Conflict Resolutions Managing Stress Stress

How I Learned to Handle Conflict

Hi everybody!

I decided to just do one extra something today, since I had a little extra time. I was on an interview this morning and they were asking about the patterns and conflict, and how I learned to handle conflict, and so I decided just to share this with you because it’s kind of fun and interesting. Embarrassing too, but what the heck?

So, as I grew up I have an older brother who is king of the hill, and I was just the cute little girl. So, if I ever wanted attention, I would have a hissy fit and I learned how to do academy-award hissy fits. So, that got really deeply into my nervous system. You want attention? Make a lot of noise. You want attention? Yell, cry, scream, stamp your feet, do whatever… Okay?

Now, I grow up and I’m a businesswoman, and this is now years ago. So, at least I have a little bit of room to say, I have improved. Hopefully, I have and what would happen was, we’d be in the meeting and somebody would say something, and I get upset and you guessed it. I’d have a hissy fit, and I would stamp my hand on the table. I would shake my head till it looked like it was falling off. I would roll my eyes. I was not good and I saw people over there saying, “Oh my God! There she goes again.” Okay. So, one day was where it got me, I had a meeting in the morning and during that time, Sylvia had her drama queen hissy fit. Later in the afternoon, different group of people, different organization, certainly a different meeting, similar Sylvia. I had another hissy fit, and as we walked out somebody said, “Oh my! Do you really have to be that dramatic with what you do? And I remember thinking, oh, what does she know? What does he know? What do they know? I get what I want because I make a lot of noise, which is what happened when I was a kid.

Anyway, go home and the third time they say is the charm. So, pay attention to threes and what happened was, my daughters were in college at the time and one of my daughters called, and she was telling me something that you know, kind of was annoying me, and I went, “Oh, I don’t believe this and blah, blah, blah,” and my daughter said, “Mom, when you get into that drama queen place, there’s no talking to you. So, I love you and I’m going to hang out.” And she she hung up the phone. Yay! Julie and I thought they’re looking at the phone, thinking not nice thoughts but then I went three times in one day. I better pay attention. So, I started then, that was observing and I used my out technique, and I went down to understand where it came from, and it was like my brother was taking up all the air in the room, cuz he was so wonderful and marvelous and brilliant and all that stuff, and the only way I could get attention was being noisy.

Okay, so then I had to figure out what do you do to transform it, and this is where the work that we’ve done over the years, has been the most exciting because there are 13 patterns, and they all can be transformed. That’s what’s exciting, and I finally figured out that the drama queen or king has the ability to become a great storyteller, because you like the adrenaline you’re used to the adrenaline. I kind of liked it. One, I now… that I’ve learned how to become a good storyteller. I use it that way.

Now, here’s the difference. The difference is the storyteller has purpose. It’s going to an end, that has a positive outcome. It’s not just spewing around and making a lot of noise for no reason. So, the transformation is possible, and during these times of stress.

I love you to write down at the bottom of the video any thought you have about how you’ve been working to transform the stress and love to hear from you. I’m going to have a very short masterclass for you to look at about stress, and then there’ll be a program where we can really dig down into the stress that happens with coaching that will be involved,

So, thanks so much. Have a beautiful rest of the day, and let’s keep helping each other get through this complicated time, okay?

Communication Conflict Resolutions Leadership Success

How Is Good Work Measured in Most Organizations Today?

How is good work measured in most organizations today?

It’s no longer about longevity and loyalty. It’s no longer about being first one in the office and last one out (to show how hard you work). It’s not enough to say ‘yes’ to each and every project, no matter how overwhelmed you become.

What should be front and foremost in leadership development programs to stay up to date?

Let’s drill down to what makes the biggest difference.

A look back first: we have moved from the industrial age, through the information age into the knowledge age and are on the brink of entering the wisdom age.

Big leaps in short amounts of time.

What, in heaven’s name, is the wisdom age?

Wisdom is not simply sitting on the top of a mountain and meditating. Nor is wisdom simply spouting out lots of facts and statistics.

