Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
NPR.org » Work, Life Balance: VW Agrees To Switch Off After-Hours Email
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Be More Productive by Making Better Daily Choices
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Boost Your Career with Social Media: Tips for the Uninitiated
Friday, December 16, 2011
11 Expert Tips on How to Set Life- and Business-Changing Goals for the New Year
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Most of us don't like confrontation but the reality is that confrontation is sometimes part of life. When we are lucky enough to know it is coming (and I believe that most of the time you will know beforehand...but that is fodder for another post), there are a few things you can do to prepare that can make the encounter a little less heated and unpleasant. These strategies also make it more likely all parties come out with an outcome they can live with.
1. Find out all you can about what's behind the unhappiness. Why might this meeting be confrontational? Is it just that the person you are about to meet is always a confrontational person or are there other issues that led to this? What has caused this rift in viewpoints? Might there be something that can be done prior to the meeting to ease some of the tension? Is it a misperception or misunderstanding or miscommunication (one of the biggest causes, by the way)?
2. Become informed on the issues. Once you know more about what's causing the unpleasantness, research the issue(s) and know as much about it as possible. Information is power. If you go in uninformed, you are more likely to become defensive and make a tough situation worse. You weaken your bargaining position when they hold all the information.
3. Know the players involved. Know everyone who will be in the meeting. Research them. What is their status in your organization? What meeting outcome will please them most? What meeting outcome will cause an impasse? How are they known to react to stress? How do they like to be approached? What compromise are they willing to consider (Hard to get this answer beforehand.)? The better you know those involved, the more you can play to their preferences. This may mean you have to give up status, use humility, ask forgiveness, and/or give praise depending on the person. Remember: everyone is coming in with a defensive stance. If you can be the one above the fray, you hold the position of strength.
4. Run the scenarios. Most people come into these meetings with a rigid mind. They are fighting for their best option and they are not ready to consider other ideas. They know what it is you want and they are not prepared to let you have it. If you come in understanding the different scenarios represented around the table, you can be ready to find the best from each option. This puts you in the position to lead the final strategy.
5. Prepare to compromise. In The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey's 4th Habit is "Think Win-Win." The premise here is that victory for the organization (office, program, donor, family, etc.) is greater than a victory for any one person. Come up with ideas on how both sides win and be courageous in putting those on the table. The final answer may not be yours, but you can start the "win-win" thought process and spark whatever the final answer becomes.
Remember the clichés created around these situations: "Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war." "Pick your battles carefully." "Don't let your ego get in the way."
These meetings aren't much fun and they can induce great anxiety. However, if you follow these strategies while being the one in the room with the greatest self-awareness, an ego that doesn't bruise easily, lots of humility, composure, and professionalism, you can lead the way to "win-win" more often than not.
What other strategies do you use prior, during, and after contentious meetings?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
10 Proven Strategies of High-Performance Teams
I always called him on December 7th to say hello and since his death nearly two years ago, I miss getting to make that call and hearing him say, "Hi, Karlie. How's everything?"
Gramp, I miss you.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Handbook for Life: 52 Tips for Happiness and Productivity