A 3 Step System to a Conflict and Stress Free Christmas Holiday Season
The holidays are upon us, and images of peace, love, and harmony are popping up everywhere. It's a time for great joy, good feelings, and family togetherness. Right?
Well what happens when Uncle Jim comes to visit, gets drunk, and breaks the “truce” and you bite and the war is on. Or perhaps you start to feel overwhelmed by the expectations put on you, angry no one else is helping, and you lose it! Or Christmas is a season that brings back unpleasant memories, your emotions are triggered by other peoples behavior and the stress and tension becomes unhealthy.
Here is our 3-step system for a Conflict and Stress Free Christmas Holiday Season.
Step #1: Be Intentional with an Attitude of Gratitude.
Coca-Cola has been marketing happiness and gratitude for over 85 years that began with the Christmas icon, Santa Claus and today they enjoy 94% global brand awareness . This comes from a company that reportedly spends over 4 billion dollars on marketing; I am pretty sure they understand the power of gratitude and its benefits.
So lets look at the benefits of gratitude. Research tells us that when we are grateful our cortisol levels, (our stress response) are decreased and our serotonin levels (our mood regulator) and our oxytocin levels (our bonding and trust) are increased. And to help us keep being grateful, when we are grateful we experience an increase in our dopamine level, (our reward transmitter), and it says; “lets do that again!”
No wonder coke sells happiness and gratitude along with caffeine; it works!
Be intentional this year with an attitude of gratitude; start each day with something you’re grateful for and reach out and encourage someone your grateful for; it will help build healthy relationships.
Step #2: Be Wise with your Wisdom
Wisdom is something that may seem odd as a catalyst to a conflict free Christmas Holiday Season; let me show you why. Research has shown that your IQ, your intellectual intelligence, is responsible for 15% of your success; financial and relational. 85 percent of your success is due to your EQ, your emotional intelligence that is your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead.
Being wise with your wisdom is about knowing yourself better so you can relate to others better. You need to understand how your emotions can inform you for great outcomes this Christmas Holiday Season or take you hostage and incite conflict.
Be intentional this year with wise wisdom, emotional wisdom, that will help you be a part of the solution and not inflame the problem. A great EQ tool to get (for free) this Christmas is Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. You can complete their diagnostic on line or download it for completion at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ This diagnostic is perfect for understanding ourselves and others when it comes to how we appreciate and love each other in relationships. Wise wisdom indeed!
Step #3: Embrace the Art of Curiosity.
My understanding is that felines, whether it's the Christmas Holiday Season or not, have 9 chances to engage curiosity and then it becomes fatal; fortunately that is not the case for you and I! How often do we approach a situation with an opinion that is rooted in judgment and the response we get is defensive at best inflammatory at worst. You might relate to the unspoken Christmas truce that says “we will suspend conflict over Christmas” but inevitably someone expresses their opinion and the underlying judgment ensures the truce is off and the conflict is on and the stress on the way up!
What if we lead with our impression rather than our opinion? With an attitude of gratitude and not being taken hostage by our emotions, what if we asked great questions that started with curiosity; I wonder? When we lead with our opinion it is about what we do; performance. When we lead with our impression it is about who we are; relationship.
Be intentional with your relationships this Christmas Holiday Season by embracing the art of curiosity; asking great questions that start with you and leading with impression.
So there you have it; our 3-step system for a Conflict and Stress Free Christmas Holiday Season! “Tis the season to be jolly not a season to be conflicts folly.”
We would love to hear your stories of how you successfully deal with conflict and stress this season and how are 3 step system helped you be a part of a prosperous and joyful Christmas Holiday Season.
Michael Walker - Head Coach - Legendary Coaching
How organizations can protect their brands, their integrity and their people.
With what seems like an accelerating frequency, organizations are discovering a toxic element of their workplace culture, expressing surprise over it, conducting an investigation, seemingly cutting out the cancer, and apologizing to their customers.
