say no

When we say no nicely it actually stops destructive conflict. Yet so often we say yes when we know that no is the right answer. Why we say yes when we should say no Sometimes we don’t say no because we fear upsetting others. We say yes without thinking it through. We get in the…

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Conversations not confrontations

Conversations not Confrontations was designed in response to a request from an organisation after a mediation. The employees involved found the way the organisation had managed their differences had exacerbated the issues. They asked me to tell management that the “conversations not confrontations” approach of mediation was much better. I talked with the CEO and…

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anticipation early resolution

Early resolution of disputes, disagreements and performance issues saves time, trouble and money.  There are many issues that people tolerate, hoping they will get better: a demanding boss, irritating colleague, battling boards, disagreeing directors or silent obstruction. Delaying a decision is making a decision to ignore the issue at least temporarily (More on this topic). …

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Sign warning that we will not tolerate physical or verbal abuse

What are difficult customer complaints? All complaints hurt, especially when you care deeply about your business or organisation. The more you care, the more painful it is. When we are hurt, the natural reaction is to either hit back or run away. Both will make things worse in the long run. And when customers’ behaviour…

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Caring for elderly parents may bring a family together or tear them apart. As life expectancy grows, people in their 60s and 70s are still caring for parents, despite their own declining health.  People work for much longer now, often providing childcare for their grandchildren. Tiredness, ill health and family arguments add to the stress.…

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manage annoyances well

I’ve written before about how random acts of kindness can make a huge difference to others and boost your own happiness. In this blog, I’ll write about how little things can cause big problems. Like a dropped match that lights a wildfire, small irritations, if not addressed, can flare into major confrontations. Manage annoyances well…

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Making Difficult Conversations Easier Most people would prefer me to write about getting rid of the need for awkward discussions, rather than about making difficult conversations easier.  This is no more possible than waving a magic wand and get rid of all the ice and snow in winter. However, just as we can lessen the…

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Sandpaper People

Have you ever had a personality clash with someone? When just the sight of them starts you prickling? What can you do if it is someone you have to interact with? This might be at work, or socially because they are relatives or friends. A personality clash can really disrupt your life and impact on…

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difficult people the grinch

I’m often asked how to manage difficult people, especially at this time of year, when we feel obliged to interact with people we normally avoid. If only life was like the story of the  Grinch who stole Christmas. via GIPHY With a bit of magic and a different viewpoint, horrible people could be transformed into lovely…

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A5 Get Your Story StraightNeighbour problems steal your sanity. They turn mild-mannered people into raging tigers.  Too often, minor issues become major ones and the problem escalates.  So how can we avoid getting caught up in disputes with our neighbours? What are the most common issues that cause neighbour problems? What can we do if problems…

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