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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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The cornerstone of our personality, our mental attitude, shows up as the general flavour of our thoughts.

by Rick Baker
On Jun 24, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

We can choose from 3 mental-attitude flavours: Positivity, Negativity, & Indifference.

Positivity is the best flavour...a rich flavour in many ways.

Negativity can be hard to swallow...but, at least, it gives you something to argue against.

Indifference - so bland it's not worth writing about.

 

 

 

We are too tolerant of conflict!

by Rick Baker
On May 29, 2017

Are you better off following prescribed step-by-step conflict resolution processes designed by 'the experts' or drawing on your innate talents to resolve conflicts? Perhaps, for some people, there is merit in using someone else's detailed approach. However, how often have you seen that work in real life situations?

We should draw on our innate talents to resolve conflicts.

I have never seen canned processes for conflict resolution work in real life situation. We cannot be someone else so what would cause us to think we could use someone else's approach to conflict resolution? To the extent we find ourselves in situations of conflict we know we are at least partially responsible for our predicament [if not fully responsible]. We didn't follow someone else's steps when we walked our way into the conflict situation...so, we should not expect to be able to follow someone else's logical steps to find our way out of the conflict situation.

Often, we find ourselves in situations of conflict because:

1. we lack self-confidence and, as a result of that, we behave either too timidly or too aggressively and

2. we are too lazy to figure out how to avoid conflict or nip conflict in the bud when we know it has commenced.

We are too tolerant of conflict.

Some people even promote conflict in the workplace because they view it as a good, healthy, and productive way to communicate, make decisions, and delegate tasks.

That's interesting in many negative directions!

The results conflict promoters achieve at their businesses prove it is a high-risk-low-reward strategy. If that strategy ever worked it certainly has fallen out of vogue in recent decades. For example, under our Bill 168, we want people to feel secure at work. I expect Abraham Maslow would have supported this approach.

The reality is, some people – mostly people lacking self-confidence - either enjoy conflict with others or see it as a necessary component of work [and possibly life]. What can we expect from these die-hard conflict consumers and conflict distributors? Certainly, we cannot expect them to buy into following someone else's prescribed steps for conflict resolution. These people cannot follow such steps because they lack the innate talents required to avoid or resolve conflict.

And, if people possess the innate talents required to resolve conflicts then they can and should find their own natural ways to avoid and resolve conflict.

Either way, there is no need for experts to prescribe conflict resolution processes. These prescribed processes do not work because people either cannot follow them or do not need to follow them.

People need to understand themselves, work continuously at building and maintaining their self-confidence levels, educate themselves about innate talents and interpersonal interactions, and exercise self-control. These are the routes that lead to conflict avoidance and conflict resolution.

Anxiety is in our genes...it is the legacy of fight or flight, which allowed our ancestors to bring us us.

by Rick Baker
On May 17, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Anxiety: be present, don't fret over it, observe it in real time, & learn what it takes to control it if it gets out of hand.

In right-sized doses, anxiety energizes and hones focus.

In too-large doses, anxiety becomes a demon and destroys quality of life.

Criticism, Adrenalin Spikes & Improving Relationships

by Rick Baker
On May 15, 2017

Some people naturally repulse criticism. These people may show outward signs of their repulsion. These people may not show outward signs, or their repulsion may hide so well it would take a professional observer to notice it. Regardless, internally, these people churn in reaction to criticism. For these people - even small, innocuous pieces of feedback can trigger intense internal reactions, floods of adrenalin – adrenalin spikes.

  1. Do you know people who show vehement reaction to tiny criticisms…people who have zero tolerance for incoming criticism?
  2. Do you know people who, at first, show no outward reaction to criticism then, later, strike excessive reactionary blows against the person who delivered the criticism?
  3. Do you know people who have the habit of claiming they are the victim of undue criticism?
  4. Do you know people who repulse criticism yet deliver it to others with gusto and righteousness?

These are four common reactions to criticism.

I have personally exhibited at least three of these four reactions to criticism…and, probably, many people would think I’m selling myself short by not admitting to all four.

Why?

Why would I have had such reactions to criticism?

Not having much knowledge of physiology or biology and only dabbling experience with psychology I answer that question this way:

  • When people criticized me, I experienced adrenalin spikes [or was that cortisol?]. I felt strong, churning, tightening sensations in the gut…quickly followed by combinations of anxiety and anger, often intense anger...then excessive negative thoughts and behaviour.
  • This reaction must have started when I was a very young child. I have no memory of reacting any other way to criticism [until the last decade, that is].
  • Perhaps, my criticism-repulsion was are due to genetics? Perhaps, my childhood environment? Perhaps, my early experiences with authority figures? I expect it was some combination of these things.

Here’s a curious thing. When you experience criticism-repulsion as a child you can be quite oblivious to other people. And, this can cause challenges…a large variety of interpersonal challenges. Left unattended, these interpersonal challenges can last a lifetime.

Here’s some good news. It is possible to gain self-understanding and create strategies to overcome the interpersonal challenges. The starting point, or at least one starting point, is recognition of the physiological changes that signal less-than-ideal reactions to criticism. People, perhaps most people, can alter their bad habits [including adrenalin spikes] if they choose to make the changes and do the work required.

 

PS: Perhaps, the people who experience the criticism-repulsion I have described are most capable of identifying it in other people? ... and helping others?  

If you want to teach someone, first find out what they believe they already know.

by Rick Baker
On May 2, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Far too often, we jump into teaching.

Far too often, we assume others do not know what we know. 

Far too often, we conclude others are doing things poorly or incorrectly because they don't know what we know.

More often than not, we waste time and 'make work' when we assume and conclude others don't know what we know.

We can remedy this by asking simple questions before we give instructions and lessons.

 

What mental-attitude flavour do you choose: Positivity, Negativity, or Indifference?

by Rick Baker
On May 1, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

The cornerstone of our personality, our mental attitude, shows up as the general flavour of our thoughts...as illustrated in our actions/behaviour.

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