Causes of conflict!

115/365: Anger Management Style #1
Causes of conflict - 115/365: Anger Management Style #1 (Photo credit: by Janine)
What are the causes of conflict? It is too late to think of the cause if you are already in a conflict. The best time to think of the causes of conflict is during peacetime so to speak. 

How many times have you made the same mistake repeatedly and triggered the causes of conflict? 

Given below are the common causes of conflict:

  • Mind reading – you assume negative things the other person is thinking about you and feel angry.
  • You are so self-centered that you fail to consider other person’s needs.
  • You are carrying a heavy baggage of hurts, insults, and suspicions.
  • Your Leadership and management styles are authoritarian.
  • Your Leadership and management styles do not leave any room for listening.
  • You are taking relationships for granted.
  • You are under tremendous stress, or you are unable to spot the stress in others.
  • You have a suboptimal Leadership and management styles.
  • You have poor conflict resolution skills.
  • Your empathy is so low that you are unable to put yourself in other’s shoes.
  • You have differences in values with others, and you are not even aware of it.
  • Your goals are misaligned with others, and you are pulling in different directions.
  • You have an inbuilt prejudice that you are not even aware of, and it is affecting your relationship with certain kinds of people repeatedly. 
  • You have very poor listening skills and most of the time you are not registering in what others say.
  • You are very selfish, and you are concerned only of your needs and wants.
These are some of the main causes of conflict. A lot of it has to do with your personality and some of it has to do with your Leadership and management styles.

The bad news is that you will find it difficult to change as these are hardened habits of behavior. However, the good news is that you can change if you are determined and work hard.

The first step you can take is to increase your awareness of these causes of conflict and resolve to remove the causes one by one. 

It will also be a good idea to go for some excellent training programs where they teach you leadership management styles that are based on sound leadership and management values.
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Communication strategy in a conflict-making the first move!

Two-way communication
Communication strategy - Two-way communication (Photo credit: @boetter)

Conflicts are a common place in modern day to day living. When was the last time you had a conflict and what was your communication strategy to resolve it? 

There are typical ways people react when they are in a conflict -read through the list while checking how many of these approaches you follow in handling conflict.

Strategy variations in handling conflicts are:
  • Withdrawal
  • Feeling sorry for yourself
  • Blaming yourself
  • Labeling yourself as a failure
  • Labeling others
  • Silent treatment
  • Mind reading
  • Shunning away from resolving the conflict
  • Passing sarcastic remarks
  • Attacking the other person at every opportunity
  • Planning and setting a trap
  • Complaining
  • Gossiping about the person you are in conflict with
  • Self-pity
  • Depression
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Indulging in fear
  • Open transparent two-way communication
The list can go on and on. Create your own list of behaviors that you use to cope with conflict. 

If you look at the list above, you will see that most of the strategies for dealing with a conflict move away from communication even though communication is the key to resolving conflict.

Conflicts can be resolved through open communication. You have to think through a communication strategy before you attempt to resolve the conflict. The biggest dilemma you will experience is the million dollars question “Who will make the first move?” The greatest temptation is to postpone resolving the conflict and hope things will get better. Conflicts rarely solve itself and there are great benefits if you make the first move to resolve the conflict.

The benefits are the following:
  • You will feel better because you are taking some action
  • Further conflicts will not pile up over the current one
  • You will have a great chance to diffuse the tension
  • You will be able to maintain the relationship and perhaps even grow it
  • You will get peace of mind
  • You will be in the driver’s seat
Your communication strategy should always be to be the first one to take the step to resolve the conflict. 

Even if you follow this one strategy you will end up resolving much more conflicts than others, and you will be at peace. 

Look back at all the conflicts you have had and how many of them, you took charge to resolve the conflict?

Commit today that in all conflicts in the future you will make the first move to resolve them.
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Resolving conflict through communication.

Communication (Photo credit: DailyPic)
Conflict situations constantly occur day in and day out. Think about the last conflict you were involved in. How did it go? Do you handle the conflict situations well? 

