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Turtle, Teddy Bear, Shark, Fox, or Owl?

How do you handle conflict?

Most of us use a variety of styles depending on the person, the situation and our stress level. How we deal with our spouse at home is likely to be different than how we deal with our boss in the workplace.

Here are some brief thoughts on the strengths and struggles of the 5 styles of dealing with conflict, adapted from Johnson, 1981.

11298wudax6u5mo1. The Turtle: Avoidance

The strength of this style is that this person can easily look past conflicts and realizes most conflicts will solve themselves. They are calm on the outside and help de-escalate emotions in conflict.

The struggle with this style is the tendency to minimize, deny, and avoid conflict altogether. Major conflict tends to grow worse when it isn’t addressed.

2. The Teddy Bear: Accommodation

The strength of this style is how likeable and lovable this person is in most situations. How could you be mad at them? They want and need harmony. They will accept blame just to bring peace to angry situations.

The struggle of this style is that a teddy bear may be taken advantage of, becoming a doormat. The can enable others by not allowing them to face and wrestle with conflict. Secretly, they tend to have a low self-esteem and use likability from others as a way to build their own self-confidence.

3. The Shark: Competition

The strength of this style is the ability to be strong, courageous, and bring a conflict out in the open quickly. A shark is a leader that can confront bullies.

The struggles are becoming too pushy, tactless, and hurting peoples’ feelings. Sharks can escalate emotions and create barriers easily.

4. The Fox: Compromise

Their strength is communication and a willingness to find win-win or lose-lose compromises. Often the fox is able to craft intelligent intermediate solutions.

The struggles are deceptiveness and manipulation. People may feel “outfoxed” and cheated by foxes.

5. The Owl: Collaboration

The strength of this style is integrity. Owls can build trust, respect and deeper relationship. They are not tied to their way and tend to have an open mind for pragmatic solutions that create a win-win experience.

The struggle is that owls must have two willing parties to collaborate. These parties must have high levels of communication skills and emotional intelligence. Some conflicts require quick solutions and this style may take too long.

Coaching points:

  1. How do you cope with conflict?  Are you a turtle, a teddy bear, a shark, a fox, or an owl?
  2. What strengths and struggles do you face in your conflict management style?
  3. How do your top 5 strengths from the Strength Finders 2.0 influence your conflict management style?

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to www.brentobannon.com and www.marriedtoyourboss.com.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On a Quest For Life Success

What’s your coping quotient?

When you experience overwhelming changes that knock you out of your routine, a multitude of frustrations that block your goals, infuriating conflicts that test your patience, and internal pressures that make you choke, you have experienced what psychologist call STRESS.

How do you cope with stress?

When I asked this question to a friend of mine, she said, “chocolate, shopping, and wine therapy.”

As fun as they seem, these strategies can be unhealthy in excess. We call it “indulging.” In moderation they are self-soothing strategies but in excess they cause obesity, debt, and addiction.

Here are some top healthy strategies to cope with stress:

1. Have a supportive family environment.

When you genuinely feel connected, unconditionally loved, heard, encouraged, and appreciated, then you have a safe place to fall back and recharge. Remember, just because you have a family doesn’t automatically create a supportive environment. If you can’t have a supportive biological family be sure and create a family of friends, co-workers, church, and community.

(Give yourself 10 points if you have a supportive family.)

2. Commit to bursts of physical activity for 30 minutes.

Exercise and physical activity are still one of the best ways to decrease stress. You increase cardio, deep breathing, and release tension in your muscles.

(Give yourself 5 points for each 30 minute burst of physical activity you get in an average week. Be honest!)


3. Stay at your ideal weight.

If you are more than five pounds over your ideal weight for your height and frame you are adding stress physically, mentally, and emotionally.

(Give yourself 15 points if you are within 5 pounds of your ideal weight.)

4. Relax deeply and consistently.

Being still and doing yoga, meditation, prayer and deep breathing have been shown to lower stress.

(Give yourself 15 points if you engage in some form of deep relaxation at least 3 times per week.)

5. Eat nutritionally balanced meals each day.

Starting with a healthy breakfast, eating low fat, and sampling from a variety of food groups strengthens the immune system, raises energy, and decreases stress.

(Give yourself 5 points for each nutritionally balanced meal you eat throughout the week.)

6. Drink alcohol in moderation.

Too much alcohol increases depression, slows metabolism, inhibits sound sleep, and is expensive.

