Archive for February, 2009


Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Keep you voice volume low.  You don’t want to appear as if you are angry or shouting when having a confrontation or dealing with difficult person, so keep it low…. and a little too low is perfectly acceptable.

When your voice is quite low, people actually listen more closely.  Use this to your advantage and be sure that you aren’t yelling, speaking in a louder than normal voice, or even the voice that has the “edge” to it.  Speak very softly.

It works!


Monday, February 16th, 2009

For the past several weeks we’ve been discussing the different stages of conflict and what to do in each stage.  The second (and most critical stage) is “More Significant Challenges.”  As we know from previous tips, there are important steps to follow at each stage.  For this stage, it is important that you do have a conversation or confrontation about this issue (before it becomes a stage three issue).

This stage of conflict is all about competition.  Someone feels the need to win (well, you both do actually) and that winning seems to imply that someone should lose (which doesn’t necessarily need to happen).  Control, saving face or reputation is important and participants certainly participate in the CYA approach to conflict – which means a lot of the talking happens on email (don’t use email PLEASE!).  This level is hostile, but typically not dangerous (until it starts to progress to level three).

Solutions?  Say something.  Keep it black and white, focused on one issue and don’t bring others into it.  Stay away from sarcasm, public jabs or responses. Make an appointment with your difficult person to see if you can find that middle ground.  Be sure to read some of other tips already published on what to do, or (better yet), attend our next teleseminar on Confrontation Skills on April 16th, at 2:00pm EST.  Only $99 per dial in line (where can you buy such inexpensive and good training?).

Everyday Concerns

Monday, February 9th, 2009

As mentioned in our last tip,, there are three stages of conflict in any difficult relationship.  The first stage is called “Everyday Concerns and Disputes” (or Stage 1).  This stages covers those day-to-day irritations that we all experience.  For the most part, we ignore them.  However, they could contine to build  and create tension and potentially escalate to Stage 2 or 3 with time.

To avoid having these simple Stage 1 annoyances create a bigger problem down the road, a well-timed comment or request is often all that is needed.  If it bothers  you that someone in the office is constantly leaving the kitchen a mess, perhaps all that is required is a note in the kitchen, a comment at a meeting, or a conversation with the person responsible for the mess.  A conversation is much easier than a confrontation.

Don’t address every annoyance, but those that you see starting to “get on that one nerve” left.  Deal with it early and hopefully you won’t need a confrontation in the future.

The Fight!

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

There are three stages of conflict in any difficult relationship.  The final stage is known as “The Fight is On!” (or Stage 3).  If you, or your difficult person, perceives your conflict to be in the final stage, it is important to realize that a calm, cool and logical discussion will not work.  The other person (or you) are far too emotional to participate in a calm, cool and logical manner.  Intervention, arbitration or an impartial third person will be required.

Don’t hesitate to suggest that a third person join your discussion.  If you are truly interested in getting through this conflict, it is necessary to have that impartial voice in the conversation.  Keep your job, keep your relationships and keep your reputation and invite someone if that is needed.  Don’t let pride or stubbornness get in the way.

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