Communication is the key to resolve conflicts; however, conflict situations will lead to communication breakdown. Have you ever withdrawn from a person after a conflict? Withdrawing from a person after having a conflict and stopping all communications with that person is a common way people handle conflict. This is called thesilent treatment strategy, and it is one of the most destructive strategies you can adopt in a conflict situations.

There are consequences if you use the silent strategy to cope with a conflict situations. 

The consequences are given below:
  • Communication with that person you are in conflict with will come to a complete halt.
  • Relationship will begin to deteriorate.
  • Stress levels will run high when you meet that person, and this is more so if that person is a loved one.
  • There is danger of further conflicts occurring and piling up over the first conflict.
  • Conflict may reach to the point of no return and one more conflict may be the “last straw on the camel’s back.”
What must you do for resolving conflict? The first step is to resist the urge to adopt the “silent treatment” strategy. 

Here are some very powerful steps for resolving conflict:

  • Resolve to start the process of communication at an appropriate time.
  • Tell the person that he or she is very important for you and you are sorry that there is a conflict situation between him /her and you.
  • Acknowledge the feelings on both sides.
  • Tell the person that resolving conflict is very important for you.
  • Establish some ground rules for resolving conflict: there will be mutual respect, empathic listening and a win-win approach from both the sides.
  • Put all the elements and facts about the conflict on the table
  • Look at the conflict from the same side of the table and end up resolving conflict to the full satisfaction of that person and you.
As you can see communication is the key to resolve conflict. Get into the habit of establishing communication with the person you have had a conflict with at the earliest.

What do you think of this post? Please share it with others.

Are you the change agent in your life?

Rolê em Vila Velha - Praia de Itapoã
Are you the change agent in your life? - Rolê em Vila Velha - Praia de Itapoã (Photo credit: Lia Scarton Carreira)
You are living in turbulent times just like all of us are. The amount of change you are experience in your work as well as your personal life is much greater than what your ancestors might have experienced. 
Hence change management is not just for organizations; it is also for you and your family too. Change management is one of the most important skills you need to do day in day out. 
It is very vital that you add the role of a change agent to all other roles you are playing. The role of a change agent is a very important role, and a role that you will have to play throughout your life.
The definition of a change agent: Change agent is a person who will facilitate the change within an organization or a team. 

Applying this definition to your life you need to find out who is in charge of change management in your life?

Who is the change agent in your life? Have you ever thought about this very important subject? Many people have consciously or unconsciously abdicated this role to others.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to ensure effective change management in your life:
  • Are you aware of the concept of change management?
  • Who is the change agent in your life?
  • Who are the people who are calling the shots in your life?
  • How many times have you played the role of a change agent in your life?

Playing the role of a change agent means that you are taking charge of your life and being responsible for all aspects of your life. It is one of the most important roles you will ever play.

Here is an exercise for you to do after you read this post. 

Take an inventory of all the events that have brought about major changes in your life and make a detailed list of them. Ask yourself how many of these change events you actively participated as a change agent? You may be surprised at the results!

Take charge and be the change agent in your life! 
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Role model

Who is your Role Model?
Role model-Who is your Role Model? (Photo credit: MARUYAMA Takahiro)

A role model can lead you to success or failure. Have you ever paused and checked how many role models you follow? It is a very useful exercise. 

Before you read any further make a role model list of all the people who have influenced you silently. You must start from your earliest memory. 

Against each of the names, you have come up with write the influence he or she has had on you. Put a cross mark on all the people who have influenced you negatively.

Ask yourself the following questions:

How many of the people you listed do you follow as a role model?
  • Which role model has had the maximum impact on you?
  • Which role model has the most negative influence on you?
  • What are the impacts of each role model on your current behavior, aspirations and goals?
  • Which role model do you want to stop imitating?
  • Which role model do you want to start imitating more intensely?
Bad role model consequences:
  • Bad role model can create bad habits in you
  • Bad role model can destroy your self-esteem
  • Bad role model can have negative influence on you lifelong
  • Bad role model often works silently leading you to failure
Do a thorough analysis and you will be amazed at how many decisions you have taken in the past either consciously or unconsciously imitating role models. Don't let negative role models lead you to by lanes of failure.

