Can we talk it through?

Interpersonal Relations

Some people tolerate conflict better than others. I personally don’t like it. I’m happiest when I can talk through tension and misunderstanding and hear the other person’s point of view, and try to put language to my own. But getting to that moment isn’t easy. Both people need to have an interest in reaching understanding and resolution. Feelings of anger and hurt feelings can incline us to retaliate. Retaliation propels the cycle of anger and hurt feelings.
My brother often says “at the end of the day, Jo, you have to look at the man in the mirror.” This is where you ask yourself, and answer honestly: “Did I behave like an adult today? I can’t control anyone else, but did I conduct myself in a way that I am proud of, and can be at peace with?”
If you are honest about your thoughts and feelings, you can build on them and move through them.
So take a deep breath. Pick up the phone or knock on the office door. And think about how you can make things better.

“Sic semper tyrannis”– and being well-rounded isn’t a bad thing

Interpersonal Relations

A very senior-level hedge-fund manager client of mine was recently bemoaning the fact that his super-smart Gen Y employees have an incredible knowledge of what’s happening in the financial world–how markets will respond to oil prices, who’s investing in what, etc. — but have much less knowledge of what’s happening outside that microcosm. He was also discouraged to find out that his twenty-something business majors couldn’t identify the Brandenburg Concerti and couldn’t answer his on-the-spot history quiz: 1. What play was Lincoln attending the night he was shot? 2. What did John Wilkes Booth say as he leapt to the stage? 3. Who was Andrew Johnson’s vice-president after Lincoln’s assassination? (OK, maybe the quiz is a bit narrow focused, but you get his point.) more…

You always hurt the ones you love

Interpersonal Relations

Maybe we don’t hurt the ones we love intentionally, but we often hurt others through unintentional negligence: we just don’t thank them for the little things they do.  A little appreciation can go a long way.  As a matter of routine, the people you work with may do many small things with great attention, more…