Category: relationship

Core Values and Ground Rules For Conflict Resolution

Why does conflict happen in teams?

By working in teams we are able to bring together combined resources, skills and knowledge that is beyond the scope of any single individual. Working in teams is a double-edged sword; the very advantage sometimes becomes dysfunctional when teams cannot work together due to interpersonal conflicts.

There are many reasons why conflict emerges in teams. This could be due to the constant jostling for power, differences in values, and the positions that each individual in the team takes, based on perceptions of personal advantages. Recently I was facilitating a team about their values. One of the members was stuck to his position that ‘Teamwork’ should be the key value. While defending his position he forgot that ‘teamwork’ was not really happening in the group, where he was not permitting other members to air their views on teamwork. Conflict is aggravated in times of major changes, distribution of rewards, review of performance and external threats like major socio-eco-political downturns. Conflict in teams is inevitable. Teams require sound management and facilitation skills to resolve them. Handled well, conflicts can lead to learning, improved problem solving and better all round performance, both individually and collectively. This is an essay on using the Skilled Facilitator core values and ground rules for conflict resolution.

Resolving Conflict within Teams: Core Values;

1. Get the facts: One of the core values of any team needs to be valid information. Information to be valid, must be verified and not just rumors. They also need to be shared and everyone needs to be on the same page regarding the information. In conflict situation the entire facts of the situation needs to be on the table, without any information being kept away from any members.

2. Free and informed choice: The second core value, once the information is valid, the members and stakeholders need to have a free and informed choice about their participation. It is indeed very difficult to hand out solutions to members who do not have a free and informed choice to participate.

3. Internal commitment: The third core value follows from the first two. Only when all members to the conflict have valid information and free and informed choice will they agree to abide by the solutions and participate whole-heartedly to make the entire process a success.

4. Non-judgmentally: this is the key core value. Any concerns or doubts regarding hidden agendas must be clarified at the beginning and members accepted for their face value without any antecedent conditioning.

Once the core values are set, the team needs to have some ground rules for the actual conduct of the meeting and relationships. In the Skilled facilitator approach there are nine ground rules that help in adequately resolving conflicts, provided they are followed conjointly with the core values.

Ground Rules for Conflict Resolution

1. Check assumptions and inferences. We often make a quick personality definition of all people that we come in contact with. Based on their ethnicity, language, geographical location and other cultural background, we make stereotypes of people. We then set out to interact based on those assumptions. Sometimes, our most recent experience with an individual clouds our next interaction. If we really wish to resolve conflicts we need to check all assumptions and inferences before we set out to tackle the real issues that resulted in the conflict.

2. Share all relevant information: This ground rule along with the core values, sets the agenda for the exercise of conflict resolution. Any information withheld at the beginning will act as a surprise later and create a wall of defense around those who are not aware of the information. It will raise suspicion as to agenda and may even backfire with the situation becoming worse than it started with.

3. Use specific examples and agree on what important words mean. Words mean different things to different people and in different contexts. Not explaining the exact meaning of words with specific examples will also violate rule one, as it may be wrongly assumed that everyone is on the same page, which may not be the reality.

4. Explaining reasoning and intent: This is a part of being open. Openness may result in some vulnerability. However, vulnerability leads to trust and therefore openness is a very important aspect of conflict resolution. This is like putting all your cards on the table. In all matters it works to clearly explain why we are doing what we are doing, and what do we expect as an outcome – what is our intention.

5. Focus on interests not positions: What is the difference between position and interest? A position is an end value – why do we want what we want? An interest on the other hand is a means value – how do we go about getting what we want. A position is a destination while an interest is taking different modes of transportation or different routes to reach the same destination. A position is a solution that people want. An interest is a desire and concern they have. When we focus on the interests we are able to deal with the relationship issues of the people and once the relationship is sorted, the solution is not the problem. Often we are agreed on the solutions, but continue to have conflict because our concerns are not addressed.

6. Combine advocacy with inquiry: To do this we first state what we want done and why (advocacy)? Then we check for others’ opinions on what we are advocating (inquiry). We do one more step of inquiry by asking other people for their alternative opinion and the reason thereof. This form of expression of opinion validates the core values to receive internal commitment through ownership.

