Seeking Validation

By | Emotional Intelligence, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Dysfunction, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, New Posts, Organizational Development, Problem Solving, Strategies, Strategy, Stress

When someone asks you for validation about their approach to managing a conflict, what they are really asking for is reassurance that they are doing the right thing.

But since validation can only come from gatekeepers, and since gatekeepers have significantly less power in the world now than they ever have before, seeking validation is really an empty pursuit.

And since there is never enough reassurance that the right path has been taken, asking for validation—but really seeking reassurance—is a recipe for hiding from making the decisions that will move a conflict forward toward management and maybe resolution.

Instead of offering validation (or reassurance) offer opportunities and challenges to those who are hiding to have the courage to come out into the light, to make a decision, and to ship a solution that will be good enough for the conflict they are in.

Connection-as-a-Product (CAAP)

By | Active Listening, Blog, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, New Posts, Organizational Development, Platform Building, Workplace, Workplace Development

If connection is the product of the future, the problem is not going to be connecting; human beings connect naturally–and arbitrarily.

If connection is the product of the future, the problem is not going to be developing the tools and technology to mediate, facilitate, develop and encourage those connections; human innovation is already beginning to drive that development.

If connection is the product of the future, the problem is going to be determining the value of that connection.

The assumptions, decisions, and even the drivers, that encourage the development of markets, regulations, policies, and procedures, at scale are absent in the face of something ephemeral, long-term, relationally based, and seemingly arbitrary from person to person.

Here are a few questions to get you thinking about this differently:

  • What are we charging our customers and clients for?
  • What are we paid to do?
  • What do our clients and customers believe we are paid to do?
  • What is the value of education about connection to our customers and clients?
  • What is the value of connection for our customers and clients?
  • What is the value of the tools around the act of connecting with our clients and customers?
  • What do our clients think they want from each other?
  • What is the market value of our network, to our customers and clients?
  • What is the risk profile of our market, our clients, and our organization?

Answering these questions, along with carefully considering the inherent (and growing) value of storytelling, self-awareness, and conflict management (not resolution—that requires skillsets you might not want to acquire) will open the door to creating a macroculture of connection.

Avoiding these hard questions and hoping that another innovator, entrepreneur, or visionary will come along and create the web of support that the system of connection-as-the-economy requires, is foolhardy and dangerous.

If connection is the product of the future, the problem is going to be answering the questions, in brave ways and then acting on the scary answers.

HIT Piece 4.25.2017

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, HIT Pieces, New Posts, Relationships, Resolution, Social Communication, Truth

The closer we get to the truth of an issue, which typically lies at the center of a universe of distortions, fabrications, and sometimes outright lies, the more difficult our conversations with all the other parties involved, become.

The way to resolve this tension is not through avoiding difficult conversations and difficult parties.

The solution is to recognize the tension and dance with the fear that we have of outcomes that hew close to the truth of an issue.

Avoidance is fine as a temporary tactic, but as a long-term strategy to get to the truth of a conflict; well, no one ever avoided their way to an uncomfortable—but necessary—truth.

Dollar Value of Mediation Skills in the Connection Economy

By | Arbitration, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Mediation, Negotiation, New Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Problem Solving, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy, Technology, The Future & The Singularity

It’s hard to place a dollar value on human-to-human interactions in the current (and growing) connection economy, because connection is about engaging in acts of caring.

And whoever put a dollar value on acts of caring?

But here are a few challenge questions if that’s your attitude:

Whoever put a dollar value on the act of raising crops in an agricultural economy?

Whoever put a dollar value on the act of building a widget in an industrial economy?

Whoever put a dollar value on the act of providing a customer service in the service economy?

Humanity figured out the dollar value inherent in all the economic transitions from hunting and foraging, to agriculture, to industry, to service and created functioning economic systems—from trading and bartering to late stage capitalism. And humanity will figure out the current global transition we are in right now.

