Fruitful Discussions

I liked this guidance from Dr. Britt Andreata on addressing conflict through managing difficult conversations

Here’s how the typical bad scenario unfolds:

1. Problems begin with another person (e.g. annoying or unwanted behaviors).  

2. People start building their cases – listing the wrongs done to them, collecting corroborating evidence, and seeking validation from others.

3. There is a tipping point in terms of frequency or intensity of the problems that lead to a confrontation where accusations are made and blame is attributed. 

4. Then the aftermath in terms of a animosity, loss of trust, and a damaged relationship.

Here’s a better way to deal:

1. Problems begin with another person.  

2. People spend some time reflecting on why the behavior is affecting you, getting clear on what you want to correct it, and trying to see from the other person’s perspective. 

3. The tipping point is sooner in terms of the frequency and intensity of the problems–so you nip it in the bud earlier–and you have a conversation with the other person where you have reframed the other person from an adversary to a partner (e.g. you’ve questioned the facts, assumptions, conclusions along with your emotions, beliefs, and actions–and you’ve looked at alternative narratives to these) and you take responsibility for your part, share your experience and goals to improve things, invite their perceptions, and “co-create solutions.”

4. Follow through with the other person to work together, implement the changes, and hold each other accountable to address the issues. 

The amazing thing about this approach to conflict management is that assuming the other person isn’t truly bad, evil, or gunning for you is that we can look at things from constructive perspective where we own our part, and they own theirs, and together we work together to make things better for everyone. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


We’re A Bunch of Chemicals+

So it’s pretty well known that we are a combination of nature and nurture. 

Nature is our genetics and our hormones–it’s sort of the innate material that make up who we are. 

Nurture, of course, is all those external influencers, like parents, friends, teachers, religious figures, experiences, etc.–that shape us. 

In a way, it’s hard to think of ourselves as a product of nature and nature, because that sort of removes our conscious free choice in the whole matter of who we are and what we do. 

For example, if someone is a raging lunatic, sociopath, serial killer, because they have a brain or hormonal defect and grew up in a broken and abusive home(s), then the question is, well how can you really or fully blame them for their actions–is it really their actions? 

Don’t we have to ask ourselves how much control does a person have over themselves if they are physically and environmentally predisposed to be a certain way–even a very socially unacceptable and hurtful way?

This is where the courts and justice system come into play in looking at things such as whether the person is even competent to stand trial (e.g. the insanity defense) or are there mitigating circumstances to reduce the person’s culpability.

I would imagine it is quite difficult to exactly judge the level of self control that a person is or should be able to exert given their individual set of nature and nurture.  

And even if the person isn’t fully in control of themselves, does that help the victim or their families who are still left reeling from the harm and/or loss caused to them by the perpetrator?

Yet it is uncontested that people are driven by nature and nurture, and just in today’s Wall Street Journal, there was a discussion of the influence of a person’s hormone levels on their personality and behavior.

– Generally, more testosterone makes a person aggressive, while more estrogen makes them sensitive. 

– Similarly, dopamine makes people more energetic, while serotonin makes them more sociable. 

So there is nothing inherently “wrong” with you for being a certain way…that’s your makeup, but you are responsible for how you manage yourself given what you’ve got.   

In other words, where you have lemons, you’ve got to make lemonade!

In a nutshell, we are truly a combination of our genetic makeup, a bunch of chemicals, some environmental molding, and the exertion of our willpower, faith, and belief in what’s right and wrong. 

What happens when you mix these altogether, you get you and only you! 😉

(Source photo: here with attribution to skeeze)

Couple Arguing Loudly About Sex and Pregnancy On The DC Metro {Funny}

This couple is arguing loudly in front of everyone on the Metro in Washington, D.C. 

She claims the coming baby is his, and that he needs to take a paternity test. 

He says it’s impossible that it’s his because she’s 3 months pregnant and they haven’t had sex in 5 months!

This goes on and on in a most hilarious and boisterous way, and they even try and involve some of the innocent bystanders on the train. 

Always a show in this crazy town and it’s not just the politics! 😉

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Stop Playing Politics With Our Security

Another terrorist attack in NYC, not far from the World Trade Center, now memorial!

Radical Islamist mows down pedestrians and bicycle riders in a bike lane along the West Side Highway. 

– 8 innocent people dead.

– Another dozen wounded. 

Now, the Mayor and pundits say, ah maybe we should’ve had barricades up there so someone with a darn truck couldn’t do this. 

And better double up on security for the Halloween parade tonight and NYC Marathon on Sunday.