7. Jointly design steps and define ways to test disagreement: By step six the ground would have been cleared for action to resolve the conflict and get ahead with an action plan for the task at hand as well as for future tasks. A jointly designed plan also helps to get internal commitment through ownership. By testing disagreements as and when they occur, the situation is brought under control and not allowed to simmer until things get out of hand.

8. Discuss indiscussable issues: This is one of the most important, but rarely used tool for conflict resolution. We normally feel that discussing indiscussbles will lead to further conflict and sweep the issues under the carpet -“what ain’t broken needn’t be fixed”. However, these issues never go away and return time and again to haunt us. Within the safety of the core values and the ground rules, discussing indiscussables acts as a safety valve to release pressure from team members by allowing them to freely express views without judgment. Under supervision of a skilled facilitator this can act wonders for team building as it clears airs of suspicion. It also keeps the team away from cooler talks and corridor whispers by giving an open forum for expression.

9. Use a decision making tool that generates a given level of commitment: Commitment is the key to teamwork. If decisions are imposed from above, there is very little ownership and therefore little internal commitment. This does not mean that all decisions have to be made after consultation with all group members. However, if the ground rules are followed in a practical manner and the group members are aware that core values will not be violated, there is scope for commitment without holding meetings of all members for all activities at all times. Imposition of certain tasks in these circumstances will be able to get full commitment as trust levels are at their peak.

While the above are like a charter for teams and followed closely will lead to effective functioning, the teams may need a skilled facilitator to facilitate initial meetings until the charter gets ingrained into the system and becomes a habit.

How to Choose a Gift for a Newly Married Couple

When a friend of yours gets married, it is customary for you to make a wedding gift. However, deciding on what to give is not an easy task. The simple reason is that what you give has to be of some use to the recipient couple. Another reason is that the item you give should not be something that they already have. Also, you need to make it a point to give something that another friend may not give.

In order to fulfill all the requirements of a good wedding gift you need to think out of the box. Try to think of some novel item to give. If your fiend already has built his own house or has bought a house, one thing you could give is a sapling for a large plant. He could plant it in his garden in memory of his wedding. He will remember you every time he will talk about the particular tree. What a nice gift?

The best way to buy a good plant sapling is to visit a place where they sell plant saplings. The salesman could give you some advice on what to choose. Also, if you have any architect friends, you could contact one of them to get some valuable advice on the plant to choose. These plant saplings are not expensive but the value they carry is much more than what they cost.

If you want an expensive gift, visit an art gallery. A work of art could find space for itself in any house. You might be able to find a good painting or a sculptor that could add a rich look to a living room or a bed room depending on what the artwork is. There are shops where they sell high quality artwork at reasonable prices. Therefore, buying one will not pose a problem.

The standard presents most people give newly married couples are the kitchen appliances and electric goods. Wall clocks, china and such things are also often given as gifts. What will happen at the end is that several pieces of the same items have been received. The only way to avoid this situation is to think innovatively. If you think your friend has everything he wants, give some money to charity on his name. You could leave the receipt in an envelope and make it a present. If your friend is one who is inclined to giving for charity, he will be delighted to receive your gift. Think out of the box. You will conceive thousands of ideas.

5 Keys to Having a Successful Long Distance Relationship

But while these physically-challenged relationships require tons of hard work, there still are a countless happy couples out there who could proudly say they have overcome all the obstacles and their relationship succeeded.

If you are in such a relationship and you feel hopeless and frustrated, this might be your gift from heaven. Here are the 5 keys to having a successful long distance relationship:

1. Trust and Loyalty
This is a no-brainer. Loyalty and trust are a mutually exclusive clause otherwise known as commitment. While this much is true (or should be) for all relationships, long distance relationships require each party to make the extra effort of showing loyalty and trust to the other. Never give your partner any room for doubt!

2. Constant Communication
As long distance lovers, you don’t get to go on dates on a whim. So you have to both make use of whatever available means to keep each other updated of what’s happening with each other’s lives. Thankfully, the internet makes this easy.

Fill your partner in with details; make him/her feel like you still are sharing the same world despite the distance.

3. Compromise
A relationship is never about one person. Agree on what works best for your relationship. This is especially true and important if you do not share the same time zones with your loved one. An hour or two in difference is quite easy but if you have 12-hours between you, you must both agree on an exclusive time of the day just for each other.

