Category Archives: Conflict Management

Speechless……………………………..

This is one of those posts that directly relates to something personal. So, have you ever had one of those days in which nothing can go right? Well guess what…. It has been two days now, and the spiral continues downward.

 

The back story is this: Men, learn to pick and choose your battles. The more you try to fix it, the worse it gets. There is no winning. I found a quote that says, “A woman has the last word in an argument. Anything a man says after that is the start of a new argument.” The best advice I can give you is to walk away, and don’t keep running your mouth. It doesn’t just make things bad, it escalates from something you can talk about later to pure unadulterated hatred. It is like throwing a 5000 gallon tank of gasoline on a small camp fire….. i.e. BAD DECISION!!!!!!!!

 

In my case, there is no excuse. I just simply messed up. I kept on talking when I should have just walked away. Sometimes you just have to take the beating. There is nothing you can say or do. You are not going to be right, even when you are right. You can do everything perfect, and it doesn’t matter. In my case, I cleaned the house so she could just relax today. Did it help? Probably…..Instead, this morning I wanted to talk and that was just not acceptable (especially since it was her only day off this week). By our own natural instincts, men want to fix things, but when it comes to woman,  it takes time. Men have an off and on button. We can just let things go with in the next 10 minutes if we just talk about it. Women do not work that way at all. They will bring up anything and everything to hurt you because they are hurting at that moment. It doesn’t make it right, and most of it is said in emotion. Stef has told me on more than one occasion to just walk away.  You would think I learned my lesson.

 

In the end, just admit you are wrong, Lord knows I put two feet, a trunk, and a wheelbarrow in my mouth. Always talk with love and compassion about an issue that is bothering you. I have to admit, it is a tough line to walk. If I am wrong I have no issues apologizing. So guess what….. I am sorry for not using good judgement, common sense, and rational behavior. Instead, I used poor judgement, talked like an ape, and looked like a piece a crap.

 

I will leave you with a quote from Clifford Adams, “Silence is never more golden than when a quarrel is brewing.”

 

As always, thank you honey for loving me, being patient, and showing restraint. I am a better man because of you. I love you.

 

 

 

 

 


Conflict Resolution or Conflict Management?

Let’s be honest, most people are afraid of conflict. The do not like the uneasy feeling that comes over them. They do not want to ruffle feathers or cause the other person to explode. Some people actually have to walk a very fine line to make sure their spouse does not flip out. People do just enough to move on to another day, and they never address the root of the issue. This is true in relationships, work environments, or war. Instead of resolving conflict, they chose to manage it by balancing beliefs, sanity, and self-control. It is not an easy thing to do, and it can take a toll on you.

What is conflict? The Coalition Foundation (2015) defines conflict as a “struggle or contest between people with opposing need, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals.”  Conflict results because there is some form of miscommunication between people with regards to opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. I think we all would agree, the biggest and most frustrating problem with conflict is miscommunication. We are stuck to our cell phones and emails more than ever, and it is extremely easy to be a “telephone tough guy” and say things that are condescending and degrading. In reality, text and emails have no voice. It is left to the reader to predict how the other person said what they sent. In their head, they think they know the tone of the writer, which couldn’t be further than the truth. I know I am guilty of this myself. However, when we talk face to face, the confrontation is greatly decreased because the tone is nothing like we thought.

The University of Peace (2005) defines conflict management as the effort to prevent the escalation of violence and its negative effects on conflict. USAID, “Training of Trainers Manual,” outlines several issues managers of conflict need to understand in order to properly implement conflict management principals. First, it is important to understand the underlying issues of the conflict. This provides direction and understanding for the stakeholders involved. In this context, it is necessary to examine the cultural background and experiences of the stakeholders to ensure neutrality. Second, there are different types of relationships which could occur during the process. Questions such as: Is there a connection? What type of alliance is there? What is the direction of power or influence? Are there broken relationships? Is there discord and why? In most conflicts power is the single most important element because it affects the dynamics of the relationships or conflict the most, and to successfully analyze and provide solutions, practitioners need to understand uses of power because it can be confusing.

In contrast, Miller and King (2005) define conflict management as an “interventionist effort to prevent conflict and violence,” while providing no structured method to resolve conflict. Instead, resolving conflict requires a flexible approach to finding a resolution to problems. Conflict management does not hold that all conflicts can be resolved. Instead, conflict management focuses on decreasing the level of non-productivity. This can be accomplished by having the skills needed to navigate into conflict resolution, including self-awareness about the conflict modes, understanding a variety of communications skills, and by establishing some form of structure to manage the conflict. Spangler (2003) believes conflict management is the control of deep-rooted conflict and resolution is possible if the right tools are applied. However, conflict management requires engaging in a manner that is “more constructive and less destructive.” The ultimate goal for any conflict is to intervene in such a way that makes the ongoing conflict “more beneficial and less damaging.” Best (2005) further believes conflict management is the process of reducing negativity through a variety of measures.