(Subtract 5 points for each day that you drink more than two alcoholic beverages.)

7. Watch television wisely.

This also applies to surfing the Internet and playing on technology. Too much TV wastes time, increases sedentary behavior, and creates isolation, leading to more stress.

(Subtract 5 points if you watch more than 10 hours of TV per week.)

8. Give yourself something you enjoy.

This sounds contradictory yet there is great value in nurturing yourself weekly with something you truly enjoy.

(Give yourself 5 points if you do something weekly that is just for you.)

9. Relax in your favorite room or place at home.

Having a special room or safe haven in your home reduces stress.

(Give yourself 10 points if you have a special place at home where you can relax.)


10. Practice time management daily.

Planning your days and weeks, having a scheduling system, staying focused on your priorities and continuing to improve time management adds to productivity and decreases stress.

(Give yourself 10 points if you practice time management techniques in your daily life.)

11. Eliminate smoking cigarettes (or weed).

Smoking has a short term positive effect of giving stimulation or euphoria but long term, it creates health problems that only add to your stress level.

(Subtract 10 points if you smoke less than one pack per day. Subtract 10 more points for each additional pack you smoke a day.)

12. Eliminate caffeinated drinks.

Caffeine like nicotine has short term benefits and long term consequences. Drinking more water helps your body and mind cope with stress.

(Subtract 5 points for each day you drink 2 cups or more of a caffeinated beverage.)

13. Separate work and home time.

Bringing work home and taking home to work both increase stress.

(Subtract 5 points for each evening that you bring work home or 5 points for taking your personal problems to work.)

14. Eliminate and decrease the medications or chemicals you’re taking.

Taking sleep medication, chemicals, or any medication at all increases side effects and potential stress.

(Subtract 10 points for each evening that you take any form of medication or chemical substance to help you sleep or calm yourself down.(

Now tally your score!

Scoring interpretations:

20 and below: Ball of stress!
21-40: Stressing sometimes
41-60: Holding it together
61 and above: You’re phenomenal!

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Coaching points:

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses about your coping style?
  2. What is your plan to raise your coping quotient? (Why not hire Brent as your life coach?)

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to www.brentobannon.com and www.marriedtoyourboss.com.

Image: pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dealing With Negativity

Let’s face it, sometimes people wig out.

It could be your teenager, your spouse, or possibly a team member you’re supervising. They can’t handle the no or the not so good news you had to spring on them. They have an emotional meltdown, ranting and spewing all the negatives of the situation.

While teaching a stress management workshop recently, one of the members came up with a brilliant strategy to handle people’s negativity and I think it will work with just about anyone.

1. Validate the person’s feelings

Go ahead and give them permission to feel angry, disgruntled, emotional or negative. If you argue with them about their feelings, you only make the feelings hotter.

2. Give a time limit to expressing negativity

Set a 15 minute time frame for spewing all their negative hostility. After 15 minutes, time for negativity is up. Set that clear boundary.

3. Give the positive behavior you want now

Whatever behavior or situation they’re angry about, give clear direction on what you expect. Share the positive behavior you want and then model it.

How to Handle Confrontation

 

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Your peer ambushes you on Monday morning as you walk into the office. In front of everyone she raises her voice in rage about the mess you left in the meeting room. You take responsibility and are glad to clean up the mess. However, the tirade continues with spewing, name calling, and threats.

The average employee will spend 2.8 days a week dealing with conflict. 25% of employees report that conflict leads to illness or absence from work.

How do you handle confrontation? Use CAREfrontation.

Connect
Assert
Resolve
Empower

Connect first. Create a “we” mentality. “We are on the same team.” Then, try the SOFTEN approach:

Smile
Open body language
Lean Forward
Touch appropriately
Eye contact
and Nod

Assert second. Being passive and hiding in a shell never got the turtle anywhere. Being aggressive like a shark only creates a blood bath. Being assertive like a wise owl creates a win-win-win–a win for you, the other person, and for the company. Being assertive is feeling your emotions and still being courageous.

Resolve third. Finding a resolution and fixing the problem will not work until you connect first and assert second. Resolution requires brainstorming and innovative thinking.

Empower fourth. The relationship, self esteem, and productivity of the company need encouragement. Each of us is human and makes mistakes. However, by empowering and believing in each other we can create momentum for outrageous success.

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to www.brentobannon.com and www.marriedtoyourboss.com.

