Turn Around Tuesday

“The one constant problem with office politics is that 1) most people start the conflict themselves without realizing it and 2) most people don’t realize that they are involved in a game until it is too late. ” – Timothy Johnson, Iowa Biz

I really don’t like conflict. It is uncomfortable to me and I would prefer resolve a situation sooner rather than later. But that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally create it.

Don’t misunderstand me – I am not a drama fan and don’t intentional create conflict. However, it happens none the less. It is the law of unintended consequences – action you take may have results that you had not considered or desired.

And, of course, there are those that thrive on a good dose of discontent. Not my cup of tea. I steer clear of them when I can and get the job done quick when I can’t.

Therefore, reality states that conflict is darn near inevitable. We all must deal with it. More importantly, we must be prepared to bite the bullet and take responsibility when it is created by our own doings.

Today I want to encourage you know yourself. Understand that there are three sides to every story. Know that when conflict arises, the only part of the equation you can control is you. Life is far to short to dwell in the uneasy.

It’s Toastmasters Ya’ll

When I was stationed in Chicago, I had the opportunity to participate in Toastmasters. Once I moved back home, the clubs available were not conducive to my schedule. What is one to do?

Wrangle up a group of friends and start your own! That is just what we have done in Richmond Hill. We are hoping you will come out and join us.

Our group has not officially chartered and we are looking for folks to fill some important slots. Never done Toastmasters? Don’t worry – neither have many of our new members!

Meetings are held every Monday morning, 8:30am at Magnolia Manor. Feel free to contact me if you need any further information. I’ll even tell you how we got out name!

Today’s quote was found at the collaborative blog Iowa Biz

She quit the club

My Savannah came home from first grade last week and was not in a good mood.

“She quit the club.”

You see, my Savannah has created the “Best Friends Club.” It is a special thing to her. She would like everyone to be in it and is trying to rope her daddy into building the clubhouse in our backyard. We will see how that goes.

After some discussion, the bones of the story is that my daughter’s club is in turmoil. It seems to have a revolving door retention problem. While most of the club seems happy to play tag and collect rocks, there is a fringe group. One little girl left because another little girl left because the wrong nickname was being used. Another left because the clubhouse wasn’t ready yet. This latest episode involved a debate over club ownership.

It struck me how representative this is of adults. I belong to a few organizations and they are wonderful! However, I am sure we have all seen “the fringe.” These are those folks who are going to find the negative like they have “poo poo radar.” Then, instead of working to resolve the problem, they leave. Or worse, they stay and try to make life miserable for those around them. I am not going to spend anymore time talking about the characteristics of these folks or why they are the way they are. I learned a long time ago (ok – maybe not that long ago) that I can only control my thoughts and actions.

That’s when I realize (again) the brilliance of my daughter.

“Honey, if she doesn’t like that nickname, you really shouldn’t use it. That would upset me too.”

She already knew this. After the little girl had quit the club, Savannah went to her and found out why. She then apologized for hurting her feelings and said she wouldn’t do it anymore. Both her and the girl that left with her are back.

She also went to the girl about the clubhouse. They decided that since they couldn’t build the clubhouse themselves and since they already had the playground, that was good enough for now. She’s back in the club too.

The little girl who wanted club ownership got her way. Now, while I am not crazy about this (previously it was an all for one ownership), I think Savannah’s thoughts were, “Who cares who owns it as long as everybody is in it?” For a six year old, I think I will leave this one alone for now.

Communication is a wonderful thing. When we genuinely care about what others think, how they feel and what they want, we can accomplish a sense of unity and collaboration that would have been unattainable before. Amazing things happen when move away from placing blame and move towards making progress. I’ll admit I was proud to watch my six year old navigate through situations that make many adults stumble. Maybe there is a learned trait there that is special to adults. If so, I hope she never learns it.

*Photo credit to Sue RB