 

What does this mean?  Is managing conflict or resolving the conflict the right process for you and your circumstance. If you are in a relationship /marriage, I would highly suggest to pick and choose your battles. In my professional opinion, you must always be completely honest, and never speak out of emotion.  Conflict resolution is a must for major issues affecting the dynamics of the relationship and both parties’ feelings. Leave managing conflict for smaller items. While the ultimate goal is a win-win solution, the reality is it will not always occur.

 

In the end, there is no easy way to handle conflicts. Both parties’ must be willing to engage constructively. In relationships, both persons need to engage without emotion by setting boundaries. Some items may need to be tabled, so each person has time to think about things, then reengage at a later time. Ultimately, everyone wants to come away feeling like they had a hand in the decision making process.

 

 

 


Why? / How?

Life is a tough road, so when it seems to be falling apart we tend to ask ourselves why me? There ups and down, personal challenges, adversity, family and professional issues, relationships, health concerns, and financial issues. Now add terminal illness, losing a job or loved one, and the weight can be too heavy for some.

There is a problem with asking why and how. On one hand, if you are like me, I seek answers through questions. I try to find understanding, direction, and resolution with these words. When things are going bad, I can usually find the cause or root of the situation by asking myself why or how. They provide a roadmap for what has happened. I am able to find clarity by tracing my foot steps and the events that led up to the current situation. On the other hand, it can be seen as a form of interrogation. I am a firm believer if you have nothing to hide, then these are simple questions. Others believe there is no need to ask questions if you fully trust the other person. Find the reassurance you need, and move forward by providing what the other needs respectfully. A solution produced by both people are equally rewarding.

How ands why can help you find direction and resolution as it prevents mistake from happening again. It narrows your focus and minimizes distractions that could lead you down that road again. I have probably made more mistakes than most during my life. When I asked myself why and how, I was able to change the behaviors rapidly. I finally understood what was going on and why. Moreover, I was able to finally be the man I always wanted to be. I didn’t blame anyone else for my misfortune. I took responsibility for my actions and made drastic changes. This occurred in two instances: improving the kind of person I was and financially.

What most people forget when things go bad is they usually could have prevented what just occurred. We can control most of the things in our lives, but we still make bad choices and bad decisions. We learn from our mistakes in most cases, but there is a small handful of people that continue the vicious cycle because they lack the motivation to change. You cannot dwell or beat yourself up about things you cannot control, i.e. loss of a loved one or terminal illness. This is easier said than done I know. I lost my Grandmother and my best friend within 3 months of each other.

In the end, why and how are powerful questions. They can provide you with options, understanding, and freedom. Do not use them as an interrogation tool, rather for understanding and clarity. You may need to reword what you are asking when talking to a loved one. Always seek to be better than the day before. Always seek to love better than the day before.


Why Are We Here?

We are here because we chose to be here. We are here because we saw something good, pure, and honest. We are here because we chose to be together when we could have went our separate ways. We are here because we believe in each other, we support each other, and we love each other. We are here because we are a team. We are here because we believe no one could love us better. We are here because we are each other’s everything.

 

There is conflict all around us in every aspect of life. Every choice, decision, and action has consequences. The way we listen to the others concerns, and respond to their concerns can either bring you closer or widen the distance. You should want to know why the person feels the way they do, and take steps to make them feel more secure. Getting angry, belittling, or calling names is not the answer. It has the opposite effect.

 

Communication is critical because you have to make sure you are both on the same page. Your goals need to be aligned. Set 1, 3, and 5 year bench marks and make sure you revisit those goals often. Pay off your debt as a team. While you see the world from two different lenses, coming together as one to resolve issues breeds happiness and self-worth as stake holders in the bigger picture. It is not about you, it is about the other person. Compromising doesn’t mean you have given in to the other person. It means together you have created a win-win solution, meeting the needs for all parties involved. Moreover, it is about putting aside your pride, being humble, always being completely honest, and empathetic. The result are feelings of security, happiness, peace, satisfaction, and inspiration (Blackburn, n.d).

