This blog post is the 2nd in the series taken from my book,
Take the Ride of Your Life! Shift Gears for More Balance, Growth and Joy.
Dealing with conflict in the workplace takes a lot of courage at times!
Especially when you may be the only one with an opinion and your entire team disagrees with you.
Different equals different. Different does not equal wrong.
Even on a broken old Schwinn, Alyce learned the importance of freedom and helping others.
Alyce is a crisis counselor for abused women. She understands the power of asking for and giving help.
She spent her earliest childhood in a Louisiana migrant camp.
She remembers watching her mom pick tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries,
apples, peaches, and cherries under broiling southern skies.
Alyce’s First Bike
“My first bike did not even have wheels.
It was a real old Schwinn.
Everybody took turns pushing each other on it, because it didn’t pedal,” she recalled.
“It had a big seat on it, and we pretty much taught ourselves to ‘ride’ it.
All the kids took turns holding the bike and pushed each other until we skinned our knees.
We had a ball.”
It wasn’t until Alyce turned eleven or twelve and moved to Michigan
that she got her first new bicycle.
Trouble in the Neighborhood
The family experienced racism in their new neighborhood,
but young Alyce and her sisters bounced right through it.
“We were the first black people to move in.
For a long time, the other parents wouldn’t let us play with their children,” she says.
“Eventually the kids outgrew it; we didn’t scare easily and we didn’t know any better.
We’d still go over to play even if they yelled at us.”
Despite the pain racism caused, Alyce’s mother never allowed her daughters
to behave that way in return. “The prejudice made me a stronger person.
It made me realize that no matter what color a person is, you treat them
the way you want to be treated.”
Different Does Not Equal Wrong
Today Alyce’s home has become a shelter for the homeless.
“I always have a house full of children,” she says matter-of-factly.
“They’re people; something I do or say may help them.
Why should I be the one to turn them away?
I want everyone to remember and say, ‘She helped me.’ ”
Alyce’s Bike Lessons
When Alyce thinks about her bikes she has some keen insights.
“That first bike wasn’t complete. Yet, a bunch of kids got together
and supported each other so we could all play. Then all of a sudden, I
had a bike that I could ride myself. It’s like my life.
I love doing things with people, for people.
I’m much more content with this than being by myself.
I’m happy with my life.
Now I have a full bike with everything on it — and I’m sharing it.”
Asking for Help During Conflict
Many of us don’t ask for help because we think it is a sign of
weakness. Asking for help is a strength. It is a sign that you are
taking care of your own needs. Sit down and create a list of people
who can help you feel less pressured. Problem-solving gives you
control of the situation; it allows you to create your own positive
environment amid the stress of everyday chaos.
Problem-solving is another technique that moves people into action.
It gives control, versus staying stuck and complaining about the same old things.
Life means getting into or out of a crisis most of the time.
Instead of lying in bed feeling angry, hurt, or worried, take the
stress associated with crisis and turn it into positive energy.
Figure out what you need to do to create a more fulfilled life.
Problem solve, be innovative, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Gear-Shifting Action Steps
1. Write the name of a negative person who brings you down.
Problem-solve a plan to protect yourself.
2. Who is a cheerleader in your life?
What does this person do to encourage you?
3. Who are you a cheerleader for?
How do you encourage this person to be the best he or she can be?
4. On the left side of a paper, make a list of the situations that troubled you last year.
On the right side, list the effects of each situation.
Hopefully the items on the right side won’t seem so important.
5. What worried me one year ago?
What are the consequences?
6. Now make a list of the troubles you’re facing today.
Visualize how they will turn out one year from now.
What worries me today?
What will be the consequences?
Was this helpful?
Please send me your bike story. Place your comments in the comment box at the end of this post.
Who taught you how to ride?
What memories do you have about that important time in your life?
What lessons did you learn from your parents or other adults when you were a child?
Loyal readers like you help us find more people who could benefit from these posts.
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Joyce Weiss Training & Development LLC > www.JoyceWeiss.com
Please let others know about these blog posts on reducing conflict at the workplace and home.
There may be someone in your life who is experiencing some stress…
who could benefit from the inspiration and knowledge on improving their working condition or home life.
Until next time,
This is Joyce Weiss, Conflict Resolution Consultant
I help others have tough conversations so they get a better night’s sleep.
Remember…You Get What YOU Tolerate!