4. Extra cup of sweetness
A sweet gesture goes a long way… even as long as halfway across the world to your lover. A surprise snail mail, Skype date, or making time to watch online movies together will do so much. The small things will eventually patch up the huge distance. Buy her roses even when she can only see it on webcam; make him a portrait or knitted cap even when you’re six months away from seeing each other.

5. Long-term plans
This is where many long distance relationships fail. If you reach a point in your relationship where you both are certain of your feelings for each other, you must both have long term goals. You cannot forever be Skype lovers; you have to know where your relationship is headed. This gives you both something to look forward to, something to keep you going, a reason to hang on and conquer the odds.

These are the important fibers that will have to be present in your relationship. These things aren’t all too unfamiliar as they are the exact same principles that keep any relationship alive. You just have to make these small things big enough to run across miles and miles and halfway around the world to bridge the gap between you and your lover.

Get Yourself That Girlfriend By First Building Confidence With Women

If you’re unsatisfied being single, interested in knowing how to build confidence with women, or how to approach women now, look no further. Below are some tips that are sure to help you in ways more than one. By following these, you will find it a lot easier to get started in a relationship and finally have girlfriends. You’ll realize it’s not that hard at all, and you’ve probably just not exerted enough effort towards this yet.

These are 5 of the quickest ways to gain confidence with women.

Go Out and Socialize

While there are many men looking for women, a lot of them are not keen on going out and actually exploring the possibilities. In this case, I suggest that you get out there and socialize! Women are not just going to show up at your door or fall in your lap. Meet up with your friends, and if they are with other friends, you can meet other people. If you are clueless about how to meet women in bars, go out with a friend of yours who often hangs out in these kind of places. It’s always a good idea to have a wingman, who will help you while you’re learning how to build confidence with women.

Always Look Good

This is often one of the simplest things to do, but this is often ignored by most guys. Make sure that you always invest in yourself. As they say, dress to kill. If you want to gain confidence with women, you should always look good and prepared to make a positive impression when you meet her.

Learn a New Skill

Another great tip in building confidence with women is to learn something new. Whether it’s dancing, cooking or even a new hobby. A man that has skills and hobbies and a life is impressive to a woman. If she happens to share one of your hobbies, then obviously there’s your first date.

Volunteer in your Community

Think of a cause you want to support, which should be something you’re passionate about. This is actually a great idea when considering how to build confidence with women. They will like the idea that you have such an advocacy, and this will be a huge plus point for you.

Try Online Dating

In today’s day and age, it can’t be denied how the internet has opened doors for different opportunities, including how to meet sexy women. By signing up on different websites, you can browse through the profiles of different girls. This is an excellent starting point for guys who have no confidence with women. If you don’t yet have the balls to approach women personally, this online platform will let you take it one step at a time. You can begin with casual chats and eventually, once you’re at ease with each other, meet and get to know each other in person.

Keep Your Female Friends and Your Girlfriend

Having a female friend can bring many good things in to your life. You can go to her for inside advice when the inner workings of your girlfriend’s mind are making you crazy. You can spend the evening with her when you aren’t in the mood for testosterone-fuelled competition. She will be there for you when you need someone to talk to. Unfortunately, having a woman as a friend can also cause plenty of discord-especially in your relationship with your girlfriend. How can you maintain a friendship with someone of the opposite sex while preserving the harmony in your romantic relationship?

Defensible Female Friend

There are some girls that you can have as friends without your girlfriend being able to justifiable complain about it. She might grumble about it, but she’ll have no ground to stand on. These women include those you were friends with before you got together with your girlfriend and those who are clearly in happy, stable relationships of their own. She also shouldn’t have a leg to stand on in she tries to bitch about a female friend that you are obviously not attract to physically.

Female Friends Those Are Tougher to Defend

On the other hand, there are some women you might want to have in your life that are understandable unacceptable to your girlfriend. If you have fooled around with your female friend in the past, it’s not difficult to see how that might bother your girlfriend. Ditto for the girl who has a questionable reputation. If your female friend has been known to go for attached guys, your girlfriend has a right to be suspicious. Finally, is your girlfriend genuinely dislike your female friend for reason other than the facts that she’s a girl and she’s friend with you, you might want to take her opinion into account.