This exercise will also alert you to be careful while imitating others in the future.

A role model is very essential for everyone. This is especially true if you have children. 

Ensure that your child is always having a role model that will inspire him or her to success.

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Competitive advantage

WAIKIKI, HI - NOVEMBER 12:  Panel member Johns...
Competitive Advantage (Image by Getty Images via @daylife)

Ten powerful tips for competitive advantage for your company. 

How do you get a competitive advantage and make the products and/or services of your company sell like hot cakes? You may be a head of a start up company or a seasoned CEO of a large company wanting to create breakthrough products that will bring a lot of revenue for your company. 

There is a way to nurture and evolve your product to the point that it gets a mind of its own and grows in sales exponentially. An example of such a product is Facebook. In this highly changing global environment the half-life of your competitive advantage is very short.
Here are some tips that will get you started and help you to maintain and increase your competitive advantage :
  1. Acknowledge that your product can be improved in different ways
  2. Listen to your customer for clues of the kind of value addition they are looking for
  3. If it is a new product, allow at least six months to one year for the concept of the product to evolve
  4. Be aware of the product and scan the environment constantly
  5. Capture all the ideas with respect to the product-good, bad, and brilliant
  6. Piggy back on others invention
  7. Whenever you come across a new idea, an invention, or a market immediately try to correlate it to your product
  8. Nurture, modify and finalize the product after preset attempts
  9. Trust your intuition to tell you when your product is ready for the launch or the redesign
  10. Take these steps and give yourself sufficient time to evolve the product into something your competitor will find it very difficult to emulate.
The same steps can be applied to a service offering.

I would recommend a training program to start you on this journey and get you quick results.

You can get the training program here:

Start applying this to a select number of products in your company, and you will find that your competitive advantage soaring high. 

This approach should become a part of your long term strategy to develop and maintain your competitive advantage.
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Conflict avoidance with loved ones.

Conflict avoidance with loved ones.

Do you frequently get into conflict situations with your loved ones? If your answer is affirmative, then you need to take stock of what is happening. While it is good to bring out differences in the open and resolve conflict situations, it is also necessary to strive for conflict avoidance

Conflict avoidance means those conflict situations that arise because of your negligence and carelessness

Here are some typical examples of negligence: 

  • Forgetting to cap the toothpaste 
  • Forgetting to say, “Good Morning” if that is your habit 
  • Not informing that you are coming home late 
  • Not keeping your promises 
  • Not listening when your spouse is talking to you 
  • Saying, “No” without thinking 

The list can go on. What you need to do is come up with a list like the one above. It is a good idea to keep a log book to note down all the triggers that precipitate conflict situations

After observing for a week or two you will be able to consolidate the main reasons for the conflict. This list of main reasons can be used for conflict avoidance.

Once you have an accurate list, you can begin to examine it carefully. Apply the Pareto Principle if the list is a long one.  What are the 20% of the causes that trigger 80% of the conflict situations? 

Choose three items from the prioritized list and begin to work upon them for conflict avoidance. 

You will very soon see the magic that begins to happen in terms of this strategy of conflict avoidance. 

Focused Attention: Twelve Powerful Tips for a laser focus.

Focused Attention: Twelve Powerful Tips for a laser focus.
Having a focused attention is difficult now-a-days, especially if you are working on a computer with Internet connectivity. It is easy to get tempted by millions of things you can do on the Internet and lose your focused attention.

The ability of people to have a laser focus is premium, and it is one skill that will be worthwhile for you to develop.

Here are some tips you can use right away to develop focused attention:
  1. Switch off the Internet while working on a computer
  2. Close your email while you are working on something
  3. Have in front of you two or three major things you want to accomplish before you start the day
  4. Unless it is an emergency be ruthless about your appointment with yourself
  5. Reward yourself after you accomplish every pre-determined project or task
  6. Set a goal to accomplish at least one pre-determined task every day
  7. Learn meditation and practice it
  8. Allot a specific time during the day for social networking and be ruthless about it
  9. Tell your friends, peers, and others that you are busy and can meet them only later
  10. Train the people around you to respect your “accomplishing time”
  11. Determine whose call you will take and whose calls you will ignore
  12. Avoid answering your cell phone at all cost
All these steps will help you to get that focused attention you will need to succeed in any area of life. Getting into the habit of having laser focus and maintaining it will give you a competitive advantage that is difficult to duplicate.