There is a saying I love that captures the likelihood that this toxicity and its clean up cycle will continue to occur; “Your system is perfectly designed to achieve the results you are getting.” Meaning of course no amount of surprise, wringing of hands, investigations, terminations or apologizing is going to create a different outcome. The different outcome will be found when we change the system and change it at the very top of the food chain.
In the most notorious collapses of integrity and brand devaluation, General Motors, Volkswagen, and most recently Wells Fargo, their systems were perfectly designed to achieve the results they got. Jon Picoult of Watermark Consulting in his recent New York Times article nails it when he says; “Employees will get their culture cues not from what management says but from what it signals.”
Wells Fargo in their published value statements are exceptionally clear at what they value most and their passion to protect and invest in them; People, Ethics, Customer Fairness, Diversity and Inclusion and Leadership. So how could they have allowed such a huge shift away from integrity to occur and lose about 25 billion dollars of market capitalization and the immeasurable loss of trust for the brand?
Wells Fargo Employees got their culture cue or what was most valued by the company based on what they do; performance. When the culture was under competitive and financial pressure the performance cue was “don’t do what we say, our values, do what we want done; our performance.”
The story of Volkswagen and General Motors has a similar ring to it. Keep up with Jones's and protect our bottom line in the name of performance and lie to our customers and hide costly defects.
In all three cautionary tales we can see what happens when what we do becomes more valuable than who we are! Even when we have a documented passion for an uncompromising relationship with our brand, its integrity and our people, performance has a nasty habit of taking those good intentions hostage.
Our system is perfectly designed to achieve the results we are getting so let’s change the system and change it from the top! Here is how, by Celebrating the WINS, organizations can protect their brands, their integrity and their people.
What if we were intentional with keeping our vision and values at the forefront of what we do by celebrating who we are? What if our celebration was rooted in our WINS as they relate to our vision and values and less so about the performance of our mission statement? How much more difficult would it be for a toxic idea to root and hijack our companies, our people and ourselves?
Celebrating the WINS as healthy practice can do so much more than inoculate us from those deadly toxins. Celebrating the WINS is a powerful process for building trust and the overall well-being of our organizations. Trust is the catalyst for inspiring creativity, which engages innovation, empowers productivity and ultimately translates to increased competitiveness and profitability. Trust is also where we can turn conflict into profit as it helps organizations and people move from safe ideas to great ideas, cautious conversations to courageous ones and from best practices to next ones!
From an implementation perspective, Celebrating the WINS looks like it sounds. From change management to conflict management, communications to capacity analysis there is space created to Celebrate the WINS as they relate to the participants, their relationship with the vision and values and how they have been advanced!
What I have seen as the most attractive outcome of Celebrating the WINS in the organizations we have worked with is the creation of a bottom line strategy that performance cannot high-jack. A healthy return on investment that protects relationships, advances wellness and fairness, empowers pride of ownership and increases prosperity; the sum of an organization and its people best parts!
Here are 3 Steps to implementing a Celebrate the WINS in your organization:
1. ENGAGE a conversation about the “WHY” of your vision and values with your key leadership team. Consider what would be a WIN through your vision and values for your team would be and how you would measure it.
2. EMPOWER a conversation with your entire team that invites them to be part of the WINS you have identified and how you plan to celebrate them.
3. INSPIRE yourself, your team, and your stakeholders with an intentional communication plan that ensures Celebrating the WINS is adding value to you, your team and your bottom line!
At Legendary Coaching our focus is on helping Leaders LEAD themselves and others WELL. We do that together by engaging them where they are at, empowering who they are and inspiring the “why” of what matters to them.” Celebrating the WINS is a daily practice and our clients tells us it’s a game changer for them and their companies!
So the next time you and your team come together I invite you to consider; “What’s at risk to invest in a time of celebrating the WINS?” Or perhaps I should ask what’s at risk not to? Wells Fargo, Volkswagen and general Motors can certainly answer that!
When I can help you with a difficult conversation, escalating conflict or help you start turning conflict into profit, lets set up a time to talk about your next right step!
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