In this week’s blog we are sharing links to two terrific articles which relate to this month’s theme of coaching and conflict resolution. Many thanks to Trina McGarvey, Director of H.R. for the County of Lennox-Addington, for bringing these articles to our attention.

First up on the reading list is the Harvard Business Review article titled “7 things to say when a conversation turns negative” by Kathleen Kelley Reardon. Kathleen is Professor Emerita at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and an expert in workplace politics, persuasion, and negotiation.

Her article points out that we are at least 75% responsible for how others treat us. Our verbal and nonverbal cues display to others the level of interaction we want. These communication patterns make our lives easier, but also leave us vulnerable. A person known to avoid conflict will often find themselves in situations where they feel forced to back away. This is why individuals – especially those who work in highly political environments – need a repertoire of replies and comebacks at the ready for any situation. The author provides seven tactics one can use to build a collection of responses. Be sure to click on the link to the article (above) to review the tactics.

Trina’s second recommended article is titled, “Why you Need to Embrace Silence in Your Coaching plus 6 Practices,” by Sarah Evans. The article reminds us that Susan Scott’s seventh principle of “Fierce Conversations” is to let silence do the heavy lifting, as well as her invitation to “slow down the conversation, so that insight can occur in the space between words and you can discover what the conversation really wants and needs to be about.” The article includes:

6 Practices to encourage us to embrace the silence

1. Become aware of your own comfort level with quiet.

2. Quiet your internal chatter and fragmented attention and experiment with being silent in coaching conversations. Notice what happens for you and in you. It is from this place that you can listen more deeply for what is in the silence.

3. Practice pausing for a couple of seconds before and after you speak to offer more space for your coachee.

4. Practice WAIT – or WAIST. Ask yourself “Why am I talking?” or “Why am I still talking?” to check in with yourself about how you are being present with your coachee(s).

5. Embrace a practice of silent meditation or reflection. This enhances your capacity to manage your internal and external chatter, to become still and tune into a deeper awareness and insight.

6. Turn to nature as a way to embrace your own silence, and enhance your creative thinking capacities. Many of the world’s greatest creatives and thinkers did their best work while walking in nature. What can nature make possible for you?

We hope that these articles, and the tips contained within them, can help you on your coaching and conflict resolution journey.

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