been there? Where I was directly
My wife Kari and I took our three kids and dog for a weekend away. Just the act of getting everyone in the car is a major milestone. When we arrived at our destination, through tantrums, nagging and barking, Kari mobilized to unload the packed car of kids with focus and purpose. I let the
What if you knew as much about immigration reform as you do about your job? What if you were as comfortable discussing the trade-offs of imposing economic sanctions on other countries as you were discussing your favorite sport? What if you had as much of a well-informed point of view about poverty alleviation as you
“Healthy conflict creates joy.” As my business partner and I stood in front of the team and made that statement, our excitement was a bit tempered by the reaction all around us: There were some enthusiastic nods, but more than a few looked at us in confusion and even disbelief about what we’d just said.