Image: Liz Noffsinger / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

11 Burnout Factors and How to Fireproof Your Workplace

Is your workplace prone to burnout?

Creating a work/life balance is not just an employee’s job, it’s their boss’ job, too.  That’s because the workplace plays a pivotal role in one’s balanceability. Whether you are a small business owner, corporate CEO, or leader/manager, it is your responsibility to create a balance-friendly environment in the workplace.

How exactly do you do that? Avoid these 11 burnout factors!

1. Ambiguity

Do your employees have clear goals and objectives? Criticism and conflict arises when priorities, rules, and expectations are not clearly communicated consistently.

2. Alienation

When coworkers are isolated and management is far removed, this creates emotional distance and walls that prevent team work. What can you do to promote unity, better working relationships, and workplace camaraderie?

3. Boredom

Do you manage people who are overqualified or have jobs that do not match their expertise? Routines without challenge lead to people feeling bored and becoming mentally idle.  As the saying goes, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

4. Conflict

Are your employees caught in the crossfire of arguments and conflict? If management and employees are feuding like the Hatfields and the McCoys, the workplace will be an unsafe place, stifling productivity. Do you provide periodic training on conflict resolution skills and fair fighting?

5. Inadequate information

Information is power. People need to be informed so they can make adequate decisions. Keeping secrets and leaving people out of the loop creates hostility in any workplace environment, especially corporate culture.

6. Poor feedback

Most folks are hungry for approval and fearful of criticism. At the same time, people want to know if the work they are doing is right or wrong. Healthy feedback spurs progress. Management should give thorough feedback throughout the year, not only during performance reviews.

7. Powerlessness

A sense of powerlessness leads to hopelessness. An employee who feels powerless may feel trapped with no way out and, at the same time, managers will be more prone to give up if they feel like they don’t have any influence. Find small ways to give your employees choices, sharing power and influence with everyone on your team.

8. Poor teamwork

Favoritism and office politics can undermine a productive team. Help the individuals in your workplace to cooperate rather than compete.

9. Punishment

Management is lame when it uses the blame game. And while discipline teaches, punishment breeds embarrassment, lack of appreciation, and resentment.

10. Lack of rewards

Positive rewards motivate a team and help boost morale. Successes need to be celebrated. Give respect and appreciation to each individual on your team and match their skills with work that is satisfying to them.

11. Value conflict

Are your employees selling something they don’t believe in? Are they being asked to make decisions that don’t fit their value system? It’s the upper leadership’s responsibility to match the employee with the work value.

These 11 factors can cause even the most motivated person to experience burnout. Fireproof your workplace and set aside some time this week to discuss these factors with your team. Brainstorm ways that, together, you can create and sustain a balance-friendly workplace. And don’t forget to tell me how it goes! Leave a comment with the results.

5 Styles of Conflict

How do you handle conflict?
Most of us use a variety of styles depending on the person, the situation and our stress level. How we deal with our spouse at home is likely to be different than how we deal with our boss in the workplace.
Here are some brief thoughts on the strengths and struggles of 5 styles of dealing with conflict adapted from Johnson, 1981.
1. The Turtle: Avoidance
The strengths of this style is that this person can easily look past conflicts and realizes most conflicts will solve themselves out. They are calm on the outside and help de-escalate emotions in conflict.
The struggles with this style is the tendency to minimize, deny and avoid conflict all together. Major conflict tends to grow worse without coming out of the shell.
2. The Teddy Bear: Accommodation
The strengths of this style how likeable and lovable this person is in most situations. How could you be mad at them? They want and need harmony. They will accept blame to just bring peace to angry situations.
The struggles of this style is that they may be taken advantage of and become a doormat. The can enable others by not allowing them to face and wrestle with conflict. Secretly they tend to have a low self esteem and use likability from others as a way to build their own self confidence.
3. The Shark: Competition
The strength of this style is the ability to be strong, courageous, and bring a conflict out in the open quickly. They are a leader who can confront bullies.
The struggles are becoming too pushy, tactless, and hurting peoples feelings. They can escalate emotions and create barriers easily.
4. The Fox: Compromise
Their strength is communication, and willingness to find win-win or lose-lose compromises. Often the fox is able to craft intelligent intermediate solutions.
The struggles are deceptiveness and manipulation. People may feel outfoxed and cheated.
5. The Owl: Collaboration
The strength of this style is integrity. They can build trust, respect and deeper relationship. They are not tied to their way and tend to have an open mind for pragmatic solutions that create a win-win experience.
The struggles are you have to have two willing parties to collaborate. Two parties have to have high levels of communication skills and emotional intelligence. Some conflicts  require quick solutions and this style may take too long.
Coaching points:

1. What is your most dominant style under stress most of the time?

2. What strengths and struggles do you face in your conflict management style?
3. How do your top 5 strengths from the strength finders 2.0 influence your conflict management style?

