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  • There’s plenty of tension, some days, in the workplace over things such as deadlines and teams and managements and pay. But there’s often another outside source of tension that can create an unwelcome dynamic in the office: touchy subjects.

    Those touchy subjects—and our opinions of them—are wide and broad, everything from sports to religion, politics, and sex. And because many of us work together and are connected on social media, we may know more about the inner workings of our co-workers emotions and beliefs than we ever did before. And that oversharing—online and then in the office—can lead to tension or outright anger.

    That’s not to say that discussions like this cannot be productive—they can be, of course. But they can quickly escalate, which is why it’s important to have coping strategies that help you navigate those. What can you do? This graphic can help.

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  • Our radio program series for September is titled, Courageous Conversations on tough issues between parents and their children regardless of the child’s age. The parent-child relationship can be difficult to navigate both from the parent and child’s perspective. As a parent, you nurture and care for your little babies then watch as they grow and change into adults. As a child, you view your parents as authority figures turning to them for advice and guidance. As your parents get older, your roles reverse, and now they need your guidance and support as adult children. During your life cycle, a myriad of conflicts occur from eating vegetables to breaking curfew or differences of a career path to difficult decisions about whether to put your parent in a nursing home.

    I am a child of two wonderful parents, who have always shown me support and love. However, we did and still do have our conflicts. I think when I was a child I was under the impression my parents were perfect people. Once adolescence hit my relationship with my parents changed; blame it on the hormones or on my need to prove that I was an adult. Either way, I fought with my parents, my dad more so than my mom. I know there are many teens out there whose parents get on their nerves. Many teens may find themselves wishing time to speed up so that they can be an adult and not have to listen to their parents anymore. Two weeks from now, I will be getting married, and I often wonder where the time went? I find it aggravating that ten years ago when I was sixteen and my parents said “Enjoy your childhood while it lasts because you will blink your eyes, and it will be gone” they were right.

    I wanted to write this week’s blog post for teens who find themselves in a constant battle with their parents. I have prepared a short list of points teenagers need to be aware when they get into these conflicts.

    • Let go. If you are harboring resentment towards your parents about something they did or didn’t do in the past, understand your parents are human and make mistakes. When we are born we don’t come with handbooks and your parents are doing the best they can.
    • Understand your parent’s intention. If your parents don’t let you wear certain outfits or stay out longer past your curfew, remember they have your best interest at heart. They are not trying to ruin your life, despite how it may seem.
    • Mamma and Papa know best. If you think you are an adult and capable of making your choices, understand that with age comes wisdom and despite how grown up you feel, you are still a child. My fiancé and I were looking at pictures of us as children, and we found one of him when he was twelve. He had put “sun-in” in his hair, which was a popular fad during this time of our lives. Sun-In was a hair product that would bleach the top of your head blonde. My fiancé told me how much his parents had not wanted him to use Sun-in and looking back now he said he completely understood why they were so opposed. However, when he was twelve, he thought he knew best.

    I hate admitting this, but my parents were right more times than they were wrong. When in conflict with your parents remember they are adapting to you changing and growing into an adult, this isn’t an easy adjustment. While conflict with your parents is inevitable keep the points listed above in mind, and remember you will survive!

    Our September series is covering a variety of difficult conversations between parents and child.

    Abigail Clark M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

    Guest Blogger

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  • Behave Reminder for Young Person in Red Sneakers about to make a Step and Join the Party, Top View.

    Quick Tips

    • Identify what triggers negative reactions for you.
    • Identify your intention.
    • Focus on changing some of your specific behaviors.

    How do I make my intentions to be conflict competent a reality?

    Intention rescue.

    Have you made a commitment to hone your conflict resolution skills this year? Are you struggling, even feeling like a failure?   Let me give you a “rescue remedy” for bringing your good intentions to fruition.

    Identify your triggers.

    If a specific statement, action or person creates a conflict response, know this about yourself.  Be aware of what triggers a negative reaction in you.

    Ask some questions.

    Think about a situation or a person which triggers a conflict or negative response for you.  Ask yourself:

    • How do I want to be in this situation?
    • What are the values and beliefs I want to uphold in this situation? Example: “I want to be confident and strong.”

    Make a commitment to your intention.

    Write on card, “I am willing to practice being ___ (value or belief around this situation or person)

    Example:  I am willing to practice being forgiving.

    This act of willingness says a lot about your commitment.

    Translate commitment to behavior.

    Identify the behavior(s) necessary to meet the commitment.

    Example:  I might ask myself, “How do I be forgiving?” 

    Then I look at the behavioral responses I personally have to change in order to be forgiving in this situation:

    • Listening with understanding.
    • Not getting defensive.

    If you find it difficult to identify behaviors to support your intentions, think of what you are not doing when you are not supporting your intentions.

    Example:  When I am not being forgiving….

    • I don’t care what the other person has to say.
    • I interrupt when he or she speaks.
    • I use a terse tone of voice.

    Get a mentor.

    Pick a trusted friend, colleague or coach to give you feedback about how well you are doing in changing behavior.  Have them observe you in the situation and give feedback in the moment or shortly afterward.

    Your Assignment

    In my Texas Conflict Coach® podcast, I suggested an assignment to help make your intentions a reality:

    • Write your intention statement down in the next 24 hours. “I am willing to practice ___.”
    • Identify the behavior changes you need to make in order to make your intention a reality.
    • Practice the behavior changes and get feedback from a trusted mentor.

    To learn more about this topic, listen to the entire episode GOOD INTENTIONS OFTEN PAVE A PATHWAY OF GOLD…TO HELL

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