Resolving Conflicts at Work

resolving conflicts in the  | BIGG SuccessHow do you resolve conflict at work? Or in your personal life, for that matter? There are four ways to go about it:

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Blow up

Go ahead. Get mad. Get it off your chest. You’ll feel better. Who cares about anyone else?

As you might guess, this is one way to handle conflict. But it’s not an effective way to resolve them.

Throw up

Okay, not in a literal sense. But you can spew negativity to anybody and everybody who will listen.

Oh, with one exception – you won’t talk with the person or persons who have it in their power to resolve the conflict.

Clam up

Don’t say a word. Just take it. Internalize everything. Deal with it. And feel your blood pressure rise along with the acid reflux.

This is another way to handle a conflict but not one that’s recommended.

We saw a great post by Megan Hustad on Fortune’s site. It explains how silence can cost you in another way. With jobs still hard to come by, she points out that a lot of people are afraid to rock the boat.

The irony is that you may be better off doing just that. She quotes Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.

He says while workers feel clamming up increases their job security, the opposite is true. Job security is increased by dealing with conflicts at work in a way we haven’t yet talked about.

Step up

Deal with conflict directly but gingerly. Talk to the person or persons who can do something about it. Be the emotionally mature adult in the room of people we’ve discussed above.

People who resolve conflicts are just as valuable as people who find a resolution to any other problem. Demonstrate how valuable you are by tackling issues head on.

  • Know the purpose of your conversation before you ask for it

    The critical point-of-view is that you are having a conversation, not a confrontation.

    As Grenny points out, you can show respect while being candid. You can be honest without being brutal. You can be assertive while being civil.

  • Focus on fixing the problem, not the blame

    Explain the situation in a way that doesn’t make anyone defensive. One of the best ways to do this is to fix the blame on things, not people.

    Here’s a model: When X happened, people felt Y. For example, when the policy changed, people felt taken advantage of.

    Yeah, because another way of saying that is: You changed the policy. Now everyone thinks you’re a jerk who is out to screw them over.

    Would you get defensive if someone said that to you? Most people would. Who could blame you? So keep the conversation productive with the words you use.

  • Practice, practice, practice before the actual conversation

    You can do it in a mirror while you’re putting on your makeup or shaving in the morning. Watch and listen while you do so you can make sure you’re conveying the message with the tone of your voice and your facial expressions.

    Find someone you can role play with. Simulate the environment as closely as possible. If you will be sitting, sit while you practice. If you will be standing, stand. You want to work on your body language while you rehearse.

If you don’t have any conflict, you’re probably not doing enough. Conflict is a healthy thing. Conflict is an opportunity.

But only if you step up. It will make you stand out from the crowd which leads to BIGG success!

What tip do you have for resolving a conflict?

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Finding Happiness and the Returns on Relationships

returns on relationships for your BIGG SuccessDan Buettner’s fascinating book Thrive discusses the keys to happiness. One of the most important key to your happiness is your relationships.

In an interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, he cites what we think is a staggering statistic:

The happiest people in America socialize seven hours a day.

Seven hours! Now that’s a lot of interaction!

But it’s necessary if you want to be happy. We’ll discuss four relationships that yield many happy returns.

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Your BFF at work

Do you want to be happier at work? You can be, starting today.

It’s really simple. You’ll be happier at work if you have a best friend there.
It’s the #1 factor in determining whether or not you’ll like your job.

New friends

Here’s another one, G. Each new friend increases your happiness by about 10%.

At times, you may think you have enough friends. But you can never have too many friends.

Of course, you’ll invest time to build and maintain those relationships. But we often over-estimate what that takes.

Go out for dinner together – you have to eat anyway.

Invite them over to watch the game – you’ll have more people to celebrate with if you win. Or, if you lose, remember that misery loves company!

Your spouse

Here’s another interesting tidbit that Dan Buettner found in his research – married people are three times happier than single people.

It’s kind of funny, in an ironic sort of way.
What do comedians joke about? Marriage.
What do guys poke fun at? Married life.

Well, at it turns out, marriage has a huge upside when it comes to happiness.

Your parents

There’s one more relationship we haven’t talked about yet. And it’s the relationship that will yield the greatest returns when you look back in time.

It’s your relationship with your parents. Fortunately, we’re in the time of year when we have the opportunity to spend more time with our Moms and Dads.


George KruegerNow, I have to tell you – I’ve lost both of my parents. Dad’s been gone over fifteen years and we lost Mom five years ago.



Mary-Lynn FosterAnd I lost my Mom thirteen years ago. I’m blessed, though – Dad’s still going strong.


Occasionally we’ll run into someone who doesn’t get along with their parents. These are people in their 30s, 40s, and even older who are still holding a grudge.

Of course, sometimes parents behaved poorly. There are legitimate reasons to be upset. But that’s not what we’re talking about.

We’re talking about parents who tried their best. But who weren’t perfect.

You know what? Parents aren’t supposed to be perfect. They’re just supposed to provide a benchmark.

You can follow their lead. Or you can do the opposite.

Their job is to set an example. Your job is to learn.

They may get it right. They may not. It’s up to you to decide and act accordingly. But let bygones by bygones.

It’s a busy time of year. While most other people are worrying about getting the right gift, you can give the gift that keeps on giving by focusing on your relationships.

