Posts Tagged ‘Acts of Balance Coaching’


Acts of Balance Webinar: The Conflict Diet – 5 Ways to Reduce Unwanted Conflict From Your Life (Part 2)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

by Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*

In a previous blog post, I introduced you to some of the concepts I learned from a webinar with communications and leadership expert Alan Cohen. Alan has worked with BurrellesLuce on a number of complimentary webinars, including “Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussionssm.” (Available free on-demand on the BurrellesLuce Website.)

In his latest, through his Acts of Balance Coaching practice, he tackled “The Conflict Diet: 5 Ways to Reduce Unwanted Conflict From Your Life.”  

During the webinar Alan gave the audience three different scenarios with options on how each of the modes might address each of the situations. I was surprised to learn that all of my “gut responses” landed in the “collaborating” category, while my second choice was typically to “accommodate,” or simply “avoid” the situation all together.

Just after the webinar I found myself in the middle of a conflict that had been building for some time, but that I had been avoiding - in part because I wasn’t sure a conflict even existed and also to please the other parties and keep the peace just in case one did.  Armed with new knowledge from Alan’s webinar, I decided to simply observe my interactions during said conflict. After some honest reflection, I began to see a cycle emerge.

Initially, I choose to “avoid” the subject, only to later be thrown a curve where I was forced to address the conflict. Quickly I moved in to “compete” mode after not having my own needs addressed for some time. Then I found myself reverting back to the natural tendency to “collaborate” because I could clearly see both sides of the conflict and wanted everyone’s needs to be addressed. As the issue grew more tiresome I downgraded to “compromise,” only to lose resolve and “accommodate.” While a resolution was eventually reached, I still have some lingering doubts – even weeks later – and find myself mulling over the issue and not completed satisfied with the outcome. Was I really always that accommodating and, as Alan describes, a people-pleaser?

Soon I began to reflect on other conflicts where the outcome had left me feeling less than satisfied. I found that the tendency to collaborate only to eventually yield (accommodate) happened more often than not, usually when I received push back to the point where the conflict grew tiresome and it was more likely to happen when communication was impersonal (e.g, via phone, text, email, etc). In fact, in the most recent conflict, I came to realize that accommodating actually had given way to compliancy (and had for some time) to the extent that it was beginning to affect other areas of my life. What an eye opener!

D.I.E.T.S
So what is a savvy, self-aware professional to do? Alan suggests D.I.E.T.S to help eliminate conflict and see more of the resolutions you want.

1.  Detect your feelings. If our peace is disturbed, or we find ourselves obsessing – these feelings signal that there is something wrong and we need to stop and examine what it is. Alan reminds us that thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings create our actions and results. By identifying feelings we can identify the thoughts that are driving them and make changes.

2.  Identify the feelings of others. Emotionally Intelligent people understand their own emotions and better understand where other people are coming from. Though we can’t read minds, we can tap into our intuition – our gut feelings – and read the body language of the people with whom we are in conflict.

3.  Evaluate the situation. What are the facts of the situation? What are other interpretations of the situation? Once we evaluate we need to decide how to proceed based on the situation, the value we place on the relationship, and where we see things going in the future.

4.  Try a course of action. Each mode of conflict resolution has its own set of skills. However, there are core skills common to all, including active listening, clarifying, and validation.

5.  Study the outcome and commit to improve. Once we’ve entered and done our best to resolve the conflict, look at what worked and didn’t work and examine what we want to do to guarantee future success.

How are you managing conflict? What other tips can you suggest to Fresh Ideas readers?

***

Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007.  As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers 

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Acts of Balance Webinar: The Conflict Diet – 5 Ways to Reduce Unwanted Conflict From Your Life (Part 1)

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

by Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*

Over the years BurrellesLuce has had the pleasure of working with communications and leadership expert Alan Cohen on a number of complimentary webinars, including “Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussionssm.” (Available free on-demand on the BurrellesLuce Website.)

Recently Alan offered a free webinar, “The Conflict Diet: 5 Ways to Reduce Unwanted Conflict From Your Life,” through his Acts of Balance Coaching practice.

Alan defines conflict as “a condition where peoples’ concerns (the things they care about) seem to be incompatible.” Conflict itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He confirms, “Organizations that embrace conflict and dialogue – ones that don’t hesitate to disagree in the spirit of finding truth and making the best decisions – are successful, build trust, and keep people engaged.”

Benefits of Re-framing Conflicts without Personal Attacks
When there are disagreements initially, even unfiltered conflict can equal genuine buy-in if there is attention to results and the conflict is handled responsibly, says Alan. Engaging in conflicts without personal attacks offers a number of benefits:

  • Strengthen relationships
  • Increase effectiveness
  • Develop employee performance
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve moral
  • Save time, energy, and expense

“When not aired, conflict has a sneaky way of doing harm. It can stand in the background working its magic in cunning ways as a destructive energy,” states Alan.

As a “recovering people-pleaser,” Alan admits that he spent most of his life trying to avoid conflict, something that has done more harm than good and often squandered his energy. It was refreshing to hear him admit this, as I too am a recovering people-pleaser. Though, I didn’t realize to just what extent until after listening to his webinar and observing my interaction with others in times of conflict.

