Current Affairs

Using Political Dialogue to Create and Inspire Change

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Criticizing people for expressing sympathy by using the term “thoughts and prayers” has become a trend. Using the term as a first response is quite acceptable.  Many of us use it on a regular basis.

 

This popular criticism does not produce any result other than making the speaker feel engaged in the “discussion” but does nothing to create a discussion.

 

The criticism that can and should be placed is what happens with those “thoughts” in the days after the expression of “thoughts and prayers.”

 

The same criticism can and should be placed against those who find reason to criticize those who use “thoughts and prayers.”

 

This criticism is not much better than using the term in the first place.

 

Expressing “thoughts and prayers” and criticizing saying it are equally unproductive, if we do nothing to engage in critical thinking and have a discussion about our “thoughts” and the “thoughts” of others with whom we may disagree about the issue at hand.

 

Just because two parties disagree doesn’t mean anyone has to be wrong. Two opposing views can exist at the same time.

The more we act like our misguided leaders, the more our system of government stays the same.

The sooner we behave in a way that also listens to others in a respectful way, the sooner we will have the chance of creating the kind of government we respect and, consequently, one in which we wish to participate

Researching Reform For The Huffington Post: Child Refugees Are Fleeing A War We Created – We Owe Them A Place To Live — Researching Reform

Our article this month for The Huffington Post looks at some of the issues child refugees face as the first few children arrive in England this week. We discuss the topic of dental checks, the real reason why many of the children in the camp at Calais are young men and why we owe these […]

via Researching Reform For The Huffington Post: Child Refugees Are Fleeing A War We Created – We Owe Them A Place To Live — Researching Reform

Book Review Common Sense: Making Good Decisions in Real Estate Workouts Paperback – August 20, 2016

A useful book  for Bank workout officers, negotiators and mediators  dealing with real estate borrower/lender relationships

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I met Mark Weiss a few years back through a shared interest in Storytelling. With Mark you are never quite sure that you know everything that he does. I knew he had written a book or two  (this is his 8th I think), but I did not know about this book. I learned about it when Mark handed me a copy recently and said that he thought I might enjoy reading it. He was right. It is a quick read. The intended audience for the book is really for bank “workout” officers who will be charged with the responsibility of managing negotiations for properties that come into a bank’s portfolio as a result of a foreclosure or other circumstance. Mark has a wealth of experience in these kinds of situations. What makes this book interesting and worth a read is the wealth of knowledge contained in the book, but also the weaving in of his personal stories ( remember, he is an excellent storyteller as well) recounting tales where deals go bad, are rescued ( sometimes) and the lessons learned from both. So, while the book is truly a “handbook” or “desk-reference” for workout officers, it reads a bit like a documentary, and sometimes even as an action story! Another potential audience is anyone who, like me, mediates commercial disputes. Mark’s understanding of the workout process, is a roadmap for negotiators as well as mediators who are concerned with discovering BATNA/WATNA and the real needs and interests of both sides to these workouts.  I recommend this helpful,  quick and easy read.

Available at Amazon

A Trick That Will Make Your Next Apology Better

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It involves the 1990s Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley. Kind of.

“Research has shown that one way to keep that idealized self-image intact is through self-affirmation, a concept that actually isn’t too far off from Smalley’s “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me!” mantra. A less ridiculous way to go about this is to think about your goals, your values, and the things and people most important to you, Schumann said. So she reasoned that before apologizing, taking a few minutes to indulge in a little self-affirmation could make the experience less painful, which would ultimately lead to a less defensive, more effective apology.

The basic idea is that we are highly motivated to maintain a positive image of ourselves — an image of self-integrity, morality, and adequacy,” Schumann said in an email. And this, she reasons, is why apologizing can suck so very much: Having to admit that our words or actions hurt someone else threatens our image of our ideal self. So it makes sense that so many apologies are so bad. We get defensive, so we justify our behavior, all to protect our egos.”

Read NYMag article by Melissa Dahl