What You Can Do With Your Female Friend

There are some activities you can do with your female friend that shouldn’t be threatening to your girlfriend. Your girlfriend will feel much more comfortable with you going out for drinks if you do it guy-style. Don’t go to a quiet wine bar where the atmosphere is romantic; instead, take your female friend to a loud pub and pound back some beers like she’s just one of the guys. As far as conversation topics go, taking about your mutual past with your female friend is allowed, but try not to do it too much in front of your girlfriend or she’ll start to feel left out. Take part in hobbies or interests that your and your female friend has in common and that your girlfriend isn’t into. It’s always a good idea to keep your time spent with your female friend in a group situation or at least in a public place.

What You Can’t Do With Your Female Friends

In order to keep your relationship with your girlfriend steady and trouble-free, there are some activities that you should never do with your female friend. No 1: absolutely no sleepovers. It doesn’t matter if you’re drunk, if there’s a storm outside of if she needs company after a breakup. There is no reason you should spend the night at your female friend’s house even if you sleep on the couch. Also, avoid date like, full-evening plans (like dinner and a movie) in order to keep the atmosphere platonic. You should never choose to spend special occasions like holidays with your female friend instead of your girlfriend. Acting as a fill in date for your friend for a wedding or office party is also a no-no. Basically, there shouldn’t be any aspect to your interactions that could force people to assume you’re dating.

Venus and Mars as Friends

Men and women have many differences, but that shouldn’t stop us from being friends. A friendship between a man and a woman can be just as platonic as the ones you share with your male friends, but it does require a little extra attention to make sure everyone involved is comfortable with the situation. You don’t have to give up your girl friend just because you have a girlfriend. Just be honest and aware of their feelings and you should be able to have the best of both worlds.

5 Curly Hairstyle Ideas for a Winter Wedding

If you have always admired the sleekness of straight hair ever since but would like to try something new, then I guess it’s about time for you to explore curling and experimenting on different hairstyles. Browse below to get the latest on 5 Curly Hairstyle Ideas for a Winter Wedding!

1. Genuinely Curly

Women with natural curls sometimes think that it’s hard for them to try out latest hairstyle ideas. What they are not aware of is that sometimes the best wedding hairstyles are amazing because of the curls! All you need is a dependable curling leave-on conditioner to style it, put frills and voila! The best natural Curly Hairstyle Ideas for a Winter Wedding!

2. The Power of Curlers

Having a natural straight hair is great, but you have to admit, those who have natural curls are always in for a treat when it comes to latest hairstyle ideas. Fret not, because your super friendly curlers are at your service as always! Every woman should have a ready set of curling iron especially if you are at the phase where invitations to parties like weddings become a regular thing. Curls add volume to your hair thus gives you a best wedding hairstyle.

3. The Messy Bun

If you are a natural then this hairstyle is a breeze for you. The messy bun is a top pick among the best wedding hairstyles because it is very easy to do and its style is able to project a look blending both cheery and glam. All you have to do is pull your hair up into a bun, loosen it up and let some hair fall down on the sides. For those with straight hair, after creating a loose bun put some curling on the fallen hair at the sides for that classic messy bun hairstyle.

4. Thrilled with frills

Short curly hair surely has a place among the latest hairstyle ideas. Put some heat on a cold winter wedding by spicing up your pixie curls with pretty hair pins. You may use barrettes of various designs such as roses, sunflowers, or pearls and match it up with the wedding motif. Do not forget to smile away; it contributes a lot to get the Curly Hairstyle Ideas for a Winter Wedding.

5. Handle with care

A wedding during winter can also affect the behaviour of your hair so you have to make sure you are prepared to deal with unforeseen climate changes in your hair. Regardless if you have soft curls or kinks, use conditioner every time your shower along with a leave-on conditioner once dry. Blow drying is a no-no; dry your curls with soft fiber or cotton cloth. Treating your curls with kindness will surely give you the best wedding hairstyle.

Best Way To Reconcile A Conflict With Your Wife Or Girlfriend

Conflicts and misunderstandings happen in all couples no matter how in love you are with each other. When these happen, no matter who started it or who’s fault it is, men mostly are the ones to fix the broken pieces and bring back the romance in the relationship. Yes, that is not fair, but sometimes you have no choice. So, instead of complaining and nagging about it, learn the ways instead on how to overcome the situation and win your love back.

How do you do it?