 

Relationships and marriages take work, but the rewards for your efforts are priceless. Positivity breeds positive thoughts, emotions, feelings, and a renewed since of being. Do not take each other for granted. Speak often about your feelings for one another. In the end, “Live, Love, & Laugh”.

 

 


Making the Most of Today

Today is a new day. The reset button has been hit just for you. No matter what the day before brought you, today is a fresh start. Today should bring you clarity, hope, and vision. Let go of yesterday, push forward, forgive one another, and love with all your heart. Holding on to the past brings resentment, anger in some cases, and negativity. Flip the switch, move forward and “live, laugh, and love” with the person in your life who will go through hell and back with you. In the end, they are the only one who truly loves you and whom you can trust. They are your rock.  Let them know how much you appreciate them,  and how much you love them.  It is a fresh start, a clean slate, so make the most of today and your life with them.


Growth and Criticism

Life is nothing more than a series of choices, and it is from those choices that we drive our experiences. Good or bad, those choices have a huge impact not only on ourselves, but those around us. The last four months of my life have been incredible. Though personal hardship was a part of the process, it has reshaped me as a person. I finally found myself, and I am focused, proud of who I have become, proud of my accomplishments, proud to be a mentor, and most importantly proud of my personal relationships with family and friends. I truly appreciate the simple things in life and I work to live, not live to work.

 

We each live our lives from different perspectives, and no one will ever understand the decisions you made because they are not you. In an article written by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields, The Minimalist, titled,  “Fake Outrage: Dealing with Criticism,” they address our reactions to others criticism. They term these people as “keyboard mercenaries” because those who criticize are often the very ones who are reflecting nothing more than their own insecurities because they have been rejected or offended in some way. No one is perfect, and no one is immune from criticism.  Allowing people to offend us is a natural process, but it is one that is not needed. Instead, walk away because it doesn’t matter. When you are doing the right things, people are going to criticize you. Stay motivated, focused, and moving forward.


Relationships

Relationships have many faces. They can be fun, exciting, kind, loving, and passionate, but they can also be destructive. Lying, cheating, back stabbing, and no emotional, psychological, or physical support, can lead a relationship down a path of destruction. So when do you let go? When do you finally say, I can no longer do this because I deserve better.

 

As you know, a couple of months ago I found myself at a crossroad in my life. I could continue on the course I was on, or I could turn the corner and be all I knew I could be as a man. It was time to grow up, always do the right thing, live my life by the values my parents brought me up on, and be proud of who I am. Relationships are the same way. Give all you can each and every day. Love with all your heart, and never take the other person for granted. ALWAYS be honest no matter the pain it will cause, because lying in any form builds distrust, and it causes far more pain than just being honest. A relationship will not work if only one of you is being honest. It will not work if you are not forgiving each other for past mistakes, and it will not work if you cannot commit and understand each others needs.

 

Never leave a relationship because of another person. You decided to enter a relationship with this person for some reason. Your time is valuable and so is theirs, so make every minute worth both of your time. In the end, if it fails, you both gave it all you could, and you tried with all your heart to make it work. However, do not give up when times get tough. Nothing worth having is easy. There will be times you will not agree. Open and honest communication is the key to finding resolution in any situation and / or conflict.

 

If the person you are with is not meeting your needs, move on. Sometimes they make the decision for you based on their behavior. What I have found is that I am a fighter. We all make mistakes, but the problem arises when you do not correct the self destructive behavior. It is disrespectful to the other person in the relationship who is giving you all they have in everyway possible, yet you are unwilling to hold up your part. What makes it worse is when they look you in the eyes, and they say they understand, and yet they continue to lie. It is cowardly and unacceptable behavior. If you want to be a good person, then be one. If you want to truly change, then change. If you want someone to love you with every fiber of their being, then reciprocate that love in a manner fitting to deserve that same kind of love in return.

 

In the end, relationships only work when you both are willing to give 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. There are no breaks, no down time, and no, I just don’t feel like it today. They take work and commitment every single day. Both of you deserve reassurance from time to time, especially when you are having a tough day. The strongest relationships last because no matter the setting or the circumstance, the other person is all that matters. The selflessness of completely giving all of your self to someone, and showing them your vulnerability, is priceless. No matter who is around you or who is in a room, there is nothing more beautiful or handsome than your significant other. You find yourself falling in love with them all over again. When you ache to be with that person, no matter the circumstance, you will know without a doubt that is the person for you. This is especially true as the newness goes away, and the weeks become years. Relationships are an incredible thing, enjoy the journey and the process, just be respectful, open, and honest about your feelings.


%d bloggers like this: