#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

#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

#69 A Dialogue: Overcoming Mediation Resistance

The dialogue below is fictitious, but it is based on an experience I had as a mediator. It illustrates how mediation resistance can manifest, for example over encountering the other party The context is a court mediation program in which the mediator does not have the opportunity to conduct pre-mediation … Continue reading

#68 How to Respond to an Underlying Message

underlying message

A simple statement may carry with it a larger underlying message. If you take all simple statements literally, you will miss important elements of what the other person is communicating.     Trying to correctly infer the meaning of the underlying message is less important than noticing that there probably … Continue reading

#52 Why You Need A Self-Management Habit

Why You Need A Self-Management Habit

By self-management I mean a highly practical and essential nuts-and-bolts practice that allows us to manage the defensive reactions we have in conflict interactions. When we are criticized or attacked we tend to reflexively defend ourselves. In order to be effective in conflict we have to be able to manage … Continue reading

#50 How To Communicate A Strong And Meaningful Apology

Image for strong and meaningful apology

A strong and meaningful apology has to be genuinely felt. In fact, when it is deeply felt and communicated, the components described below will often be spontaneously expressed, or they may be expressed non-verbally. In a nutshell, a strong and meaningful apology requires that we both communicate empathy and take … Continue reading

#43 Power Down: Share Power To Level The Playing Field With Subordinates

In the previous blog I wrote about how to advance your interests when dealing with someone who has authority over you. In this blog, I will present some perspectives on how to encourage your subordinates to open up with you and provide you with valuable feedback. Most of us have … Continue reading

#42 Power Up: How To Level The Playing Field When The Other Person Has More Authority Than You Do

Participants in my classes will frequently ask how to work with someone who has more power than they do. This question often refers to someone who has more authority. Authority is only one form of power and when we view it as absolute it will blind us to other sources … Continue reading

#41 Understanding Others By Demonstration and Confirmation

Listening with the intention to understand is the most fundamental requirement for understanding others in difficult situations. But, maintaining this positive intention is challenging for a number of reasons. Foremost, an intention is abstract which makes it very difficult for most of us to monitor. Secondly, our internal reactivity to … Continue reading