Well, the first thing you need to do is kill your ego. Your ego, which is synonymous with pride, will be your worst enemy when trying to solve a conflict with your significant other. This will be the inner voice that will seek justice and victory over the unfought war. If you will listen to this, I can most certainly say that you’ll be heading to the end of your relationship. So in this first phase of the process, you have to choose between your ego or your relationship.

After overcoming your ego and deciding to win back your relationship instead, the next thing you need to do is listen. Listen well. Listen very carefully. Listen between the lines. Sometimes, when the conversation has gotten too emotional, we cannot help but utter hurtful words unintentionally. So, as the man who claims more strength and endurance over women, you have to accept the painful words and play your role as the strong, enduring pillar in the relationship. Never ever throw back any hurtful words. Just listen and understand why she has said such things and uttered such words. Putting yourself on her own shoes will help you in this phase.

When she’s done pouring out her side of the conflict and you are given the opportunity and time to talk, communicate your thoughts clearly and gently. There’s a huge possibility that she won’t listen to you. Still, try to explain yourself. But, if she will never listen, stop and look for other ways to get your message across the borders. You can opt with sending the classic hand-written letter that is very romantic or the easier and faster text messages, chat apps, and e-mails. After you have sent your letter, she has no choice but to read your message. It will ignite the curiosity in her, and if you opted for the classic hand-written letter, it will touch her heart and think twice about keeping her grudge against you.

Although you have been successful in sending your message, getting your message across is not an assurance that your conflict will be over and everything will go back to normal. No, it is only a step to letting her know how badly you want to fix the problem and get things back to the way they used to be. Your reconciling message needs to be backed up with a reconciling effort such as inviting her to a date or surprising her with flowers or a romantic dinner.

You can cook for her and prepare a breakfast-in-bed or a candlelight dinner. Or, you can order a bunch of flowers and have them delivered to her home or workplace. The point is you need to make her feel truly loved and wanted. There isn’t any girl who will not fall in love with a home cooked food and fresh, fragrant flowers. The food and flowers will help subside her rage and the intimate moment you have together will open an opportunity to talk things out again and resolve the problem.

Don’t think twice about asking for forgiveness even if you believe it’s not your fault. Ladies are somewhat self-centered, but if you will own the mistake wholeheartedly regardless of who really did it, it will make them realize their mistake. Be as sincere, patient and loving as you can. Soon she will feel alright and everything will go back to the way they used to be. It only takes a gentle hug and a kiss on the forehead for the final touch.

How to Prepare to Find the Right Wedding Dress at a Wedding Fayre

Attending a wedding fayre can be one of the best things to do if you are undecided in any way about the dress you want to wear on your special day. Of course, attending a fayre is also the ideal place to find your caterer, wedding planner and bridesmaids’ dresses too, so attending at least one or two events is definitely well worth it.

If you are planning on picking out your ideal wedding dress whilst attending a fayre, there are several steps that you should take to prepare for this to happen. First of all, it is a wise idea to find out about all the different designers who will be exhibiting at the event, whether they are larger brands such as Enzoani and Jim Hjelm or smaller, lesser-known brands.

By finding out which brands you like, and whether you would prefer to find a stunning Lazaro gown or look beautiful with Enzoani wedding dresses, you will already be prioritising your visit to get the most out of the event.

As well as looking at the different styles of dresses that you will potentially be seeing from these different designers that will be presenting their garments, you will also be able to check the price range of various dresses and designers and prepare any questions that you may have in advance.

After researching your designers well before the event, another tip is to make sure that you create a list of essentials that you want from your ideal wedding dress, if you have not done this already.

This can include information such as how long you want your dress to be, the colour that you would like your dress to be, the shape of the dress, how warm it should be – depending on the season of your wedding – and whether or not to prefer to buy from a company that also provides bridesmaid dresses to match.

By creating a list of essentials that you would like your dress to have, you are much more likely to approach the wedding fayre with a clear idea of who you want to see, what kind of dress you are looking for and what you would like to talk to the designer or their representative about if you have any questions.

This leads to the next piece of advice, and that is to make sure that you plan your day carefully, aiming to fit in the dress designers that you most want to see as soon as you can in the day, to give yourself a chance to think about what you have seen and also relieve the pressure later in the day, which is often best spent discovering hidden gems of designers.