In all life's endeavours a habit that will give you success is the ability to get and maintain a laser focus. This is one skill that is not taught in schools, and you will have to develop it on your own.

Always monitor whether you are having that laser focus to attain your goals. Good Luck to you.

Human Resources - Twelve easy steps to get a dream job?

Human Resources - Twelve easy steps to get a dream job?
Are you bored with your current job or even your career? Whatever be your status, this post will set you thinking in the right direction and show you steps to get the dream job you want. 

The last place to seek help is your human resources department. While the human resources department is very useful for many other things, it is less helpful for finding you a dream job.

Every human resources department of every company is set to guide you based on the organization’s agendas around which it operates. Hence, your human resources department has its own limitations.

Let’s first define a dream job:

A dream job is one that will wake you up in the morning. It is a job you will be obsessed about. A dream job will make you work 24/7, and you will still feel fresh.

If you ask your human resources department for guidance, they will not have such a job for you. If they have, then you are lucky, and you need to grab it.

If you are bored with your job, then there is a good chance that it is not aligned to your vision of an ideal job.
The usual ways' people arrive at their jobs are given below:
  • Chance played a major role in their choice
  • They took a job their friends went after
  • Parental guidance led them to take their current job
  • They got locked into a job based on what they studied in college
  • They took the job solely for the money it offered
Well, the list can go on and on. About, 80% of your company’s employees would have landed their jobs based on above routes. This is the reason why your human resources department finds it so difficult to motivate employees and keep them motivated.
Given below are some steps you can take immediately to land yourself a dream job.
Here are the steps:
  1. Accept that, your job is boring and stop rationalizing about it
  2. Go to a quiet place and write for 5 minutes the kind of job that will excite you based on the definition given in  this post
  3. Be bold and challenge everything while you write about  your dream job
  4. Write about your dream job without any limitations in your mind
  5. Revisit what you have written after a day or two.
  6. Finalize the dream job write up after a week.
  7. Draw up an action plan for getting your dream job
  8. Consider re-skilling if necessary
  9. Determine a deadline for getting your dream job
  10. Network with people who are already in your dream job
  11. Land your dream job
  12. Celebrate
You may be able to get a your dream job quickly, or it may take you a few years depending on your situation. However, you will find that is not only the dream job that will excite you but also the very journey to reach your dream job that will be fulfilling.
Once you land your dream job then you can tell the human resources department the real reason you are quitting, which is boredom. Hopefully, you will set them thinking.

Get quick wins in every endeavour!

Get quick wins in every endeavour!
A quick wins mindset is very important if you want to demonstrate success to yourself or others. If you have a quick wins mindset then you will strive for it in every endeavour .
What are the advantages of a quick wins mindset? 

A quick win will: 

  • Build your confidence
  • Build trust rapidly 
  • Demonstrate that you are heading for success
  • Build your morale
  • Build your teams' morale
  • Lay a strong foundation for success
  • Will delight your customer
  • Will delight your boss

How do you develop a mindset that will help you to have a quick win every endeavour?

Here are some tips to get a mindset to develop quick win outcomes in every endeavour:

  1. Develop an affirmation, write it down and read it daily
  2. Search for opportunities in every endeavour for a immediate wins
  3. Before embarking on any outcome have a "quick win pause"
  4. Ask the quick win question in your team meetings-"Can we identify any rapid wins as we are developing a plan of action?"
  5. Develop a separate tracking mechanism to monitor progress
  6. Have a critique periodically and take course corrections
  7. Generate a  report of success and share it with your team and your boss
  8. Reward yourself for success in the endeavour
  9. Celebrate every accomplishment either alone or with your team
Developing  quick win habits, norms and culture are very important and every leader and manager should strive for them. Consistent effort in developing a quick win culture will crown every endeavour as a success. Go for quick wins from this moment.
I strongly recommend this audio set and the book!

Get it here: