Four points to remember to resolve conflicts like a winner

Everyone will face conflicts in one time or the other.

Many people try to avoid conflicts, not having the energy or skill to manage them.

However, sometimes, conflicts should be taken heads on, because more often than not, conflicts arise from solid reasons.

It is how we react from it that matters. Here are 4 important points one must remember when dealing with conflicts.

Communicate openly and compromise

The key to resolving key is to communicate about it. That means to talk about it, and listen to what the other party has to say for himself. He most likely has a good reason of creating the conflict. It is vital to discuss it with an open mind. Sometimes, you may need to compromise your own beliefs, in order to successfully resolve the conflict and achieve a solution.

Focus on final aim

Managing conflicts is never about winning. It is basically a road to go through, in order to achieve a mutual understanding, and agreeing to proceed with further steps. Sometimes, you may be right, sometimes the other party may be right and not you. Be ready to listen to the other party’s concerns – you might even find a richer solution after considering his thoughts!

Also, sometimes discussions go off track, especially when things get emotional, or upsetting pasts are being brought up. In such cases, steer back to the right direction, ignore irrelevant issues or pasts, and focus the time and energy on how we can accomplish results.

Keep calm and stay positive

Discussions may switch to quarrels, when blaming or anger arises. Remind yourself (and the other person, if you can) to stay calm, and stay positive. Find a good time and place to do your battle (read: discuss). Don’t approach someone when he is busy, or tired, or hungry, even. If the discussion is moving towards a heated direction, call for a break, and come back when you’re both more rational.

Try to empathize

Conflicts arise when two (or more) different parties have different concerns. Each member would feel that their own concern is the more important one. During discussions, listen actively, and try to put yourself in the other person’s shoe. Create a comfortable discussion – listen actively, ask open questions and opinion, and do not interrupt. Find the best way to meet each parties’ concern, if they are valid.

Revealing 3 tips to excel your Influencing Skills

In your daily life, and in work, influencing people is a must-have skill.

Influencing is an art of effecting how others think (and finally act) towards a particular purpose. Influencing can be when you are at home, getting your spouse to agree on a particular purchase, or getting the children to complete their project. At work, influencing is like the number one task – selling products to potential customers, getting the boss to approve that big project of yours, and even negotiating team mates on a favor on a particular task.

Most importantly, influencing is done without authority. That means, you make someone believe that what you are saying is right, hence he should do as you suggest. You are not influencing when you are giving instructions (read: boss, parent, senior in the job).

The most important party to consider when you are planning to influence is – the other party. What YOU think, is not as important as what HE thinks. Because the aim, is to change how HE thinks. Try to look from his point of view, and answer this question “What’s in it for me?”. “Me” here, as in, “him”, of course. Think about what benefits he will get, if he does agree with you. If you can show that to him, influencing can be very easy.

Here I share 3 tips on influencing people.

1. Build relationships.

You want to influence someone without using authority, so the first thing you need to do is, build a good relationship.

Generally, building relationships is easy, when you are interested in someone, and expresses that interest to him. That involves active listening, asking good, open questions, and relating to what he is thinking. When someone feels that you have interest in him, he will be more open, and keener to create a connection with you, ready to hear your thoughts.

Also, use common courtesy. Be polite, sociable and friendly. Smile.

Other ways to build relationships include:

  • Notice positive behaviours or changes in the other person – comment on that
  • Give compliments and praises
  • Read their body language and adapt how you speak

Build rapport and make him feel a connection to you. Do this genuinely, because everyone has his own story to tell, and his side of the story is important too.

2. Social proof.

This is where we use others’ acts to influence people.

“Others” here may mean those familiar to someone, or those he feels similar to him. Or someone he respects.

For example, when seeing an expensive product on your own (alone), you may not feel the urgency to buy it. But if a few respected colleagues, or someone close to you just bought it too, that curiosity to purchase it may grow.

That’s why we see “Other people also likes…” columns while shopping online. These suggestions (exists with the social media algorithm) appear to you, to utilize the power of social proof, and influence your buying.

So, when you want to influence someone, pay attention to what his surrounding people are doing too. You could use that someone’s influence towards him.

3. Credibility and reputation.

As said earlier, influencing does not involve the use of authority.

However, using credibility and reputation is something else. People can be influenced by experts, believing his words and suggestions.

There are many experiments of changing people’s mindsets by experts, influencing their behaviours and ultimately effecting the results. A good example is the placebo effect, where medical patients are given something like a “real” medical treatment — but in actual, does not contain an active substance meant to affect health, like a dummy treatment. Researchers use placebos during studies to help them understand what effect a new drug or some other treatment might have on a particular condition. Around one third of the patients taking a placebo may get better. Believing in experts, it shows even the body’s chemistry can create effects similar to medication. A classic case of mind over matter.

So, as an influencer, having credibility and good reputation is important, too. Where can you find your own credibility? Look at your qualifications, your educational background, expertise, or experience.

So those were 3 tips on influencing people. Different situations will require different methods of influencing. We’ll look at more influencing methods later.

What is your favourite influencing method?

The common mistake executives make about meetings, and how you can avoid it

So much time is spent on holding meetings. While the employer is not paying us for having meetings, some formal discussions and announcements are necessary in order to make a certain decision.

Many executives fall into the trap of furiously preparing for a meeting, yet become frustrated when the whole presentation or proposal is totally rejected after presenting in a meeting.

This is because they make the mistake of believing that a meeting is a platform to discuss.

The truth is, no one likes to make decisions after a one hour bombardment of information from another party.

Decision making is comfortably done when a person has enough information and time to weigh the advantage and risks.

This is why, the real negotiation and discussions, are done prior to meetings. The more experienced executives and leader know, that the most guaranteed way to receive a greenlight to their proposal in a meeting is, to discuss with the concerned parties in advance, separately if needed. Details are laid over before the real meeting, and concerns are reviewed in advance. The official meeting only works as an official one hour with all parties, to go through all information together, and officially make the decision.

So the next time you have that brilliant idea to share in a meeting, don’t spend your precious time in preparing the slides. Instead, approach the concerned parties in advance, discuss and negotiate concerns before you step into the meeting. You’ll find the next 1 hour presentation and discussion a real breeze.

The truth about job burnout and how to spot it

We’ve all been through the Monday mornings,

“Ohhh it’s Monday already? I want to go back to sleep…”

The Monday blues – the feeling of not wanting to go to work after a weekend.

It’s a normal feeling for everyone, but when every morning is a suffer to get up to work, and the 20-minutes drive to work seems so heavy, and the 9 (or what, 14?) hours at work is dreadful, and then even after coming home from work you can’t function after feeling exhausted physically and emotionally – it’s a job burnout.

A job burnout is an overloaded (or sometimes under loaded) feeling at work, which causes fatigue, first physically, and ultimately emotionally. Left untreated, it can cause exhaustion and the sense of overwhelming, loss in productivity, create a toll in relationships, and finally demolish mental health.

A job burnout does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process, with the causes accumulating the stress, until one day one feels overwhelmed and that none of their efforts seem worthy.

It is important to detect the signs of burnout and take actions to steer away from it. In this post, I will share the signs and stages of burnout. See if you have any.

Continue reading “The truth about job burnout and how to spot it”

3 interesting reasons why storytelling is a valuable skill

Remember those days back in school where we had storytelling competitions?

You had to stand in front of everyone on the stage, and tell that “Hare and Tortoise” story with those props – a rabbit stuffed doll and a tortoise figure.

Oh how we hated the sickening butterflies fluttering in our stomach. No one said there was going to be so many people in the audience. How we practiced and rehearsed until Mommy too remembers the whole story.

Little did we know that that story telling competition is one of the most crucial skills we need to learn to be a grown up. Here are three reasons why.

Continue reading “3 interesting reasons why storytelling is a valuable skill”

How to persuade your ideas – revealing 3 tested secrets

A valuable employee is someone who owns ideas.

And not just own it, but to communicate it well enough to bring those ideas to life.

Persuading others of your notions can be tough.

A lot of people have ideas, but find difficulty to explain, and convincing others. Finally, what may be bright proposals, get ignored, and eventually dismissed. This is a waste of potential, and can dull motivation.

Let’s take a look at an old persuasion secret from the famous philosopher, Aristotle.

Aristotle said there are 3 tested and proven modes to persuade an idea.

Ethos 

This means credibility, trust.

In many occasions, people tend to trust something they already know the value of. Typical examples are the power of brand.

Just by the name of BMW, one can imagine the sheer driving pleasure. BMW is a brand well known for the ultimate driving experience. For a business person, driving a BMW may lend an impression of others that their business is good, which indicates investing with them, or purchasing something from them, may be secure. This is an example of persuasion with ethos.

To use ethos at work, we often see names of experts being quoted to strengthen the case. Here, people’s trust to the expert’s judgement is used to convince that our ideas are strong.