Your Coping Quotient

What’s your coping quotient?

When you experience overwhelming changes that knock you out of your routine, a multitude of frustrations that block your goals, infuriating conflicts that test your patience and internal pressures that make you choke, you have experienced what psychologist call STRESS.
How do you cope with stress? One woman said, “chocolate, shopping, and wine therapy.”
It’s unfortunate but in excess these strategies can be unhealthy. We call it “indulging.” In moderation they are self soothing strategies but in excess they cause obesity, debt, and addiction.
Here are some top healthy strategies to cope with stress.
1. Have a supportive family environment.
When you genuinely feel connected, unconditionally loved, heard, encouraged, and appreciated then you have a safe place to fall and recharge. Remember just because you have a family doesn’t automatically create a supportive environment. If you can’t have a supportive biological family be sure and create a family of friends, coworkers, church, and community.
* Give yourself 10 points if you have a supportive family.
2. Bursts of physical activity for 30 minutes.
Exercise and physical activity are still one of the best ways to decrease stress. You increase cardio, deep breathing, and release tension in your muscles.
* Give yourself 5 points for each 30 minute’s of 30 minute burst of physical activity you get in an average week.
Be honest!
3. Stay at your ideal weight.
If you are more than five pounds over your ideal weight for your height and frame you are adding stress physically, mentally, and emotionally.
* Give yourself 15 points if you are within your ideal weight of 5 pounds.
4. Consistent deep relaxation.
Being still and doing yoga, meditation, prayer and deep breathing have been shown through research to lower stress.
* Give yourself 15 points if you engage in some form of deep relaxation at least 3 times per week.
5. Eating nutritionally balanced meals each day.
Starting with a healthy breakfast, eating low fat, a variety of food groups, proper amounts strengthen the immune system, raises energy, and decreases stress.
* Give yourself 5 points for each nutritionally balanced meal you eat each day of the week.
6. Drink alcohol in moderation.
Over use of alcohol increases depression, slows metabolism, inhibits sound sleep, and is expensive.
* Subtract 5 points for each day that you drink more than two drinks.
7. Watch television wisely.
(Also applies to surfing the Internet and playing on technology.) Too much TV wastes time, increases sedentary behavior, and creates isolation therefore leading to more stress.
* Subtract 5 points if you watch more than 10 hours of TV per week.
8. Give yourself something you enjoy.
This sounds contradictory yet there is great value in nurturing yourself with something weekly that you truly enjoy.
* Give yourself 5 points if you do something weekly that you enjoy that is just for you.
9. Relax in your favorite room or place at home.
Having a special room or safe haven in your home reduces stress.
* Give yourself 10 points if you have a special place at home you truly relax.
10. Practice time management daily.
Planning your days and weeks, having a scheduling system, staying focused on your priorities and continuing to improve time management add productivity and decrease stress.
* Give yourself 10 points if you practice time management techniques in your daily life.
11. Eliminate smoking cigarettes (or weed).
Smoking has a short term positive effect of giving stimulation or euphoria but long term creates health problems that create more stress.
* Subtract 10 points if you smoke less than one pack per day. Subtract 10 more points for each additional pack you smoke a day.
12. Eliminate caffeinated drinks.
Caffeine like nicotine has short term benefits and long term consequences. Drinking more water helps your body and mind cope with stress.
* Subtract 5 points for each days you drank 2 cups or more of a caffeinated drink.
13. Separate work and home time.
Bringing work home and taking home to work both increase stress.
* Subtract 5 points for each evening of an average week that you bring work home or 5 points for taking your personal problems to work.
14. Eliminate and decrease medication and chemicals.
Taking sleep medication, chemicals, or any medication increases side effects and potential stress.
* Subtract 10 points for each evening you take any form of medication or chemical substance to help you sleep or calm yourself down.
Add up your scores.
Scoring Interpretations:
20 and below: Ball of stress!
21-40: Stressing sometimes
41-60: Holding it together
61 and above: You’re phenomenal!
Coaching points:
1. What were your strengths and weaknesses about your coping style?