Embrace the Positive Side of Compromise
The ability to compromise makes our lives and relationships run more smoothly, even if the concept sometimes seems challenging to implement. Here are some of the advantages of compromising as well as some techniques for finding middle ground.
Good Reasons to Compromise
1. Advance the greater good. Making reasonable concessions paves the way for finding solutions to difficult conflicts. For example, if you’re a parent with physical custody, be generous about accommodating your ex-spouse’s schedule so your kids grow up with two loving parents.
2. Facilitate cooperation. Teamwork flourishes in an atmosphere of trust and respect. By demonstrating your commitment to the common good, you make it easier to work together at the office and at home.
3. Strengthen your relationships. Cultivating our relationships is usually far more valuable than coming out ahead on any particular decision. Build good will by welcoming your mother-in-law’s help in the kitchen even if you think it would be faster to do a task yourself.
4. Feel happier. Our happiness depends more on the way we view events than on the events themselves. As you practice accommodating others, you’ll find that becoming more flexible and generous feels good.
Techniques for Making Constructive Compromises
1. Uphold your core values and needs. Distinguish between compromising and copping out. Bullying is destructive for both parties, so preserve your own integrity and set healthy boundaries. Be firm and respectful about communicating your rights and desires.
2. Prioritize issues. Save your energy for the stuff that really matters. As long as your son is getting good grades and staying out of trouble, maybe you can live with him coming home from college with an eyebrow piercing.
3. Gather facts. Try bolstering your position by doing the research to back it up. If your boss tends to resist change, he may be more receptive to approving a new employee benefit if you document how it saves money and improves employee retention.
4. Empathize with the other person’s position. When you’re asking someone to meet you halfway, try to put yourself in their shoes. Listen closely to their concerns and goals so that you can address them.
5. Consider all your options. We all attach different values to the same things. If you and your partner have different standards for house cleaning, you may be able to work things out by hiring a cleaning service.
6. Express appreciation. Thank people for being willing to make trade-offs. Acknowledge the concessions they make and their contribution to creating more positive outcomes. For example, if your employees work through the weekend to meet a production deadline, ensure it gets noted in their annual review and encourage them to take compensating time off.
7. Stick to your word. Think carefully before making a serious compromise so you’ll feel confident that you can live with it. Proceeding slowly is better than making promises you may later regret. On the other hand, your loved ones will usually be willing to rethink an arrangement if it’s undermining your wellbeing.
8. Take accountability for your decision. Once you spell out the terms you can abide by, assume responsibility for the choices you’ve made. This will help you to avoid becoming resentful.
9. Wield power wisely. Even if you have the upper hand in an interaction, it’s usually best to seek an agreement that’s acceptable to everyone involved. Future situations are likely to run more smoothly and you’ll enjoy more peace of mind.
Learning to give and take helps everyone to wind up with more in the end. Stay true to yourself while being open to making accommodations that create better solutions in our private and public lives.
7 Strategies to Embrace Change at Work
Learning to accept change at work is critical to being successful in your career. Dealing with alterations to your normal work procedures can be frustrating, unwanted, and even scary, but change can bring many positive elements to an active working environment.
What can you do to welcome change at your job with confidence and an adventuresome spirit?
Consider these suggestions to guide you towards embracing workplace changes with optimism:
1. Why do you feel negatively about the change? Ask yourself what scares you or makes you angry about a recent change at work. Explore all the possibilities.
* List your concerns. Maybe you think your job or paycheck is threatened. Perhaps you think the company might close because of the change. Think through these concerns.
* If you find that your concerns are legitimate, create a Plan B that you can implement in your worst-case scenarios.
* Once you make an action plan, let go of anxieties about situations you can’t control and optimistically expect the best results that could happen from the change.
2. Remind yourself those in charge have good reasons for the change. You must trust that the people running the company are making the choice to change for a reason that will benefit the company.
* Recognize that people in power have a picture of the entire situation. They have information that you might not have.
3. Help reduce workplace negativity about the change. Avoid lengthy discussions with co-workers about changes in the workplace, especially if your peers are focusing on negativity related to the changes.
* Some co-workers might be especially antagonistic about upcoming changes due to their own fears and insecurities. Realizing their less-than-positive comments spring from fear will help you refrain from participating in such conversations.
* Make an effort to be understanding, but decline to share any thoughts that might be interpreted as negative about the changes.
* Share thoughts about the positive results the change should bring.
4. Accept the change as part of your job. Recognize that an important aspect of your work is to support the management and carry out your leaders’ directives.
