# 79 Five Practices For Sustaining Positive Use Of Authority

Five Practices for Sustaining Positive Use of Authority

A coach has authority over members of a team. If people report to you in the workplace then you have authority. In a family, parents usually have significant authority over their children until they no longer live together. By authority I mean a position in society, an organization, or a … Continue reading

#78 Encapsulating Conflict – How to Live with Ongoing Conflict When You’re at Your Wit’s Ends

Encapsulating Conflict – How to Live with On-Going Conflict When You're at Your Wit's Ends

Some conflicts are not going away, and focusing on resolution may be counter-productive. I heard leading researcher John Gottman say in a plenary address that over 65 percent of marital conflict is never resolved. It’s how couples live and work with conflict that makes the difference. The same could be … Continue reading

#77 Report Your Experience – A Way To Help Others

Sharing your experience

We often share our immediate experience with others in social situations. This could be emotional experience, for example: “How exciting,” or “That gives me the creeps.” Or, it could be perceptual experience: “You seem to be putting a lot of time and energy into your hobby.” Sharing your experience builds connection … Continue reading

#76 “Let’s Agree to Disagree”:  What Does this Mean and how to Respond?

Agree to Disagree

“Let’s agree to disagree.” When someone says this, what do they mean? To me, the statement seems to carry with it both positive and negative messages. Positives are the idea that an agreement can be salvaged out of an apparent impasse, and a sense that we don’t have to break … Continue reading

#75 Anger: A Sword Above Our Own Heads

Anger: A Sword Above Our Own Heads

I think that when we feel a stab of anger we hold a sword above our own heads. This image of anger suggests that it can harm the person who experiences it. We must overcome the natural gravity of the emotion, otherwise the sword of anger will strike our own … Continue reading

#74 How to Move Past Anger’s Payback Wish

How to Move Past Anger's Payback Wish (multiple doors)

Emotions have both meanings and action tendencies. Anger’s foremost meaning seems to be that another person or thing has caused harm and there should be a consequence. However, anger’s action tendency – the way it inclines us to carry out the consequence – can be problematic. One of anger’s central … Continue reading

#73 The Tapestry of Anger: A Review of Benefits and Cautions

The tapestry of Anger: Benefits and Liabilities (many traffic lights)

  Anger is both beneficial and necessary, and at the same time, a potentially dangerous liability. In this blog I write about some of its central benefits along with qualifying cautions. Anger is helpful as a: -Signal of wrong-doing -Means of defense -Message of deterrence -Energetic source of motivation   … Continue reading

#72 Take Responsibility: Four Ways to Get Out of the Blame Game

Four ways to escape the blame game

In conflict, people may acknowledge that they have contributed to difficulties, but then explain how the other party is more to blame. Parties usually have opposing arguments and are reluctant to take enough responsibility for their role in the conflict, and thus the total responsibility taken between the two is … Continue reading

#71 Taking More Responsibility for Conflict Leads to Greater Empowerment

Greater empowerment. Photo of man on sailboat

The road to greater empowerment in conflict resolution is different from what you might imagine. We are all familiar with the feeling of power that accompanies anger or being righteously offended. But, swellings of aggravation are delusional and a false sense of power. Through blame, these emotions assign responsibility to … Continue reading

#70 Apparent Sympathy

Apparent Sympathy

When listening to people in conflict you will sometimes hear them sound sympathetic to the other party. Someone who has been speaking negatively about the other party may, at times, ‘switch gears’ and sound like they are feeling considerate towards the other party. What is this apparent sympathy about? First, … Continue reading