Modes of Conflict Resolution
While we use all of these modes, the ones we tend to gravitate towards by default are often those that we are most comfortable with and with which we have the greatest skills and that seems to fit the situation at hand, explains Alan. Generally they fall into five categories, each with a different level of assertiveness and cooperativeness.

  • Compete: high assertiveness and no cooperativeness with the goal being to win.
  • Collaborate: high assertiveness and high cooperativeness with the goal being to find a win-win for everyone.
  • Compromising: moderate assertiveness and moderate cooperativeness with the goal being to find a middle ground.
  • Accommodating: low assertiveness and high cooperativeness with the goal being to yield.
  • Avoiding: low assertiveness and low cooperativeness with the goal being to delay.

One mode isn’t better or worse than the others. However, people have a tendency to be their own worst enemies. Often they underuse a mode of resolution due to a lack of experience or comfort, over use a preferred way of conflict resolution, are only interested in satisfying their own concerns, are overly interested in satisfying others, don’t fully understand the pros and cons of one mode compared to another, or don’t have enough skills to minimize pushback.

In my next blog post I will share some of the personal insights I gained from Alan’s webinar, as well as highlight some of his tips for resolving conflict and removing unwanted conflict from your life.

In the meantime, what do you think of the categories offered by Alan? What other benefits can be derived from conflict that don’t include personal attacks? Please share your thoughts here on Fresh Ideas.

***

Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007.  As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers

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Book Recommendations from Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussions

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Last week Alan Cohen, president of Acts of Balance Coaching, teamed up with Johna Burke for a free BurrellesLuce webinar, Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussionssm. (Click here to download the recording of the presentation or slides at your convenience.)

During the Q&A portion of the webinar, one attendee asked Alan to recommend some of his favorite professional books. “I am reading many different things, not all on difficult conversations, but a lot of them on effective communications [...] and I enjoy many books on managing conflicts,” Alan said. He offered these suggestions:

What books would you add to the list? Please share your thoughts here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

***

Alan is the author of “Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros™” and is a professional certified coach (PCC), and public relations veteran with more than 25 years of business experience in the areas of public relations, marketing, human resources, leadership training and development.

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BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your Mojo in Delicate Discussions

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Complimentary Webinar: Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your Mojo in Delicate Discussions

REGISTER NOW!

When Thursday, July 26, 2012

Time 1pm EDT

Are you avoiding difficult conversations with your constituents, peers and colleagues? PR professionals are some of the most extroverted people in the world, but surprisingly they are also some of the most non-confrontational people.

Difficult talks are essential to not only your career, but living a life of integrity, effectiveness and true happiness. Talking can make your relationships deeper and more rewarding than you can ever imagine. Join BurrellesLuce and Alan Cohen, president of Acts of Balance, leadership coach and trainer for this informative 60-minute webcast “Those Difficult Talks For PR Pros-Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussions℠.”

  • The reasons we avoid having difficult talks with a client, manager or employee.
  • Why difficult talks are significant when it comes to being successful in any business.
  • The GPS for Difficult Talks.
  • How to explore and practice a step-by-step process that will prepare you for delivering tough messages with more finesse, less stress and greater confidence.

Moderator:
Johna Burke, senior vice president, marketing, BurrellesLuce

Space is limited. Sign up now for this free webinar, “Difficult Talks for PR Pros—Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussions℠.” If we are unable to accept your registration, an on-demand presentation will be available for review after the event at www.burrellesluce.com. 

Alan Cohen, MBA, is president of Acts of Balance Coaching. He is a professional certified coach (PCC), and public relations veteran with more than 25 years of business experience in the areas of public relations, marketing, human resources, leadership training and development. He is the author of “Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros™.”

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Tough Talks, Insights for Creating a Win-Win-Win: Alan Cohen, Acts of Balance, Interview With Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce, at the 2011 Counselors Academy

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Transcript -

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at Counselors Academy. We’re joined by Alan.

Alan, will you please introduce yourself?

ALAN COHEN: Absolutely. My name’s Alan Cohen, and I’m president of Acts of Balance Executive Coaching and Training based out of New York City. And I work with public relations executives and PR firms to help develop more effective leaders, and I work a lot with communications skills and team-building.

BURKE: Great. Alan, you did a session on tough conversations for PR practitioners and agency owners here. Can you give us a couple of your insights as far as how people can set up and then have those tough conversations?

COHEN: Absolutely. One of the most common things that I see in my practice is people really avoiding having those tough talks. And in avoiding them, they actually make the situation even bigger and more volatile. We largely like to be people pleasers, and so we avoid having the conversations that may be unpleasant, may provoke some strong emotions. But what I do is really help develop people to think, to plan in advance, to go through a multistep process to really think about how they’re interpreting the situation, to really align their values with having the conversation and to really, really plan it out so that the conversation will develop into a real win-win-win; a win for the individual having the talk, the–a win for the person who’s being spoken to, and really a win for the relationship overall. It’s really about a collaboration. So as leaders, we need to have the courage to have the difficult conversations. And leadership is not always easy, but it’s important that we stay in integrity by really addressing the situations that are causing us discomfort.

BURKE: Alan, thank you so much. Where can people connect with you online and in social media?

COHEN: I’m at actsofbalance.com, and my Twitter handle is actsofbalance.

Or you can join my Facebook fan page, also Acts of Balance.

BURKE: Thank you so much, Alan.

COHEN: Thank you.

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