What’s This Conflict REALLY About?

If you’ve ever wondered why your brilliant solutions to address a problem weren’t  met with happiness and acceptance, it’s probably because you didn’t understand the real issue and were trying to fix the wrong thing.

Conflict situations are complex.  They aren’t always about what they seem to be about. People are trying to satisfy different needs and unless you understand what their needs are, your solutions will be mis-matched and ineffective.  William Wilmot and Joyce Hocker describe this dynamic well in their CRIP model.

1. Content – What do we want?
The most apparent need or goal in a conflict is the thing that is most apparent.  It is the subject of the conflict, the ‘what’ we’re fighting about.  People either want different things (what to watch on TV) or are competing for the same thing (two managers needing the 1 ‘headcount’ or position that has been budgeted for).

2. Relational – Who are we to each other?
Relational needs in a conflict situation define what the parties need from each other, either how you want to be treated (e.g. respect, appreciation, cooperation etc.) or how interdependent we should/will be (‘Are you staying or leaving?” or ‘This is none of your business’.)

3.  Identity – Who Am I in this interaction?
Identity goals arise when a person is striving to maintain or protect his or her self-identity.  Sometimes as conflicts escalate, peoples’ need to save face or be right and win ‘just because’ become more important. When self-esteem is at stake, it’s hard to be flexible.

4. Process – What communication process will be used to solve this problem?
Will the majority rule or consensus?  Will the boss/father/wife decide?  Will we take a secret vote?  People have varying levels of comfort with different levels of sharing of the decision-making process.  Men and women may be more or less inclined to use participatory decision-making.  Some cultures are more comfortable with authority-driven decisions than others.

In any conflict, some or all of these needs exist and it’s important to recognize their existence and relative priority in the situation.  You could be ostensibly arguing over the content of an issue, but the history of the relationship is clouding your ability to reach a real resolution.

What does this model illuminate for you?

Create Passive Income: Stop Trading Time for Money

The IRS defines passive income as income from “trade or business activities in which you do not materially participate”.

Traditional sources are dividend/interest income from investments, rental income and royalties from books.

When you perform work and get paid for it, no matter how well you’re paid, that’s not passive income.  That is trading time for money.   I realized a few years ago that unless I charged a gazillion dollars for my services, that my income would be capped by the number of hours I worked. So I got busy creating income alternatives beyond coaching and training.

If you own a business but are not working in the business, the income you receive from that business is passive.  In the 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris describes ways in which you can create income that require little or no effort on your part.  You may work in the beginning, but the key is to set up systems so the business works without your involvement.

Here are some of my online favorites.

1. Information products (books, CDs, home study programs) can be sources of passive income.  They do require work for their creation, but once done, fulfillment (delivery) of the products can be outsourced.  If you’re in business, you have some expertise that can be turned into a book, CD or DVD that people will purchase.  When you sell them online instead of ‘hawking’ them personally, you’re getting paid on-goingly for work you did perhaps years ago.

2. Affiliate programs (where you sell someone else’s products or services for a share of the revenue) are also opportunities for passive income.  Again, you may have to set up websites and traffic generation strategies to make those products & services visible to others, but once done, ka-ching!

3. Network marketing programs have made many people thousand-aires and even millionaires.  There remains a slight stigma in some people’s minds about pyramid schemes.  But most multi-level and network marketing programs these days present legitimate products and services that people are buying and consuming.

4. Licensing involves creating intellectual property (like books, systems, processes, etc.), protecting them with trademarks and patents and then selling rights to others to market the products for you.  If you have (which you do) expertise in your field, you can create information products and systems that you can license to others.

The key here is to get in early with an offer you believe in, particularly one that is ‘consumable’ where clients buy something every month without you having to sell it to them.  It could take a couple of years of dedicated effort to build up a clientele and train a ‘downline’ so that they’ll work the business without you.  But it’s possible to do.

Kim Kiyosaki shared some startling statistics in her talk at NAWBO.  She said “58% of Boomer women have less that $10K set aside for retirement.” Yikes!

It’s not too late.  But don’t wait.  Take action now.  Do a little research. Find something that you can get behind. Devote at least 10% of your time each week building passive income streams and stop trading your time for money before you run out of time.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Today’s article is a poem (author unknown) that my friend, Sandy Rogers shared with me in a workshop years ago she was conducting on marketing.

I used to have a comfort zone, where I knew I could not fail.
The same four walls and busy work were really more like jail
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before.
But I stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn’t matter, that I wasn’t doing much.
I said I didn’t care for things like diamonds, cars and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside my zone.
But deep inside I longed for some victory of my own.

I couldn’t let my life go by,  just watching others win.
I held my breath and stepped outside to let the change begin.
I took a step and with a strain I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

If you are in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners at one time were filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
So greet your future with a smile, SUCCESS IS THERE FOR YOU!

No matter how successful we become nor how high we’ve risen in life, we’re still operating inside of the ‘space’ in which we feel comfortable.  Continue to press against the edges of your space.   Confront your fear.  Face the tiger.

When you’re standing on the precipice of an enormous emotional cliff, step out on faith and know that you’ll either land on new solid ground or learn to fly.

I LOVE success stories.  Please leave a comment and share your story of landing on new solid ground or learning to fly.