The space between the old system and the new system is a space of conflict, anger, incivility, uncertainty, spectacle, entertainment, along with a healthy dose of depression, worry, and anxiety.

This is a space where the skills of mediation (particularly around distraction, diversion, and deflection) can be helpful (and monetized) at scale.

But whoever put a dollar value on the acts of caring?

Change One Percent at a Time if You…

By | Emotional Intelligence, Blog, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Culture, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, New Posts, Organizational Development, Problem Solving, Relationships, Storytelling, Workplace, Workplace Development

…don’t have the courage to confront the ongoing, unresolved cultural conflicts and frictions in your organization.

…if the resistance to change at scale from the organization and even individuals is too hard to address.

…if your fellow employees who should be your allies, cannot be motivated because of internal, intrinsic factors that you can neither understand nor appreciate.

…if you are struggling with explaining to yourself how you continue to “fit” in the culture you’ve become used .

…if you attend in-person trainings, read books, try new methods and techniques, and still nothing changes.

…if you think that you have been patient long enough for change.

…if you have given up on changes happening and are now comfortable and familiar with the lip service that the overall organizational culture pays to change.

Then, you might be ready to take the courageous, risky step of changing the culture that you are in one percent at a time.

Change, driven internally by friction and conflict, always happens slowly at first (sometimes taking years) but then arrives all at once, to everyone’s surprise in your culture.

Scale Problems

By | Emotional Intelligence, Active Listening, Advice, Blog, Brain, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Dysfunction, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, New Posts, Organizational Development, Persuasion, Reconciliation, Relationships, Stress, Virtue, Workplace, Workplace Development

Teutonic organizations believe that size makes up for persuasion.

Small organizations believe that persuasion makes up for size.

The problem in both organizations is scale, not properly understood.

Because your organization, your team, your personality, or your project is large, that doesn’t mean that persuasion is something to be abandoned. Persuasion at scale to get me to follow the rules, be compliant, or go along with the program, must not be abandoned in favor of the use of power and authority.

Because your organization, your team, your personality, or your project is small, that doesn’t mean that persuasion is the only thing to consider. Appealing to power or authority to get me to follow the rules, be compliant, or go along with the program, is sometimes a tool that works to ensure future engagement.

Be sure of three things to determine the balance in your organization:

  • Be sure of how your size (small or large) is perceived by others in the market.
  • Be sure of how your persuasion tactics have been effective (or haven’t been effective) in the past.
  • Be sure of how you have used (or misused or failed to use) power and authority in the past, and in the present, to move the market.

Otherwise, when your organization follows a rule or regulation to the letter, creates a method of persuasion that falls on deaf ears, or makes a move that benefits the organization but not your customers or fans, don’t be surprised when the push back is unexpected.

Building a Memory Palace of Lies

By | Emotional Intelligence, Active Listening, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Education, Google, New Posts, Persuasion, Reconciliation, Relationships, Storytelling, Truth

What happens when how I remember an event doesn’t match how you remember an event?

This mismatch in memory—and framing of those mismatches—leads to people constructing palaces to specific memories in their minds. These palaces are filled with feelings, ideas, thoughts, and conclusions that may not be objectively accurate.

And that may be viewed by the other party (who remembers events differently) as a palace of constructed out of lies.

One of the issue with outsourcing our memory of events (and even our memory of truth) to online algorithmically based programs, is that the program remembers quite accurately. But it remembers what its original creator (or “first mover” if you will) programmed it to remember.

And just about as accurately.

Here’s a deeper issue: When I appeal to an outside authority to adjudicate the disagreement between my memory of events and your memory of events, and when that authority has been programmed by a third party with their own attributions and biases, at what point do we stop appealing to authority?

And let bygones, be bygones.

The power of memory truly lies in allowing people to construct their own memory palaces in peace, to remember the past with nostalgia, and to forget (and be forgotten) not as an escape from consequence—memories provide plenty of that on their own—but as a way to experience grace.