Rick Baker Thought Posts
Left Menu Space Holder

About the author

Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

E-mail me Send mail
Follow me LinkedIn Twitter

Search

Calendar

<<  July 2020  >>
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789

View posts in large calendar

Recent Comments

Comment RSS

Small stuff is like a sponge. If you sweat over it long enough it becomes so big & heavy it drags you under.

by Rick Baker
On Sep 30, 2018

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

When fear of failure prevails, it causes people to sweat the small stuff. 

Fear of Failure...one of the 6 Fears identified by Napoleon Hill in his classic 'Think and Grow Rich', (1937).

Tags:

Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude | Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Humour | Thought Tweets

Fear is powerful. It is able to close our eyes and ears...and, sometimes, even our mouths.

by Rick Baker
On Sep 27, 2018

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

It is interesting to observe, of all our faculties, our mouths are often the last to give in.

Tags:

Communication: Improving Communication | Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Humour | Thought Tweets

Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.

by Rick Baker
On Sep 26, 2018

The Thinking Behind the Tweet

I read that somewhere, many years ago. An interesting mind-picture.

A metaphor true to our anxieties.

We should avoid the darkrooms and the dark places where anxiety breeds; we should seek brilliance and concentrate on the brightest of lights.

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

"...the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

[Perhaps inspired by, or even coined by, Napoleon Hill.]

 

 

 

 

Tags:

Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude | Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Hero Worship | Thought Tweets

We are too tolerant of conflict!

by Rick Baker
On May 29, 2017

Are you better off following prescribed step-by-step conflict resolution processes designed by 'the experts' or drawing on your innate talents to resolve conflicts? Perhaps, for some people, there is merit in using someone else's detailed approach. However, how often have you seen that work in real life situations?

We should draw on our innate talents to resolve conflicts.

I have never seen canned processes for conflict resolution work in real life situation. We cannot be someone else so what would cause us to think we could use someone else's approach to conflict resolution? To the extent we find ourselves in situations of conflict we know we are at least partially responsible for our predicament [if not fully responsible]. We didn't follow someone else's steps when we walked our way into the conflict situation...so, we should not expect to be able to follow someone else's logical steps to find our way out of the conflict situation.

Often, we find ourselves in situations of conflict because:

1. we lack self-confidence and, as a result of that, we behave either too timidly or too aggressively and

2. we are too lazy to figure out how to avoid conflict or nip conflict in the bud when we know it has commenced.

We are too tolerant of conflict.

Some people even promote conflict in the workplace because they view it as a good, healthy, and productive way to communicate, make decisions, and delegate tasks.

That's interesting in many negative directions!

The results conflict promoters achieve at their businesses prove it is a high-risk-low-reward strategy. If that strategy ever worked it certainly has fallen out of vogue in recent decades. For example, under our Bill 168, we want people to feel secure at work. I expect Abraham Maslow would have supported this approach.

The reality is, some people – mostly people lacking self-confidence - either enjoy conflict with others or see it as a necessary component of work [and possibly life]. What can we expect from these die-hard conflict consumers and conflict distributors? Certainly, we cannot expect them to buy into following someone else's prescribed steps for conflict resolution. These people cannot follow such steps because they lack the innate talents required to avoid or resolve conflict.

And, if people possess the innate talents required to resolve conflicts then they can and should find their own natural ways to avoid and resolve conflict.

Either way, there is no need for experts to prescribe conflict resolution processes. These prescribed processes do not work because people either cannot follow them or do not need to follow them.

People need to understand themselves, work continuously at building and maintaining their self-confidence levels, educate themselves about innate talents and interpersonal interactions, and exercise self-control. These are the routes that lead to conflict avoidance and conflict resolution.

Criticism, Adrenalin Spikes & Improving Relationships

by Rick Baker
On May 15, 2017

Some people naturally repulse criticism. These people may show outward signs of their repulsion. These people may not show outward signs, or their repulsion may hide so well it would take a professional observer to notice it. Regardless, internally, these people churn in reaction to criticism. For these people - even small, innocuous pieces of feedback can trigger intense internal reactions, floods of adrenalin – adrenalin spikes.