* Simplify the situation for yourself by pledging to respect the changes and perform your duties as required.
5. Consider the new plans a challenge. Make a decision to face the change head-on and do whatever it takes to glean positive results from the new plans.
* Show yourself that you can roll with the punches. The changes may even result in your adding some very important career experiences to your resume for the future.
6. Have confidence that you can handle any change. Remind yourself that you strive for excellence in your work, regardless of the situation.
7. Embrace the positive possibilities. Your work situation might actually improve because of the new changes. Even though it might take some time to experience, you’ll most likely see some positive results emerge from the adjustments in your work environment.
* This could be a time of rejuvenation, renewal and newfound efficiency.
* Be patient throughout the implementation process.
* Allow yourself to expect your work situation to improve because of the changes.
Although changes at work might be scary and unwanted, open your mind to the possibilities of change. Put some of these strategies into practice if changes occur where you work. Yes, you can embrace change at work with positivity, confidence, and patience!
When people talk,
Most people never listen.
- Listening intently allows me to hear the cry of others.
- When others approach me, especially with sadness in their eyes, I stop what I am doing and sit down to listen. STOP, DROP and LISTEN.
- Using my eyes and ears together, and sometimes touch, allows me to really connect with someone else.
- Instead of focusing on my own opinion of their situation, I pay close attention to their message – to what’s in their heart.
- Often, the heart already knows but requires space and time in which to give voice to both the problem and the solution.
- Be patient when listening.
- I embrace the people around me wholeheartedly.
“As long as I am breathing,
in my eyes, I am just beginning.”
No one will ever need to remind anyone who is alive today, what an ‘interesting” year 2020 has been. There are, of course, many other terms we could use to describe it. There have been many terrible things that have happened this year- tragedy upon tragedy, personal, political, and pandemic-related.
There have been good things, but those tend to be overshadowed by the bad, and the not-so-easily reconcilable.
Dealing with 2020 has been like dealing with a bad or derailing marriage. If you haven’t been party to one, or directly affected by one, then you’ve probably borne witness to at least one. Raw nerves have been exposed. Important issues that we have not taken care of nor dealt with continue to plague us. We continue to try to sweep them under the proverbial rug. And, somehow, we are continually amazed that they keep coming back to haunt us.
Personally, this year I have missed human contact because of the lockdown.
Also, Watchnight will not happen this year. Another missed opportunity to gather with community to jointly reflect on the year that we have just completed, and to
renew focus for the year ahead. A time when good things, bad things, evil things, sinful things, and good deeds are all laid bare on the altar of contemplation. While considering, with prayer, how to make the year ahead better.
But, as we come to this time of year, as we do every year, it is a time of making choices for the transition.
We can wallow in the carnage that was 2020. Or we can choose a different path. Rise and walk a path that reflects and demonstrates our human resilience. We can rise above all that we have borne witness to this year, by choosing to embrace life on slightly different terms, the new normal.
For many years I have chosen a single word “mantra” for the the year. Last year, my word was “Be.” And, despite a sometimes very rocky 2020, with all its ups and downs, turmoil, missteps, and challenges, I think it turned out to be a pretty good year for me to get past “Becoming,” and finally “Be.” But that is for another day.
For this year I have chosen- Embrace
Embrace all that life drops at our doorstep
The good times, and the bitter times.
Embrace the sad times, and the madcap and the maddening times.
Embrace the tearful times, and the terrifyingly terrific times.
Embrace the ebb and flow of all tides that come to us and learn from each.
Embrace the peaks and valleys of this leg of our life journey.
Most importantly, embrace each other and hold tightly.
Remember at every moment that this “may be the last time,” and treat it as such.
Accept things as they are.
Or do something to make the situation different.
By choice, let go, or keep, what does not serve you well.
Pursue and embrace the things that are of value.
We can face anything together.
© Copyright 2021 Martina Green McGowan, MD
We cannot do great things on this Earth,
only small things with great love.
2020 has been a bizarre year by any standard. I don’t think I need to rehash all of them here. And, some events are still unfolding, slowly. But, some good things have emerged as well.
We are approaching the year’s end and this is often a time for reflection and preparation.
Thanksgiving always seems a bitter-sweet holiday for me. A time to remember to be thankful and kind and gracious. But it is also a time (or perhaps a season) when people are filled with sadness and loneliness. As I was growing up, we had great (in number) family gatherings for most holidays, often at my mother’s house. Lots of cooking and good smells and good times. As I have grown older, many of those people, including my parents and my sibs, along with a whole host of others, are no longer alive. They are remembered and missed. This is part of my holiday sadness, but I have others that I can share the joys of “now”.
