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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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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.

Seeing the Big Picture & Drilling Down, into the Details

by Rick Baker
On May 25, 2017

Strategic Thinking & Attention to Details: for a business leader, what's the right balance between these two things?

Some business leaders think they can soar around at 50,000 feet, never having to touch the ground let alone drill down into details. Sooner or later they learn, it can be a very quick trip from 50,000 feet to crash and burn.

Some business leaders think their attention to detail is so excellent they feel they must share the details with their followers repeatedly, every day...for almost every task. Sooner or later, they choke the spirit out of their followers, business engines stall, and another business death spiral begins.

Some business leaders operate between the two extremes, without giving any of this much thought.

 ***

Q: For business leaders, what is the right balance between strategic thinking and attention to detail?

A: The right balance needs to be customized to fit each leader's natural talents and the strengths the leader has developed through years of practice. It is important to plan the best balance rather than take an unplanned approach, allowing actions to unfold as they will during the heat of the business battles. One way a leader can determine his or her best balance is to approach the topic from a perspective laced with Seek Simple philosophies, one of which is - Business Contains Only 3 Things: People, Processes, and Situations

As you plan your approach to balancing Strategic Thinking versus Attention to Details, make sure you cover the People side first. Then, when you know the People side is covered, move on to the Process side. Why? People are very inclined to over-trump Processes....one way or another.

Consider your talents and strengths: I mean, seek professional help to make sure you have an accurate understanding of your talents [as Gallup tells us - talents are our natural ways of thinking and behaving] and your strengths [things you can do with mastery]. Again, cover the People side first, then move on to the Process side.

Know yourself, especially know how to put your relationships to best use and know your strengths [or lack of strengths] in the area of influencing your followers.

Envision how you will balance your strategic-thinking work with your attention to detail work...then go do it...and excel!

***

 

Intrinsic Goals feel right...they inspire & they energize.

by Rick Baker
On May 21, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Intrinsic Goals envision life purpose, mastery of task, and self-actualization. Naturally, intrinsic goals align with talents and Strengths. And, in contrast to extrinsic goals, intrinsic goals tend to broaden rather than restrict experiences. 

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?  

Don't be fooled - only deliberate practice allows talents to master tasks.

by Rick Baker
On May 15, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Take Talent To Task: Take Task To Talent.

That's a lot better than taking weakness to tasks and taking tasks to people who are not capable of doing the tasks well.

And, it's a lot better than guessing and winging it at work.

Tags:

STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success | Thought Tweets

Organized people get work done; disorganized people get work repeated.

by Rick Baker
On May 12, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Disorganization = more errors = more fixing of errors = repeated work.

And, of course, disorganization consumes time and generates stresses and anxieties.

Have you noticed - Disorganized people are the ones who complain most about being overworked!

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