Organise the beginning of your trip to the wedding fayre thoroughly, allotting your self a particular amount of time to the key designers that you want to have a look at. Remember that if you are also at the event to see caterers, wedding entertainment providers, make up artists or any other professional, you will need to make time for these too.

Finally, do not forget to take some comfortable clothes and stand-in wedding shoes, so that you can easily try on and look beautiful in any wedding dresses that you decide to try on. Prepare to be changing quite often throughout at least the first part of the day, and make sure that you will be comfortable doing this.

How to Keep a Long Distance Relationship Going Strong

The unique challenges and problems faced by those wondering how to keep a long distance relationship going strong can be overcome if a few simple concepts are understood and applied. While the age old wisdom may say that absence makes the heart grow fonder couples who have successfully grew their long distance relationships will be the first to tell you that patience, hard work and a undying commitment to their other half were key reasons why their relationships not only survived but thrived the many miles that separated them. If you are in a long distant relationship or considering one here are some tips on how to keep a long distant relationship going strong.

Most women in successful relationships will be the first to admit that communication was key to making their relationship work. Conversely many women who have suffered through failed relationships will point to the lack of communication as being one of the key reasons the relationship failed. When it comes to understanding how to keep a long distance relationship going strong communication is one of the secrets to the success in the relationship. The threat of miscommunication is amplified in a long distance relationship simply because body language is such a key component of interpreting what the other person is trying to say. While it is tempting and sometimes even necessary avoid discussing serious issues or other concerns until they can be discussed in person.

Keeping the spice alive in any relationship is hard work. This is especially true for those in a long distance relationship. One way to keep a relationship of distance exciting is by employing new and creative ways of communicating. When words are spoken they are received and then lost. When communicating long distance consider using forms of communication that can be seen and touched. Cards and small gifts are one way to accomplish this. These ways of communicating keep you in the thoughts of your significant other even when you are not present. They are a constant reminder of the love and commitment tat the relationship involves. Forms of communicating in which a person can see or touch what is being said are powerful ways of getting across to the other person how much they mean to you.

Knowing how to keep a long distance relationship going strong involves the same principles and qualities that any relationship needs. Communication, honesty and commitment are just some of the things needed. While it may take more work a relationship separated by distance can be rewarding and fulfilling. If you are in a long distance relationship don’t give up, use common sense and follow your heart to finding the love of your life.

Heal Your Broken Heart With Heart Touching Poems

Being in love is an amazing experience in itself. Countless days and nights thinking about someone and the moments you spend with them takes you in a world which is far away from reality and seems just like heaven. Lots of promises and commitments for spending the life together is an essence that can never be forgotten. Unfortunately, all the couples are not so blessed; they have to face the separation in the mean of their love journey.

Whatever the reason may be either the circumstances or the misunderstandings, it seems like all the happiness is going too far from their life. At that time one feels that he should lock himself in a dark room and keep on talking with those memories. It feels like the whole world is laughing on the separation of two hearts.

Generally, those broken heart guys love to read their previous chats, messages, and letters again and again. No one knows why people do this while the fact is it’s the power of words that take them to rewind all their memorable moments and tears automatically comes out of their eyes. World witnessed that power of word can change an enemy into a friend and vice-versa.

Love poem have proved their significant existence in the life of the broken heart guys. These love separations have given birth to popular poets. Every one of them has their own love story and unforgettable memories behind those words of the poem. If you are also among the ones that are not so blessed to have your partner with you for lifetime and one thing may work in your favor at this time.

Try to write your feelings in the form of poem instead of sharing them with all. Once people will show you sympathy but they will not listen to you again and again. And a time will come when they may also hurt you by making fun of your feelings.

Writing such poems will not only give your heart a relief but a writer may come out from you. With time it may become your hobby which may transform into strength. Though, it’s also true no one can forget their first love. But, sooner or later everyone has to overcome from this deadly experience.

Remember that, you are doing this for your own benefit. Because when you will complete one poem you will definitely feel the need to write the other. You may notice that different elements of your pain come out of your heart – at first may be pity and then regret but definitely a glimmer of hope will come someday. Just keep on writing whatever bubble ups from the heart to the surface of your mind. Always remember that time is the biggest ointment that will definitely fade out those memories from your life. No matter how far the person has moved away you will definitely learn to live a happy life.