  1. Do you know people who show vehement reaction to tiny criticisms…people who have zero tolerance for incoming criticism?
  2. Do you know people who, at first, show no outward reaction to criticism then, later, strike excessive reactionary blows against the person who delivered the criticism?
  3. Do you know people who have the habit of claiming they are the victim of undue criticism?
  4. Do you know people who repulse criticism yet deliver it to others with gusto and righteousness?

These are four common reactions to criticism.

I have personally exhibited at least three of these four reactions to criticism…and, probably, many people would think I’m selling myself short by not admitting to all four.

Why?

Why would I have had such reactions to criticism?

Not having much knowledge of physiology or biology and only dabbling experience with psychology I answer that question this way:

  • When people criticized me, I experienced adrenalin spikes [or was that cortisol?]. I felt strong, churning, tightening sensations in the gut…quickly followed by combinations of anxiety and anger, often intense anger...then excessive negative thoughts and behaviour.
  • This reaction must have started when I was a very young child. I have no memory of reacting any other way to criticism [until the last decade, that is].
  • Perhaps, my criticism-repulsion was are due to genetics? Perhaps, my childhood environment? Perhaps, my early experiences with authority figures? I expect it was some combination of these things.

Here’s a curious thing. When you experience criticism-repulsion as a child you can be quite oblivious to other people. And, this can cause challenges…a large variety of interpersonal challenges. Left unattended, these interpersonal challenges can last a lifetime.

Here’s some good news. It is possible to gain self-understanding and create strategies to overcome the interpersonal challenges. The starting point, or at least one starting point, is recognition of the physiological changes that signal less-than-ideal reactions to criticism. People, perhaps most people, can alter their bad habits [including adrenalin spikes] if they choose to make the changes and do the work required.

 

PS: Perhaps, the people who experience the criticism-repulsion I have described are most capable of identifying it in other people? ... and helping others?  

Conflict at our offices: is it a foe or a friend?

by Rick Baker
On May 8, 2017

I have experienced some synchronicity around this topic...I have witnessed several unrelated instances...some people have complained about the interpersonal damages done by office conflict while others have applauded the value office conflicts have injected into innovative and creative processes. 

Business empires have been built around office conflicts and 'crucial conversations'. In some cases the empires are bestselling books, must-do and how-to manuals aimed at teaching people how to diffuse, reduce, remove office conflicts. At the other end of the spectrum, we have a touted genius-of-our-time and an empire formed around the legacy of a partially-eaten apple. 

And, interpersonal conflicts create huge challenges in family businesses: parent-child rifts, sibling rivalry, family distrusts. When these entrenchments exist it is easy to determine the cause/fault. It always rests with the other guy! 

On the other hand, according to some experts, strongly-expressed differences of opinion lead to creative breakthroughs. Thick-skinned people locking horns in boardrooms and other meeting rooms...generating many diverse ideas...reaching a single decision...enjoying consensus...working in unison...achieving desired goals. 

Radically different views about Office Conflicts!

What's your personal comfort zone?

Your comfort zone: that's the key area...

What's your personal comfort zone?

  1. How far are you prepared to stretch your comfort zone to accommodate other people's viewpoints? 
  2. How open are you to accept different styles of communication when other people express their viewpoints?
  3. How clearly do you communicate your personal values and rules?

Put another way:

  1. Are you open to 'possibilities and 'new things'?
  2. Are you open to different personalities and communication styles?
  3. Do you know and share these important aspects of your character...telling stories to explain why you are the way you are?
As the ancient Greek maxim goes - "Know Thyself".

When you know yourself and know how to share important aspects of yourself with others you have the opportunity to be part of teams that excel at communication.
 
Internally - These successful teams may operate in friendly ways or in not-so-friendly ways.
Externally - These successful teams will present a unified front.
From Your Perspective - These successful teams will be inspiring, productive and gratifying.

490 Dutton Drive - Suite C6 - Waterloo ON N2L 6H7 - phone 519-886-6522 - fax 519-886-8795
Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.