There are times when we feel stuck in our communications, that no matter what we say or how we plead our case, we make zero headway with the other person. We’re so fixated on what we need and want, we forget to consider the other person and their needs and wants. What are some ways we can turn that around and create a situation where everyone gets what they need?
This is going to be time well-spent, because my guest, Kwame Christian, offers us some awesome insights on how to connect on a meaningful level with someone – even a 2-year old! – and have a persuasive conversation.
Be sure to stick around after the conversation for a few action steps you can take to have more productive interactions with people in your life.
Kwame Christian is Director of the American Negotiation Institute, where he puts on workshops designed to make difficult conversations easier. As an attorney and mediator with a bachelors of arts in Psychology, a Master of Public Policy, and a law degree, Kwame brings a unique multidisciplinary approach to the topic of conflict management and negotiation.
When I get nervous, I can talk… and talk and talk and talk. It’s really embarrassing sometimes, and I don’t know how to stop myself once I get going. I’m sure the other person is bored to tears or wishing I’d just shut up already. But I can’t help it. Or can I? Is it possible to gracefully stop our rambling and get the conversation back on track?
In this episode, I respond to a listener question about what to do when you find yourself talking too much, as well as start an exploration of what really gets in our way when we’re having difficulty being in conversation with someone we disagree with.
It doesn’t matter if they’re down the hall or across the street: being in community with other people can be hard work. We’ve probably all experienced a noisy neighbor or inconsiderate coworker who doesn’t seem to be aware of how their actions affect others. How do we address those problems with the people we live and work with in a way that doesn’t make things worse?
Derek Pratt, founder of 4ward With Progress Inc., shares tips on effectively and tactfully resolving disputes when your neighbor is being less than neighborly.
Derek Pratt dropped out of high school and has lived on his own since the age of 16. But after earning his GED at 19, he enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College in his mid-20s and earned an associate degree in IT. He later earned a bachelor’s degree in IT from David N. Myers University and a master’s degree from Strayer University.
After 12 years in IT and human resources, Pratt decided to pursue the battle against homelessness full time. He left his job and began working as an advocate for people living in apartment communities—mainly subsidized housing—and as a mediator focused on landlord-tenant issues. In January, 2018, he launched 4Ward With Purpose Inc., an organization that provides services that help overcome barriers to housing stability.
There are times in most relationships when we’re faced with one of two situations: we feel a need to protect ourselves, or we feel a need to protect someone else. Every once in a while, especially when it comes to giving feedback, those two things can happen at the same time! How can we act in a way that establishes boundaries while still being kind?
In this episode, we take a look at two listener questions: dealing with negative people and sharing difficult feedback with a colleague who’s having personal issues.
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In an ideal world, relationships that end would do so clearly and with no loose ends. Each person would walk away feeling like they’d tied a nice neat bow on the matter. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and endings can be messy and feel incomplete. What do we do when we are left with lots of loose ends and no one to help us tie them up?
In this episode, we’re going to do a deep dive into a listener question about how to find relationship closure alone when it’s not possible to do it together.
We’ve all found ourselves in arguments where we reach a stalemate. Neither person seems willing to budge on what they need, and frustration builds instead of goes away. After all, what I want is what I want! Isn’t that what I’m arguing for? Well, it turns out there’s more at stake than what we think. And one way to get past the frustration is to find out what that is. What are some ways we can get at what really matters in a disagreement? In this episode, I’m joined by mediator Veronica Cravener, who provides insights about what gets in our way in difficult conversations and how we can best share our needs, wants and interests with others.
Veronica Cravener started her career as an attorney and is now a professional mediator. In her role as the Small Claims and Mediation Supervisor at the Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus, OH, she helps parties resolve conflict in a way that works for them, outside of a courtroom. She mediates civil issues, primarily landlord/tenant, consumer/business, and disputes over money owed. Veronica is also the Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution committee for the Columbus Bar Association.
There’s a time and place for everything, and that includes emotion and intimacy. Most of the time it’s clear when we can show emotion and wear our heart on our sleeve. But sometimes, especially in professional environments, it can be more challenging to know how to respond when a clear need for empathy presents itself. We want to connect as human beings while still respecting boundaries. What’s a healthy way to walk that line with people we care about? Leadership Coach Grace Judson joins to me to discuss this and follow-up on a listener question from Episode 2.
Grace Judson is a leadership coach and consultant focusing on first-line and recently-promoted managers and supervisors, helping them cross that daunting gap between being part of a team, and leading a team.
Drawing on her 25 years of corporate experience – including 16 years of executive leadership – plus 13 years of leadership coaching, Grace works with individuals, teams, and leaders to develop their skills, helping them become the empowered leaders they want to be – and their teams deserve.
She points out that she’s not as old as all those years of experience might indicate. After all, she started her career as a two-year-old, turning her parents’ faces toward each other when they argued, wanting them to see each other instead of fighting. That was the beginning of her lifelong quest to understand what makes people tick – and what makes a good, or even great, leader.
How can we offer our perspective in a thoughtful way that doesn’t put someone on the defensive? In episode 6 of “How Can I Say This…”, we’ll be looking at some listener questions about telling it like it is to someone you care about, intergenerational conversations, and lopsided friendships.
I welcome etiquette consultant Arden Clise to the show, and together we respond to listener questions on giving and receiving sensitive feedback, as well as how to establish boundaries when you value your privacy.
Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Today, as a professional trainer, coach, speaker and author, Arden has helped thousands of professionals, from executives to front-line staff, confidently and comfortably navigate business situations for career success. She is the author of Spinach In Your Boss’s Teeth: Essential Etiquette for Professional Success.
Conflict coach Cinnie Noble joins me in conversation about what constitutes healthy and unhealthy conflict. We also offer some perspectives to a listener that’s dealing with passive-aggressive behavior.