Mindset Mondays

Monday, 20 November 2017
Holiday Family Gathering Survival Guide

If you think you need to bring your helmet to the Thanksgiving table, then here are a few tips from Dir. of External Relations, Ashley Virtue on how you can avoid stressful conversations and enjoy your time with family and friends. #MindsetMonday

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Happy Mindset Monday and Happy Thanksgiving week! Now, when we think of Thanksgiving one thing that is very synonymous with Thanksgiving is football, right? We all like to watch the Thursday game, Thanksgiving game, and so that's a big part of Thanksgiving celebrations around the country. But another thing that often happens is that mentally we are kind of preparing ourselves at the dinner table for this. A lot of the times we feel like we need to go into Thanksgiving dinner with our helmets on because, let's be honest, we're seeing maybe some friends and family that we don't always spend the most time with. And sometimes those dinner table conversations can become a little bit heated, and, unfortunately, it means that for some people they really avoid the holidays or don't enjoy them. So, this Thanksgiving what do you do if you have a family member or someone at the dinner table who brings up topics that you don't want to talk about that tend to instigate arguing or fighting in your family? Here's what we recommend. Share in the joys, if someone takes the conversation in that direction do your part to redirect it. Share in your commonalities, the things that make you happy, because in every family there are always some things that can be shared, whether they're a past travel experience, how fast the kids are growing up, what's happening with someone's job. Go back to those things that you know are happy memories, happy conversations to look forward to. And, as much as you can, redirect the conversation, so that you're doing a little bit less of this and a little bit more enjoying each other's company. We wish you the very best, there's lots to be thankful for. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and we'll see you next week. Thanks!

Monday, 13 November 2017
Talking Politics: How to Talk Politics And Stay Civil

Today we're going to cover talking about politics... Chances are, you may have been involved in a situation where you were talking about politics with someone and the conversation didn't end well. Ashley Virtue, Dir. of External Relations at National Conflict Resolution Center - NCRC shares a few tips on how you can stay civil while talking politics. #MindsetMonday

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All right, welcome to Mindset Monday. Thanks for tuning in! Today we're going to talk about talking politics. Chances are if you live in the United States and you've been alive and breathing for the last 12 months, you've had an opportunity to talk politics with someone, and maybe those conversations haven't always gone as civilly as you would have hoped. So, today we're going to talk about how you can deal with those without being too afraid to broach the topic. Because the truth is, we have to be able to talk about how we differ in opinion when it comes to our country and do it in a healthy way. It's the only way that we're going to be able to make change and create solutions. So, how do you engage in a conversation with somebody politically that you don't agree with? Well, tool number one that we would say is don't make assumptions about them, just like you don't want them to make assumptions about you. Go ahead and identify what you want to say to them, but then when you're listening to them, don't assume what you're hearing, don't assume why they're saying it. In fact, maybe ask some deeper questions. Get to the root of why they believe what they believe. You might find that you have some common ground and from there you can build off that to maybe talk about some positive solutions or have civil dialogue. Also remember, you don't have to change everyone's mind. Really, this is about sharing ideas. So, don't go into every conversation thinking, “How can I change this person's mind? I have a duty to do that.” Just go in with an open heart and open mind and be ready to listen to them. Chances are you're going to leave that conversation still disagreeing about some things, but what if you come together on even just one issue, aren't you closer than you were before to maybe making some change in the world? So, think about that next time you get into a political conversation. Good luck, let us know how it goes! Take care.

Monday, 30 October 2017
Halloween: Avoiding Coworker Conflicts

Halloween can be a great deal of fun at the office with activities happening throughout the day but what do you do when a coworker keeps interrupting your to-do list? Here are a few tips from Ashley Virtue our Dir. of External Relations on how to keep all the ghouls and goblins in good spirits.

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Hi everyone, happy Mindset Monday and happy Halloween tomorrow! If you are in one of the millions of offices around the country who are having a little bit of fun with Halloween, like clearly we are, then you're probably doing a little bit of dressing up and maybe having a lunch all together, so enjoy that. But what you do if you have a colleague, someone you work with, who you feel like takes things a little bit too far? Maybe they use Halloween as an excuse to play pranks or dress up really scary, and you're not totally comfortable with it. How do you approach them in a way when you don't seem like you're really being a downer? What we recommend that you do is just have an honest conversation with them. A lot of the time what happens is people go to others after the fact and they say, “I hate when you do that!” or “Oh my gosh, that is so unprofessional.” But when you do that, it seems like you're attacking the other person. So if you know that this is coming up and there's a prankster in your office, maybe just have a conversation with them ahead of time and express to them what you need to have happen from the situation. Say, “I genuinely don't like scary things, so if you don't mind leaving me out of that I would really appreciate it” or “I have a big client meeting and I kind of need to look really client-centered tomorrow, so I can't really be as into the festivities for that part of the day.” Keep that in mind as you talk to these other colleagues of yours and, as much as you can, try to have fun with the day while also expressing what your needs are from this situation. We hope that you have a wonderful Halloween! We hope that you have a great week and that you stay safe out there. And we really look forward to if you want to leave some comments with us and let us know what you dressed up as, we'd like to hear about that too. Have a great one, you guys! Thanks. Ah, Steven!

