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Conference Guest Speaker shares Conflict Management Advice

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 04:09 PM

Don't Rain on my Parade- How to Deal with Negative People

Have you noticed negative or difficult people around you are affecting your otherwise cheerful disposition (and how unfair is that)? Someone who knows nothing is making your life miserable. Why do Negative Nellie’s feel they need to unload their pent up vex at an unsuspecting person? What is up with the negativity causing conflict?

Studies by the institute of Heart Math suggest that we all give off energy that is either positive or contracting. Some people increase energy when they leave a room, and suck energy from the environment when they come in.As a conference keynote speaker i find that one negative person in an audience has the power to affect a lot of people. Inspiration plummets when one person enters or leave the room.

The unfortunate part is we tend to become like the people we are around the most. For instance, when you visit somewhere and people have accents you tend to take on the accent, people in groups tend to dress alike and take on similar characteristics.

The conflict comes because this may mean because you are around negative people you may become negative too! Yikes.

Listen to people complaining endlessly about work, and you'll find yourself starting to do the same. Add to it that negative emotions exert a more powerful effect in social situations than positive ones.

Unfortunately you can’t eliminate the negative person, but you can garner inspiration and find ways to deal with them. If you were around someone with an infectious disease you would probably take steps to reduce the risk. Negativity is infectious so it makes sense that we should ward it off.

Negative behaviors are defense mechanisms; they protect people from developing relationships, from taking risks, from getting in trouble or making mistakes. If you can permeate the wall there defenses hold up you have a hope of diffusing toxic emotions.

Make ‘em Smile!

Anger and negativity usually stem from the anxiety, fear response in the brain, -one of the oldest, most primitive parts of our brain. Also responsible for the fight or flight response, It reacts without thinking. From a Society for Neuroscience article on Bliss and the Brain: A scrutiny of brain activity indicates that individuals with natural positive dispositions have trumped up activity in the left prefrontal cortex compared with their more negative counterparts. "Happy people think more logically. If you can make someone smile or laugh you literally force them to use a different part of their brain that is more logical and reasonable. A person cannot be negative and smile or laugh at the same time. To be an inspiration; laugh and smile more often.

Let it roll off your back
Some people are just ANGRY. Negativity, hatred and disgust are boring and not worth your time. Sometimes these people are out there to help you develop your resolve to stay positive no matter what.

Distance yourself from negative people by taking a detached, impersonal view. The more you can see them as separate from yourself, the less likely you'll be to interpret their behavior as being a personal attack against you. It's just the way they are; you had nothing to do with it!

Adjust your tolerance. People who are easily annoyed have a low level of tolerance for inconveniences or frustrations. Think of yourself as “buoyant” and resilient in the face of stress and respond that way. Find out what triggers your anger, and then to develop strategies to keep those triggers from tipping you over the edge.

As a guest speaker at a conference, we role play negative situations to give people practice. In the heat of the moment this practice run will be your saving grace.

If you are confident and feel good about yourself you are more likely to be buoyant to negativity and be a force for change.

Negative people try to validate their victim hood by pulling others into their warped view.

Don’t be their prey! Think of it this way, If someone were to say “Nice job of handling that”- what would you have done to deserve that comment?

Interrupt Negativity- When someone is heralding negative assumptions simply do something to distract from it or stop it. I love to do the unexpected because it literally halts a persons point of view and gets them thinking about something different. It is the whole premise of humor. It has to be unexpected to be funny (which is why you don’t laugh at a joke if you’ve heard the punch line before). As a humorous motivational guest speaker I have alot of experience with humor decreasing tension in a large room,it is a real morale booster.

Pass some perspective please.
Who says criticism requires anger? Who says doing overtime is a bad thing? It all depends on your perspective.

Negative accusatory people are likely inferring things that aren’t true. Their flawed assumptions are creating a negatively warped picture. Clear up the facts so you both see a clear picture.

Do you Fight? Or Flight?
My experience is under stress people either fight back or retreat. It is the classic fight or flight response at play. Your mind tends to respond to stressful situations as dangerous and immediately fights back to protect, or your retreat( run away, disengage) Physically within your body adrenaline pumps into your blood stream and stored fats turn into sugar for energy, your digestive and immune systems suppress and your focus become fight or flight.