Or, the person himself, has a certain charisma, authority, or credibility that people look up to. Perhaps because of his past experience, or knowledge, or skills, or even integrity. With this advantage, whatever he says seem intelligent, and the audience is convinced easily. This is an example of ethos of oneself.

The next time you have a proposal to share, think how you can relate with something, or someone people trust. Or better, build your own credibility by strengthening your value, and one day, you’ll find anything you say is easily persuasive.

 

Logos

This is the persuasion mode using logic.

It means, to convince people, using facts, numbers, data.

Take below for an example.

You should take your medicine daily to avoid stroke.

compared with

If you skip your medicines, there is 80% likelihood that you will get a stroke and from there, 60% chances of losing your mobility.

This example shows how numbers can strengthen your argument and make your reasoning more persuasive.

At work, we use numbers you validate proposals, especially when it comes to money. No one wants to lose money, so the next time you have a proposal, convert the impact of your ideas into cash – you’ll have higher chances of getting people’s attention.

 

Pathos

The last but surely not least mode of persuasion is, emotion.

Most of the time, playing people’s emotions can give them a strong reason to care, and is the stronger mode of persuasion.

Children are natural at persuading with emotions. They cry and make you feel guilty for not buying them that toy the other kids have. They smile ever-so-sweetly when they want that ice cream they love.

At work, sometimes, when ethos and logos don’t seem to work, it is advisable to take out that pathos secret weapon. Hit that person at their most endearing spot, their concerns. If the Production department would not allow downtime for Engineering to perform a certain recipe change, point out the risk of not doing it, towards major machine breakdown and emphasize that it is their own decision and risk to bear by not approving the activity.

Yes, it sounds like blackmail, but it works.

Emotion can be many – happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, pity, respect.

Find a way to use maneuver these emotions of the audience in order to make your mark.

A word of caution – too frequent use of ethos may indicate that you are unprofessional, and have no other strengths, so only use it when necessary.

 

 

Commercials are easy practice to distinguish which of the three modes are being used to convince the audience. Some times you may even see all three modes in one advertisement. Watch how persuasion is being carried out in advertisements and practice it in real life. You’ll see how much more persuasive you can be.

This video is a well known example of all three modes being applied. Look for when is ethos, logos and pathos come in, and prepare to be mesmerized. Enjoy!

4 secrets to consider to get in sync with The Boss and be in the spotlight

There are many reasons employees quit their jobs, but none more than due to disappointment with The Boss. If an employee is not satisfied with the pay, or the job scope, there’s higher chances that he would find a way to solve it or get by, than if he is not in good terms with The Boss – he’ll find a way to move out, even if the pay is good, or the job scope satisfies him.

Unless you’re the company’s founder, or the management, you’re bound to be working for someone – The Boss. Understanding him is crucial for both parties to cooperate in order to achieve a common goal, if not to at least make your 9 hours spent at work less painstaking. To accomplish this, one must find a way to click with his Boss, to find that certain chemistry.

Today, let’s take a look at what you should ponder over in order to create that rapport with The Boss. Continue reading “4 secrets to consider to get in sync with The Boss and be in the spotlight”

Why casual conversations are a sure fire way to bring you higher

The value of chit chat, casual conversations with people surrounding us is sometimes belittled by some people, especially in this era of social media, and heads always over handphones.

People tend to avoid small talk, claiming it is meaningless, sometimes tresspasing others’ privacy.

 

Why is small talk important?

If we look at successful people surrounding us, we may notice that they are smooth conversationalists, friendly, able to talk to anyone, even almost seeming like everyone knows them! Continue reading “Why casual conversations are a sure fire way to bring you higher”

How to get hired in an interview – revealing 2 secrets today

Tis the season of hirings and interviews…

Or at least to fill my department’s vacancy.

After years of interviewing engineers and technicians, I’ve come to see some patterns in candidates’ resumes, and their interviewing skills. And after hiring, I can see the how the candidates work, so I guess, I’ll be talking about the whole cycle.

Today, I want to share two secrets in hiring. Continue reading “How to get hired in an interview – revealing 2 secrets today”

4 contents you need to feedback the Boss impressively

As a manager, I deal with many issues with many departments throughout the day. I also need to follow up with what my staff are supposed to do, make sure everything is on schedule, and to help if any help is needed.

I’ve seen many ways employees update their bosses. Some explain things straight to the point, not wasting precious time, while some tend to take more time to explain something, adding the spices and in the worst, finally not making any decisions at all.

Today, let’s talk about how to update The Boss. Continue reading “4 contents you need to feedback the Boss impressively”

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