It’s the ability to prepare. In today’s world, it’s easy to get the facts and stats to make good decisions. We have more quick routes to information than ever before on our planet.

Along with the rational reasons for making decisions, it’s also vital to understand the motivations and emotional reactions people have to the facts and stats.

Blending emotional intelligence with rational perspectives is the heart and soul of the wisdom age.

Here are the key elements for leaders and emerging leaders who are ready and willing to take on the challenge of bringing wisdom thinking to work:

  • Purpose: Everyone in the organization has a strong vision of what they are doing for company success. There is a clear path that includes contributing to the community in which they live.
  • Openness: Employees feel free enough to speak up and be heard rather than just sit on the sidelines. There is a sense of confidence that they are being treated like adults who can help solve problems and contribute in a creative manner.
  • Compensation: There are no hidden agendas that keep employees feeling they are being exploited or ignored. They feel empowered to ask for a just and fair wage. There are sites like to keep this emotionally laden subject open for healthy communication.
  • Excellence: Everyone is given opportunities to take on-line courses, such as GUTSY WOMEN LEAD to enhance leadership development. And senior leaders are committed to their own continued growth.

This push into the future, to becoming wise, is not without its challenges.

This requires a new way of thinking about organizational culture and individual accomplishments.

It’s not enough to have a “tune up” at work and offer a course on conflict resolution or gender equity and call it a day.

It’s about visioning a place where everyone is valued and respected. Where people learn the best communication skills and ways to handle the discomfort of conflict without creating a huge ‘us vs. them’ divide.

The world is poised for positive change right now, if we take steps in the right direction. Communication skills can be enhanced and that is a good place to focus.

Let’s grow wise together.

Let’s make it happen.

Get a copy of 79 Power Sentences that offers some good tips for how to talk with each other effectively.

Want more about communication and power?

I would love to offer you a FREE copy of my book “79 Power Sentences.” Find out the one word that changes minds quickly.

power sentences


Communication Conflict Resolutions Leadership

How to Change Conflict to Collaboration

Hi everyone! Sylvia Lafair here and I’d like to offer just a few tidbits about conflict and how to handle that nasty thing that drives us all crazy.

So, when they ask how many people out there like conflict raise your hand. If you do all over the world where I worked I have asked that question and in a room of 50, in a room of 200 you usually get one or two people who raise their hands.

Conflict is something that makes us get tight inside, scares us, makes us want to run the other way, makes us feel like is it my fault, is it always my fault. So, what I’m going to do is, give you one little tidbit toward the end of this.

So, listen for just a minute. There are so many times at work where we feel discounted, ignored, pushed aside because somebody else is trying to climb the ladder of success. So, you can’t blame them for climbing the ladder of success but you need to know how to manage that. It’s like taking wild horses and learning how to teach them to behave properly.

So, what does that all mean? It means you don’t run away. You don’t get into it with them. You stay very centered. You breathe. You ask questions and if you have a colleague that’s really upsetting to you, my biggest suggestion is don’t go to each. I don’t go to your boss. Don’t go to your friends. Don’t go to your colleagues. Go to the person. So, what do you do once you go to the person. Well, you have to talk to them right.

Okay, so here’s the way you do it. You can start there, two ways: one is you can start and tell them how you feel about things you know. When you tell me my work isn’t good enough, I feel frustrated, discounted, upset, whatever your word is, and then what I do. What I have done is, normally I shut down, push away. I pull the curtain down. I talked to myself. I talked to my friends, but this time I’m really going to talk to you.

So, the question here is, what can we do to make our relationship work better? That’s it. That’s all you have to say, and then you zip it, you get quiet, you listen to them, and you wait for their response,  and then… but this has to come from the work you’ve done. Your internal work saying, “I really do want to have a relationship with you.” That works too many times. I’m getting responses that are saying, “I can’t work with him or her and I’m leaving the job,” and what I have found is, often you go into another job and there’s another him or her right there.