I am grateful for every person who has crossed my path. I am grateful for every experience, even though I may not have enjoyed them or understood them at the time. I have learned something from each. I am grateful for new friends, acquaintances, and opportunities to continue to learn and to grow.
But there is another side to the sadness of holidays. And that is that the world is full of people who are alone, as well as those who are lonely. Trust me, they are not the same. Some of us are alone and quite content with our situation most of the time. While many are alone because of circumstances within or beyond their control and are far from being content. Still, others are alone because they have built rock-solid walls of protection around their hearts and are afraid to let anyone in again, because they cannot forgive another, or grant themselves forgiveness.
Everyone knows someone who would probably be thrilled to have someone reach out and touch their lives with some small act of kindness.
This is generally a season of hope. Be mindful in extending a little more love, offer a little more hope and grace to the people around you. Not because someone told you to, but because you possess the ability, capacity, and humanity to get it done.
Because of COVID-19, more people will be alone for the next few days. This will be a new way of doing things for them. All the more poignant because it is a “holiday” in which families gather. If someone is on your mind or your heart, why not give them a call or do Facetime with them?
Remember that every person we encounter is struggling with something.
Protect your own peace,
Be a blessing,
@ Copyright 2020 Martina Green McGowan, MD
Approaching the Twilight…
As we edge toward
The twilight of our lives
Let us remind ourselves that
We are still the heroines/ heroes of our own stories
We often offered our best
Remember the tender care of others at our weakest
And the graces we bestowed when at our best
Forgiving ourselves our greatest fears
Most of which never came to light
And occasions when we were at our bravest
Leading the good fight
Look back at the times we felt most uncertain
But look too at the comfort we brought to others
Let us not ruminate too long
On being a host/ess of disease and infirmity
Of failing bones and noisy joints
But move forward in joy and balance
Enjoying the wisdom that time has bestowed
While we have time
While we yet press on
Let us remember to commemorate the lessons learned in bitter disappointments
And to celebrate the sweetness, the triumphs,
That is life
© Copyright 2020 Martina Green McGowan, MD
Photo by Bowen Chin on Unsplash
Cutting away the deadwood, the unserviceable branches, the lovely, but deadly and dangerous weeds is grueling work. But it’s not the trees or plants that we are talking about, is it? It’s the people in our lives who seem to take so much more than they give. Or, those few that we are not even sure why we are still friends. Were we ever? Yes.
People float in and out of our lives. Some pass out of the light because of changes in their circumstances, sometimes the changes are in ours.
But, as we get wiser, whether it stems from age or experience, we become a little more selective about what we will allow. We learn that everyone we meet on life’s journey does not have our best interests at heart. We often learn this the hard way. And there are some who genuinely do care about and for us; treasure these. Some people are on a totally different page or agenda. Sometimes, we just drift apart through no one’s fault. Sometimes we lose interest in the activities and realize that this has been our only connection.
It is that annoying pull that we contend with for those situations and occasions that we still show up to, but we know it has become a habit or routine. We no longer feel invested in the people, places, or events. One, or all three.
We try to hide from the painful truth that we need to figure out how to deal with it all differently, or better, or not at all. Dare we choose to let them go? Yeah, that is a tough call and an even harder step to take.
Pruning is hard work.
It is hard interior work because it breaks our hearts. It is hard exterior work because it makes for uncomfortable conversations.
But, whether you choose to stay or to go, to keep doing what you’re doing, or to take a different path, Dearheart, choose to be honest with yourself. Things will never be absolutely perfect or easy, but stop telling yourself that something is what it is not.
If we cannot learn to trust ourselves, who can we trust?
Why is this important? Because we all need sunshine in our lives.
Plans fail us. People often fail us. Sometimes we even let ourselves down. But, if we have an underlying belief in ourselves, and a compelling “why” we want to pursue our target, then we have a choice to make. Sometimes one that we must make over and over every single day of our lives.
We can choose to lie down and wallow in what’s going on, accept it is as fate, and stop whining about it.
Or, we can get back up, one more time, breathe deeply, and raise your banner high, and vow to continue to fight our good fight.
Know why you’ve come!
Focus on getting that done.
There are a lot of things stirring around in our minds and hearts. Let’s begin a conversation, to share and help carry the load.
What’s on your mind and heart?
(Martina McGowan, MD)
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