#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

#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

#54 Two Specific Ways To Make Use Of Your Defensiveness

Two Specific Ways to Make Use of Your Defensiveness

In the previous blog I wrote that remaining overly defensive is tantamount to turning one’s back on a growth opportunity. By considering the possible merit of the critical perspectives of others, we can integrate new ways of seeing ourselves and of seeing the world. In this blog I will explain … Continue reading

#53 Being Defensive Means Compromising Our Growth

Being Defensive Means Compromising Our Growth

In the previous blog I wrote about how most of us require a specific self-management practice in order to be effective in conflict engagements. But, being thoroughly non-defensive requires more than a self-management practice. It rests on an understanding of defensive reactivity that assigns to it a high level of … 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

#51 Make Your Identity Quake Work For You

Identity Quake

‘Identity quake’ is a term used by the authors of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. It means a disruption in how we view and understand ourselves, and it is an important concept to understand if you wish to gain the maximum from your conflict interactions. An identity … Continue reading

#46 The Five Parts Of Us Impacted By Conflict

We have different parts to ourselves: body, mind, emotion, spirit, and heart. Conflict impacts some or all of these five parts of us. In the previous blog I wrote that we must communicate from the part that has been impacted in order to address the effects of conflict on that … Continue reading

#45 How To Bring Spirit and Heart To Your Conflicts

We each have different parts to ourselves such as body, mind, emotion, spirit and heart. These are the parts of a person Ken Cloke describes in his book The Crossroads of Conflict. By spirit I think Ken means intention and life energy; and by heart, the place where love resides … Continue reading

#34 What Is Power?

In interpersonal relationships, power is frequently defined as the capacity to produce a particular outcome. Last year I followed a discussion thread in a Harvard Business Review (HBR) LinkedIn group devoted to defining power. The vast majority of the thousands of people who put forth a definition described power in … Continue reading

#32 The Internalizing Conversation

Last time I wrote about how shifting some attention to yourself can help resolve a dispute. I used the example practice of clarifying your preferred direction in life then assessing whether your engagement in a conflict is consistent with movement in the desired direction. In this blog I will outline … Continue reading