So, tackle this. Learn how to handle it. Learn to look at the essence of conflict, and when the stress gets to the hot button, know that you always tend to revert to patterns you used in your younger years to protect yourself. This isn’t about protection. It’s about understanding. It’s about dialogue. It’s about creating a new way.

I’d love you to contact me at I’d love to hear from you. We have an incredible staff of coaches who can work with you, and one of our major skills is helping people learn to handle conflict in a way that you can change things from very nasty, annoying, push away to a next level of collaboration.

It’s doable. It’s workable and we all need to learn it.

Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day and here’s to your success.

Conflict Resolutions Growth Patterns

Letting Go of Behavior Patterns That We Developed During Childhood

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re having a glorious day even though everything seems overwhelmed and rushed, and we can’t move fast enough, and we can’t please everybody but nonetheless we just keep persevering, right? Except, sometimes we feel submissive compliant filled with self-doubt, create self-sabotage.

Those days, everybody does it and what happens is, it gets worse and worse during holidays and celebrations, because we have these mental images about the way things should be, and when the moments of life come in, and we can’t get everything done the way we want.

Well, we do a couple of things: one is, many of us go into the victim mode. It’s my fault, I can’t do it right, it’s not good enough, it’s never good enough.

So, what do we do about all this?

If you feel overwhelmed and have a lot of self-doubt, I have three suggestions for you now.

This is only the beginning, because what happens is, a lot of this started when we were kids, and you couldn’t meet your parents expectations or your teachers expectations or even your friends expectations.

So, you began to say something wrong with me. We don’t put it out there. We say, there’s something wrong with me. So, if you were judged as a kid, it shows up in these moments of overwhelm as a grownup.

What to do about it?

Well, number one is, stop complaining but life is unfair. It’s not meant to be fair. It’s not here to coddle you. It’s here to challenge you, and it’s here to help you grow an experience.

So, if life is unfair and you feel you’re judged, stop complaining and look for solutions. It’s interesting because the victim in the patterns that I work with, becomes the bluer and here’s where I learned about this. In the native cultures when you go before the tribe, the tribunal, if you will and you have a problem and you’re upset about something, they will not listen unless you come in with three, one, two, three solutions. Three different solutions to the problem.

So that’s one of the things you can do now. Stop complaining and look for solutions.

Good idea takes a little time. Sit quietly and do it.

The next thing you need to do, whoops… I have to look at my notes for a minute… is, stop saying it’s all my fault. Sure, some of, it’s your fault. That’s fine. Some of, it’s everybody’s fault, but it’s not all your fault. So, what you need to do is, be accountable for your poet in it. Speak it. Say it. Bring it out. Don’t sit with it. Don’t put the pillow over your head and begin to whine and moan.

Simply acknowledge. Yep, this is the part I played. This is what I’m doing and the third thing, which I’ve said over and over is, please remember to prioritize and in prioritizing, know that this
sentence has helped so many people including me.

Remember, no is a complete sentence. You can say no. You don’t have to defend, explain or justify. You simply say no. I can’t do this right now. No, I have to fill in the blank. I have to go take a bath. I have to go get my hair done. I have to go read a book.
I have to go sit quietly and have a cup of tea whatever it is, but if you follow these three rules and really begin to let them sink in, they will begin to change the patterns and the way your brain processes things, and your mindset will begin to change.

So, have beautiful times at all holidays and all celebrations and remember things do escalate them. So, take a deep breath and find a way to have fun with it and have a beautiful rest of the day.

Thank you so much.

Oh wait a minute. Before I go, one more thing as a gift to yourself for this holiday time, why don’t you consider getting. Don’t bring it to work. I have all the 13 patterns in there that you can look at in detail to see where each one came from. We’re talking about the victim right now, but there’s also the martyr. There’s also the bully, the procrastinator.

They’re all these patterns that we’ve developed, that we need to let go of. So, a gift to yourself or someone else. Don’t bring it to work.

Thank you so much. Happy days.