They will yield many happy returns. And that’s BIGG success!

We’re so happy to see you here today. Thanks for checking in.

Until next time, here’s to your BIGG success!

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When Fame and Fortune Do Not Lead to Success

Music LessonsIt’s time for another edition of Music Lessons.

Today, we’re going to talk about a song we’re sure you know. You’ve probably sung along to it.

It’s a fun song. But it makes a serious point.

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The song is Life’s Been Good by Joe Walsh of The Eagles.

It reminds us of the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.”

And the subject of this song has a lot of fame and fortune. At the risk of sounding more like John Lennon than Joe Walsh:

Imagine owning a mansion. But along with that mansion, you have so much money that its price was completely insignificant.

That’s kind of fun. But then the conspicuous consumption kicks in. You’ve never even seen this mansion. Other people tell you how nice it is.

Imagine owning a Maserati. You know – a super hot, super fast sports car. It would be nice.

Unless you can’t drive it because you’ve lost your license.

Imagine being driven around all the time in a BIGG limo.

Wouldn’t that be cool? It would.

But not if you have to lock the doors because you may be attacked by a mob of fans.

Yeah, but imagine those fans writing you letters all the time. Imagine constantly being told how great you are.

That would be fantastic. But…

…you could have all the gold records on the wall you want,
…you could achieve BIGG things,
…you could have people all around you,
…all the images of success,
…the material possessions,
…the adulation,
…and still feel loneliness.

More loneliness in fact than you’ve ever felt before. You may drown it in alcohol or drugs or some other vice.

You may come to believe that everybody else has changed. You may realize that you have too many adoring fans but too few admirable friends.

People who love you for you. And that’s it. Because that’s enough.

Preparing for fortune and fame

BIGG success is life on your own terms. For some people, that means fame and fortune. There’s nothing wrong with that.

As long as you’re prepared for it.

But BIGG success comes from serving others. As the entrepreneur of your life, you create value for yourself by adding value in the lives of other people.

And it’s not about fame and fortune. Those may come.

If you’re grounded properly, you’ll be able to handle it. If not, you’ll be like the subject of this song.

You’ll keep on going – keep trying to gain more fame and more fortune.

More, more, more. You won’t know why. But you will feel empty.

There’s little fulfillment in fame and fortune for fame and fortune’s sake.

That’s why many people choose to build a fortune without the fame. They’re the millionaire next door.

Fame without the fortune can be especially brutal. Few people can successfully navigate those rough waters.

So how can you prepare yourself for fame and fortune?

Focus first on friendship and fellowship. Let fame and fortune follow.

That’s BIGG success!

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A Day You Can’t Afford to Miss (But You Can Be Late)

Have an anything can happen day for BIGG SuccessWe caught the Sergeant Bilko movie recently. There was a quote we loved.

Rita Robbins (played by Glenne Headley) thinks her relationship with Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko (Steve Martin) is over.

Bilko’s archnemesis, Major Colin Thorn (Phil Hartman) is wooing her.

But she still has feelings for Bilko. She is reminiscing when she says something like this:

“It was always so exciting with Ernie. Every day was ‘Anything Can Happen Day.”

Every day. Not just Wednesdays, like on The Mickey Mouse Club Show.

It got us thinking. Not about having an Anything Can Happen Day every day.

Structure helps you reach BIGG success. Routines are important.

But a routine can easily turn into a rut. And there’s a fine line between truly living and living dead.

So we vow to start having an Anything Can Happen Day now and then. Maybe once a quarter. We’re going to plan for it next year.

And that’s as far as the planning will go. Because anything more would lead to less.

We want to start the day with a blank page. Absolutely nothing on the agenda. A day to do whatever we want.

A day to be spontaneous. When’s the last time you were spontaneous?

You know you’re too busy if you don’t ever have time to be spontaneous. And we’ve been too busy.

So we’re going to do it. We’re going to schedule four Anything Can Happen Days into next year.

That’s less than 1% of the days next year. Surely, we can let life flow that much of the time.

Anything Can Happen Day. It’s a great way to get out of a rut. Or just shake things up a bit.

You can’t afford to miss it. But you can be late for it!

When’s the last time you had an Anything Can Happen Day?

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The Single Reason to Network All the Time

network all the time for BIGG SuccessWe hear it said all the time – network, network, network.

Most new jobs are found through a referral from the job changer’s network.

Your BIGG idea – for your life, your career, or your startup – will likely come from your network.

The capital you need for your business will likely come from someone you know or someone they know.

If you’re married, you met your spouse thanks to networking.

Networks make things happen. Who you know counts at least as much as what you know.

Your network is a huge resource. It’s one of your single, most significant assets.

It’s there, working for you. It makes your life easier.

It helps you get to places you could never get on your own. It can’t guarantee BIGG success, but it can accelerate your progress to it.

All of that is well and good. But why should you network all the time?

Because you never know.

You never know when the person you meet today will help you.
You never know when you will be able to help them.
You never know when the goodwill you build will come back to you.

You just never know.

You just never know when an opportunity will present itself.
You just never know when your life will change forever.
You just never know when you will change someone else’s life forever.

As Chuck Brodsky said:

“We are each other’s angels; we meet when it is time.”

Since we don’t know when it’s time, networking all the time leads to BIGG success!

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