This response was very useful for cavemen but much less adaptive for today’s society and acute sources of stress. For example, one of the key sources of dissatisfaction in the workplace today is lack of appreciation and our stress response to feeling unacknowledged would have us fight or retreat, making the situation worse. As long as all stress is seen as dangerous, which for a lot of people it is, than this fight or flight reaction can wreak havoc on your life. Prolonged continuous flight or flight reaction takes a strong physical toll on your health. The degenerative wear and tear leads to heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes and more.

The best thing to do is short circuit the fight/ flight response by refusing to react.

  1. Respond to stress by recognizing your pattern. Under stress do you typically fight (get angry, lose your temper) or flight (disengage, give in, or become passive)
  2. Reframe your attitude to perceive the stress as a challenge not a threat. If you feel a lack of appreciation challenge the situation and yourself to recognize why you are upset and how can you get the recognition you deserve.Seek out inspiration

Have a good laugh- we often laugh hardest when we have been feeling most tense. Just because you laugh doesn’t mean you don’t take it seriously.

Remember positive people ground your outlook so find inspiration from positive people and be around them.

The next time someone tries to rain on your parade and affect your sunny outlook you will know what to do about it.

 

Conflict management Activity 

Define acceptable and unacceptable behavior. A good way to start the discussion is to place questionable behaviors on slips of papers and distribute them. In groups, go through and decide which pile they belong in: acceptable or unacceptable.

Some examples: Spreading the News that Someone is Getting a Divorce

Showing up Late for Work

Taking Credit for Someone Else Work

Agreeing to Take other Peoples Shifts

Leaving cell phones on during meetings

Shouting at a Client

Manipulating Others to Do your Job

Accommodating Others

Conflict Management Workshop Brainstorm Activities:

- Think of a conflict that helped you learn something about yourself

- What are the 5 Most Common Workplace Conflicts?( assumptions, lack of resources like time or money, etc)

- Come up with 10 things that really annoy you

Communicating in Conflict: Role Play certain conflict scenarios and write out things to say in high pressure situations

Diffuse the tension

Use "ï" not you ( never blame)

State the what bothers you and the specific behaviors you see

Ask for Something Different

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Tags: funny inspirational speaker, interpersonal skills, leadership and Diversity Expert, conflict management

Inspirational Poems, the Upside of Down

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 04:06 PM

So when that car cuts you off and it’s barely a miss
Don’t give them the finger, just blow them a kiss
Instead of being angry you can chuckle at their reaction
Hopefully the “road rage” will now be a retraction

On the bus where the only seat left is somebody’s lap
Because some loser filled a spot with all of their crap
Instead of being angry and staring them down
Offer to help move their stuff to the ground

When you’re parking to shop at your favorite mall
And you see a deadbeat take a handicap stall
Just give them a wave as you calmly walk past
Call security; let them ticket their ass

While you’re there spending your hard earned money
And the cashier is miserable try calling them “Honey”
Of course that only works when you’re opposite sexes
But it’s better than shooting them like they do down in Texas

When you’re out at the golf course enjoying your day
And the people behind you think you’re in the way
Just let them go past, do your best to ignore
When they’re ahead, count slowly to three, and then yell “fore!”

When you’re sitting at home and you just want to relax
But the kids are going crazy; you can’t get them off your back
Don’t get upset and tell them to “get out of your hair”
They grow up too fast, soon they won’t be there

When you’re all dressed up to take your wife on a date
As usual she’s slow and you don’t want to be late
Give her a break; go get some fresh air on the deck
Remember, men only have to shave their face and neck

When your neighbor lets their dog poop on your lawn
You can’t keep watching out for them dusk to dawn
You might have to pick it up, and yes, that's a drag
But they’ll think twice when it's on their step in a bag

Funny Motivational Speaker

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Tags: interpersonal skills, Inspirational Poems, Woman speaker, motivational keynote speaker, funny motivational speaker

4 Keys to Confident Interpersonal Skills if you are an Introvert

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:42 PM

Up to half of people (by their own accord) are introverts. A keynote speaker at a recent convention suggested that being less socially expressive means you may be misinterpreted as withdrawn or cranky. She went on to assume introverts have less refined interpersonal skills. I disagree.

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Tags: interpersonal skills, guest speaker, keynote speaker, Convention

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