Category: Emotional Intelligence

Put Yourself in Your Own Shoes

Posted May 2, 2017 • Conflict Mastery,Emotional Intelligence,Leadership,Mindfulness • by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler, Ph.D.
shoes
Conventional advice on solving conflict says you should “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.” This old adage suggests that by increasing understanding and empathy for the other side, we will be better able to create solutions that take their interests into account, thus allowing us to more quickly and effectively reach agreement.

 For several decades now, this advice has helped millions of people reach “win-win” agreements. The only problem is: this assumes that we know what we ourselves want, and why we want it. Which is not always true.

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How to End the Bitter Debate

Posted February 10, 2017 • Conflict Mastery,Emotional Intelligence,Leadership,Mindfulness • by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler, Ph.D.

boss-yellingThe world today is increasingly polarized. People who once identified with the center have shifted towards extremes. For example, in the US political arena, those who once identified as Republicans or Democrats have now shifted towards the “alt-right” or “left-wing activism”. This means there may be no shortage of bitter debates in the coming years, whether we’re at a dinner party, at the office, or working to influence those in elected office.

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Ugly Conflict? Map It Out

Posted January 10, 2017 • Conflict Mastery,Emotional Intelligence • by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler, Ph.D.

Difficult conflicts are typically caused by multiple interconnected factors, but our tendency is to view the situation in much simpler terms. Our minds are always searching for certainty and clarity, causing us to see things in black and white rather than to remain aware of the many detailed nuances of a situation. This evolved over millennia as a way to enable us to successfully adapt to a world of overwhelming data, but one of its drawbacks is that it can severely limit our ability to see complex situations clearly. For example, we typically see complex conflict as occurring between two people or between two groups when it actually involves many more people and groups than that. Because of this limitation, in order to master conflict, it helps to start by not doing anything at all. It helps to simply observe who the players are, how they’ve behaved and how they’re connected to one another.

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Mastering Difficult Conflict

Posted December 14, 2016 • Change,Conflict Mastery,Emotional Intelligence,Leadership • by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler, Ph.D.

Over the past few months, I’ve been hard at work to define how people can master very difficult conflicts.  It’s for a book proposal that I’m writing.  While I’ve been teaching these ideas at Columbia for close to a decade and coaching dozens of clients using this approach for just as long, writing out the ideas in book form has been an exciting new challenge all its own.  Here is my first public attempt to explain in writing what I’ve been teaching and coaching all along.

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