Pick Your Battles – Some Just Aren’t Worth Winning 2

Conflict Resolution 2Are you the type of person that has to be right all the time? The need to always be right must be sooooo¬†exhausting. I’ve been there, done that, and have the tee-shirt to prove it. Trust me, I’m a recovering “Control Freak” so I know how tiring it can be. Perhaps it comes with age or experience, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a total waste of my time and energy to try to convince someone else that I’m right and they’re wrong. In most situations I chose not to go there now. Creative problem solving and conflict resolution starts and ends with you. You can decide if you want to be right or agree to disagree and move on.

Here are five things you can do to try to resolve conflict:

1 – Provide as much information as you can to make discussions productive rather than contentious. Lack of information, or not enough of the right information, could be the reason behind the conflict. If others understand the “why” they are more likely to agree with your decision.

2 – Ask for solutions. I never let anyone bring me a problem without offering a solution. If their solution sounds plausible – go with it and see what happens. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just plausible. Always try to create a win-win. You won because you got the end result you where looking for and they won because they got to do it their way.

3 – A sense of humor is a great way to defuse a difficult situation and get people to step back for a moment and realize – in the big scheme of things – it’s not worth getting upset over it.

4 – Do not force a consensus. If the plan fails you’ll be to blame. Get them involved in the planning. If they have a personal state in the process they are more likely to make it work. Remember – it doesn’t have to be just your way. All you should be concerned about are the end result.

5 – Be prepared to make a decision that you can live with. Realize that not everyone is going to agree with the decision you make. But don’t let that stop you from making a decision. Leadership is about making tough decisions ¬†for the good of everyone involved. If leading was easy everyone would want to do it.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. May not be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics including communication, team building or dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better? Contact Brian. He will work with you to insure your event is a success. http://briansmithpld.com

I Could Be Wrong But Maybe It’s Time To Thin The Herd Reply

images (2)Forest Gump said it best – “Stupid is what stupid does”. Some say you can’t fix stupid. If that’s the case then maybe it’s time to thin the herd. There might be something to be said for the survival of the fittest. Now I’m not really advocating that we start rounding people up but you must admit that some people say and do the dumbest things. Their elevator isn’t going all the way to the top. If we were counting bricks they’d be a few short. I’m not talking about those that have a medical condition or are mentally challenged. I’m talking about people who are smart enough to know better. It’s time to start thinking people or put on a dunce cap and go sit in the corner. For most of us being stupid is a choice – so stop playing dumb.


Here’s a partial list of my pet peeves. They appear here in no particular order. Feel free to add yours to this list.

1 – People that state the obvious. (Excuse me do you work here?) I guess wearing a company uniform wasn’t a big enough clue for them.

2 – People that walk into a store and stop at the front entrance to have a conversation or look around – blocking everyone else from getting in or getting out.

3 – People that maintain the speed limit in the passing lane, oblivious to the miles of traffic behind them.

4 – Truck drivers passing other trucks on the highway. One driver is doing 60 – trying to pass a truck that’s doing 59 miles an hour.

5 – People who wait until the cashier has rung in all their purchases and bagged the items before they start looking for the money to pay for them.

6 – People who hold up the line looking for exact change to pay for their purchase – usually all in coins.

7 – Sales people who say “no problem” instead of “my pleasure” when I thank them for helping me. I know it’s not a problem – that’s why you’re there.

8 – People who haven’t figured out yet why popular fast food restaurants post their menu over top of the order taker. They wait until it’s their turn to order before looking over the board and deciding what they want.

9 – People who ask a question and then appear not to be interested in the answer. They seem to be paying attention to everyone else in the room but you.

10 – People who bring a cell phone onto the golf course and hold everyone else up while they take a call. (It usually rings in the middle of your back swing)

11 – People who carry on a cell phone conversation loud enough so everyone in the restaurant can hear.

12. People who haven’t figured out yet what turn signals are for or they know but decide not to use them.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you or someone you know looking for a speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics including communication, time management or dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com – You’ll be glad you did.

Being Passionate Is Never Enough Reply

imagesBanish the word passionate from your bio. Being passionate should be a given. If you aren’t passionate about what you are doing then why bother doing it at all? Being passionate about what you are doing is a pre-resiquent to your overall success. However, being passionate is never enough. Being passionate about helping others to be successful, to achieve more, to do more or be more will only get you so far. It’s the same as having a goal but not bothering to put a plan together to achieve it.

If you have to tell someone you’re passionate about something then it’s obvious you’re not. Passionate people get into the game – they don’t sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by. Unless you are willing to take the next step you’re no different then a monday morning quarterback. You talk a good talk but you fall short on doing the walk. It’s time to stop talking about it and time to start doing something about it.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you – or someone you know – looking for a speaker who can inform and entertain on a variety of soft-skills topics? Planning a lunch-n-learn or organizing a training session – give Brian a call. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Managing Your Boss and Living to Tell About It 2

images (36)The key to managing your boss is to manage them in a style they like. One thing you need to know for certain is you are not going to change them. They’ve been successful managing a certain way so why would they want to do it any differently? If you want to learn how to manage your boss and live to tell about it then you must change your style to be more in tune with theirs. Everyone has a natural style of behaving. A natural way of communicating and interacting with others. Everyone likes to manage and be managed a certain way. Learn to mirror their behavior.

Different strokes for different folks. I believe we are born one of four styles of behaving. (Dominate, Interactive, Steadiness and Conscientious. The theory of DISC was developed by Dr. William Marston.) Take time to discover your bosses style and then communicate and interact with them that way.

D Style: (Dominant) They walk fast, talk fast and do everything fast. Make communication brief and to the point. Don’t muddy the water by using graphs, charts and volumes of data. Respect their need for autonomy. Be prepared for blunt, demanding approaches. They lack empathy and are uncomfortable with social interaction so they see no need for idle chit-chat.

I Style: (Interactive / Interpersonal) Don’t be in a hurry. They prefer a relaxed and social environment. Let them verbalize their thoughts and feelings. They are great communicators so be prepared for someone who will attempt to persuade and influence others. Provide them with the information they’ll need to make the right decisions. They like being the center of attention.

S Style: (Steadiness) Be logical and systematic in your approach. They have a natural resistance to change. They prefer to know how things will be done ahead of time – preferably in writing. They have a difficult time identifying priorities and meeting deadlines. Teach them how to say no nicely because they usually say yes to everything. They are the ultimate team player never wanting to let anyone down.

C Style: (Conscientious) They value high standards – they strive to be perfect. Be prepared – know what you know. They have very little patience for vague generalizations. Chances are they will double-check your work so let them know what you don’t know but assure them that you’ll go and find out. Don’t make stuff up. They are all about detail. They love pie charts and graphs.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator? Give Brian a call. He’ll work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Visit http://briansmithpld.com