Monday, 23 October 2017
Active Listening And Why It's Important

Active Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.

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Hi everyone, happy Mindset Monday! Thanks for tuning in. Today we're going to talk about a phrase that may have made you roll your eyes at some point in your life, but it's really important. What I'm talking about is active listening. All right, so if you're one of those people that just rolled your eyes you're probably thinking, “Active listening, yeah, I get it, I get it. It's important to listen to other people.” But here's why. The reason that you want to listen to someone else is because you want them to listen to you, right? So, you have to demonstrate it first. When you're having a conversation with someone, if the only thing the two of you are doing is simply being quiet and waiting for the other person to stop talking so that you can say your point, you're really not having a conversation. And you're really probably not influencing each other very much. But, if you are listening to what they're saying and, just bear with me here, try this, actually repeat back a little bit of what you've heard them say, you're gonna see that they start doing that back to you. Now here's the thing, when you're repeating back what you're hearing them say it doesn't mean that you're agreeing with what they said. It just demonstrates to them that, “Look, I heard you.” And then you can say your point. Hopefully then they start repeating back a little bit about what you heard them say. Try it, I promise you you're gonna see how your conversations change. All of the sudden instead of just escalating and talking back and forth, and conversations turning into arguments, you're gonna see that you actually start having constructive dialogue and, I don't know, maybe even find some common ground. We live in a world today where there is plenty to argue about, so what if we started doing it in a way that was actually constructive instead of destructive? Give it a try, let us know how it works out for you. Thanks for tuning in, we'll see you next week.

Monday, 16 October 2017
Understanding Another Person's Perspective: Why It's Important

When we take a moment to see another person's perspective, it gives us an opportunity to broaden our own.

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Hi, welcome to Mindset Monday! Hope you had a great weekend. Let's address one very obvious thing - today is Monday and, if you're like me, sometimes Monday's don't go the best for you. In fact, maybe this morning you woke up a little bit late, maybe you were really rushed getting to work, maybe you've had a slew of emails coming in that don't have the best tone to them, maybe you're already frustrated with the week. If that's the case, we want to take a second right now to just stop and pause, and think about taking “maybe” into account. Maybe when you were coming into work and the person that you were driving behind, who was going so slowly, maybe they have something going on? And as frustrating as it was for you to have to be stuck behind their car when you were already late, maybe they have anxiety driving? Maybe that rude email that you got that set you off and you thought, “Why does my whole week have to start this way?” Maybe it came from someone who really needs to talk and go a little deeper on some issues with you? Maybe when you go to the grocery store later, if there's an old guy in line fumbling with his coupons and it's taking you a long time to check out, maybe he's trying to save every penny he has because he has a family member in the hospital and he's paying for medical bills? The reason we bring these things up is because when we go into conflict, we make a lot of assumptions about people and why they're doing the things that they're doing. But if we can take into account this idea of maybe, it might open our minds to thinking about them in a different way. And hey look, if it's just some jerk on the freeway, it's not going to waste any of your energy to give him a pass. In fact, it might make your day better. So, take “maybe” into account and maybe someone will do that for you some day. Thanks and have a great week!

Monday, 2 October 2017
Conflict Resolution: Tips to Help Your Child Resolve Conflict

Ashley Virtue, Dir. of External Relations for National Conflict Resolution Center, shares one more tip on how you can help your kids resolve conflict constructively. The key? Taking a step back in the heat of the moment.

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All right, well welcome back to Mindset Monday! Thanks for tuning in. If you'll remember, last week we were talking about how to speak with kids about the issue of conflict and what tools they have to help manage it. Now that kids are going back to school, we know that this is something that's bound to come up. So what are some tips that we can share with them, that you can share with them, about how they manage some of these issues? Well, one that we like to talk about is taking time before you respond to a conflict. Talk to your kids about taking that moment when they're in the heat of the moment to take a step back. Now, if they're young kids, maybe this is a little bit of a breathing exercise that they can do. If they're older kids, maybe it's asking the other kid for a moment or kind of taking some time and saying, “We'll talk about this later.” But we really believe in the value of not reacting in the heat of the moment, if at all possible. We also want to talk to kids about listening, really listening. And that means, for kids, that you don't necessarily say that you're agreeing with someone when you're listening, but all it means is that you're giving respect to the other person. And so, this is an important tool for them, because they're going to run into people throughout their life that they don't agree with. Listening doesn't mean that you're saying, “Yeah, you're absolutely right.” But it's just demonstrating respect, which is something they're going to need to do throughout the rest of their lives. So, if they can do those two things when they're engaged in a confrontation, it's going to help them not only in their current situation, but throughout the course of their entire life. Good luck!