Well, as they say:

“Better late than never!”

And so it is with our nation’s borders.

As the President tries to erect a border wall and to restrict visas from countries that have not put in the necessary screening security, certain lawmakers and liberal judges keep blocking these actions. 

They don’t want to discriminate against anyone, which I agree is a noble cause. 

However, as every news station was reporting again tonight, the terrorist in NY today was shouting in Arabic that G-d is great!

This was not an innocent vehicular accident. 

There ARE people out there that want to kill us and inflict serious harm on our country. 

To those people that continue to fight rational, reasonable security measures to protect our homeland and our citizens, I say to you:

You have blood on your hands!

And unfortunately, we can rest assured that our enemies are planning plenty more to come in their incessant attacks on the West (may G-d have mercy on us).

It is time for the people of this country to demand security…to insist on a border wall…to assert our right to restrict visas to those countries that won’t ensure proper screening procedures. 

How long will we wait–how much blood will be spilled–before we stop playing politics with national and homeland security! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Management Is A Privilege


So some people have this notion about management that is all wrong. 

– Management is not a right or entitlement.

– Management is a wonderful privilege!

The privilege comes with responsibility and is earned by knowing how to manage and treat your people right.

That means:

– Acting with integrity

– Treating people fairly, with dignity, and respect

– Showing you value them

– Helping to develop them

– And of course, achieving results together!

I heard it said well like this:

“If you don’t treat people well 

you won’t be a manager for long.”

Again, it’s a privilege, not a right, to manage and lead others. 

Those who abuse their privilege and people–it’s like the cycle of life. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Two-Faced Monsters

2 Face.jpeg

One of the scariest things with people are when they are two-faced. 

And no, we’re not talking about people making funny faces or googly eyes.

My father use to joke:

“If that person was two-faced, they would never use that face {the one they are wearing now}!”

But many people really do have two-faces (and sometimes more).

– The seeming friend, but backstabber if they get the chance.

– The “goodie two-shoes,” but what a real mischievous side to them.

– The “nice boy/girl,” but what an unbelievable mean streak.

– The calm, quiet person, but what an explosive temper they really have. 

– The person who it seems “would never hurt a fly,” but what an abuser and bully they are.

This is not about multiple personality disorder, but rather people who either are truly this AND that, or who “fake it to make it.”

Many people do have multiple “normal” sides to their personality (like hardworking, but playful).

However, others more malevolently, use a cover up (and it’s not mascara) to hide their inner bad natures/behaviors and demons.

These are the people that are really scary dudes (and dudettes). 

You see one thing on the surface (superficially), but beneath it is a type of molten lava ready to explode and do very bad things. 

Sure, everyone alternates between good and bad days, happy and sad, more loving or less, etc. 

But when people are fundamentally insincere phonies who are deceiving others until they can but strike and do bad things to them, then they are not just two-faced, but seriously f*cked up! 

This is all part of the fight in this world of good over evil–it goes on everyday with the monsters out there that are allowed to roam free and prey on others–perhaps some of afraid or even others are covering for them. 

How long can they keep up their heinous act?

Often way too long, until those good people of faith and conscience ask when will they be unmasked and held accountable–when will justice prevail. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Another Nothing Burger

Nothing Burger.jpeg

So I’ve noticed that not only in politics–but in life–people are want to throw around a lot of nothing burgers.

This happens when they make vague accusations–incriminating people or groups–but without substantiating what they are saying. 

It’s a way of bullying, discriminating, and hating on others. 

Creating doubt about your victim–keep saying those derogatory, demeaning, and hateful stories–it tarnishes the other person’s image, reputation, and credibility.

Creating an endless aura of fallibility on the other person’s part. 

Here, we go…they screwed up again!

It’s death by a thousand cuts of insults, pot shots, and sucker punches.

It’s a definite form of verbal and emotional abuse and violence. 

Sometimes, there may be something to it–in which case the party that screwed up should take responsibility, correct their mistakes, and commit to sincerely doing better in the future. 

But often, there is nothing there!

And the false accusations are merely a way to cover up (management) incompetency or bias by the accusers themselves. 

It’s a great way to dominate the conversation, but really the people making the stink are simply acting out–and not too flattering as the whiners and complainers.

They point fingers at others, but there are three fingers pointing back at themselves!


Because it’s another nothing burger meant to deceive, discredit, and retard and take the focus off their own meatless patties!  

Where’s the beef?

The liars and deceivers and propagandists are using you for their own means.

Another nothing burger in the oven and it ain’t kosher! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)