Monday, 25 September 2017
Conflict Resolution: How to Teach Kids to Manage Conflict

Managing conflict can be hard, especially if you're a kid. Back to school can mean back to conflict. In this episode of Mindset Monday, Dir. of External Relations, Ashley Virtue, shares how parents can teach their children on how to resolve conflict.

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Happy Mindset Monday, everyone! All right, so chances are that either you or someone you know has a child who's going back to school the next couple of weeks. So we wanted to talk to you a little bit today about how you can talk with kids about conflict and how to resolve conflict. So, the first thing that we want to share with you is make sure that your kids know that conflict is inevitable. It's going to happen and it doesn't have to be scary. Conflict on the playground when you're sharing resources or toys is bound to happen. In fact, if your kids have siblings you probably already experienced some of that at home. So, let them know that it's natural to have conflict, but there are good tools that you can use to help manage it a little bit. In fact, if you have an opportunity, maybe around the dinner table, to share with them some of your conflicts that you're dealing with, it might give them a good example of how they can deal with their own. So, make sure that you talk to your kids about it. Don't always jump in and try to solve every problem for them, but help them strategize a little bit about their issues and how they're gonna deal with them. It's all about empowering our kids to feel like they have the tools to deal with conflict on their own. Now, check back in next week, because we're going to talk more about this topic as we have all of our kids going back to school. Thanks and see you later!

Monday, 11 September 2017
September 11th A Day of Remembrance

Looking back, it’s easy to remember all of the negative things that came about as a result of the 9/11 attacks. While we can never forget what happened, it’s important on this day to think about the lessons we learned, and what we can take from those lessons to make the present and future better for all of us. One important lesson that we at NCRC are thinking about today is Unity in the face of adversity.

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Today marks the 16th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th, 2001. A somber day in our history and a day of remembrance for anyone that was alive to experience this tragedy. Sixteen years later this event still holds extreme significance to most Americans because it drastically changed the world that we live in. Now looking back, it's easier to remember all of the negative things that came about as a result of the 9/11 attacks. And while we can never forget what happened, it's also important on this day to think about the lessons we learned and what we can take from those to make the present and the future better for all of us. One important lesson that we at NCRC are thinking about today is unity in the face of adversity. Those of us who are old enough to remember the events of 9/11 can remember the overwhelming unity that our country experienced after the attacks. Never before really have we experienced such a breakdown in the divides that separate us. The country truly came together as one to deal with the issues that we were facing. So, we at NCRC feel that on this day it's important to never forget about that unity. We can never forget that it doesn't matter what political party you belong to or where you come from, or how much money you have, or what your job is - essentially, we are all in this together. We have a mutual interest in making this country the best place for all of us to call home. And we still live through turbulent times. And though we face a lot of issues that divide us, we have to remember that we were all once united. And today we can remember that and get back to that unity again, and realize it's never too late to come together for the betterment of our country. Thanks.

Monday, 4 September 2017
Conflict Resolution: The True Cost of Unresolved Conflict

Happy Labor Day! We hope you are enjoying the long weekend with friends and family. As you start to think about the week ahead, here's a quick video Mindset Monday video to get you on the right track to managing unresolved conflict in the workplace.

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Hi everyone, happy Labor Day! I hope that you are enjoying this video from the comfort of your home or maybe after a day spending with friends and family, enjoying a well-deserved day off. Being that it's Labor Day, it has us thinking about the workplace and more specifically the cost of unresolved conflict in the workplace. This Labor Day we thought it would be a good time to just kind of reset and think about your own workplace and if there any underlying issues happening there for you right now. Maybe you have a little bit of an issue with the colleague of yours, or maybe you are a manager or a supervisor and you know about some issues that are going on in your team. We know that it's hard to address conflict head-on, but we have seen time and time again that the cost of unresolved conflict really takes a toll on the workplace. And so, we encourage you, as you think about the week ahead, to go back into your workplace and think about some tools that you might take with you to address some of these underlying issues that perhaps you've been avoiding before. Now, our President Steve Dinkin just wrote a wonderful op-ed piece published on the Huff Post, and you can see it in the feed below. There are some really helpful tips and tools in that piece, and so I encourage you to take a look and see if there's anything useful in there. We'd love to know how it goes for you and, as always, we here at NCRC are here for you if you want to dive deeper into some of the strategies or trainings that we can provide. Thank you so much and have a wonderful week!