Read PDF Understanding Misunderstandings: A Guide to More Successful Human Interaction

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Foot on the gas. An angry or agitated stress response. Foot on the brake. A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion. Foot on both gas and brake. A tense and frozen stress response. Stress may pose a problem in your life if you identify with the following:. Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others.

Although knowing your own feelings may sound simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. Your ability to handle conflict, however, depends on being connected to these feelings. The following quiz helps you assess your level of emotional awareness. There are no right or wrong responses, only the opportunity to become better acquainted with your emotional responses. In either case, you may need help developing your emotional awareness. When people are in the middle of a conflict, the words they use rarely convey the issues at the heart of the problem.

This will allow you to respond in a way that builds trust, and gets to the root of the problem.


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Your ability to accurately read another person depends on your own emotional awareness. The more aware you are of your own emotions, the easier it will be for you to pick up on the wordless clues that reveal what others are feeling. Think about what you are transmitting to others during conflict, and if what you say matches your body language.


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  • You can ensure that the process of managing and resolving conflict is as positive as possible by sticking to the following guidelines:. Listen for what is felt as well as said. When you really listen, you connect more deeply to your own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Be respectful of the other person and their viewpoint. Focus on the present. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.

    Pick your battles. Be willing to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can serve only to deplete and drain your life. Know when to let something go.

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    It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on. You can avoid many confrontations and resolve arguments and disagreements by communicating in a humorous way. Humor can help you say things that might otherwise be difficult to express without offending someone. When humor and play are used to reduce tension and anger, reframe problems, and put the situation into perspective, the conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy.

    Conflict Resolution Network. University of Maryland.

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    Authors: Jeanne Segal, Ph. Last updated: June Conflict A conflict is more than just a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat whether or not the threat is real. Conflicts continue to fester when ignored.

    Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them. We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs. What was it intended to correct?

    Understanding conflict

    What were you seeing that you felt growth mindset would help improve? So this has been my primary question for over 40 years. They could fail, and their basic abilities would be called into question. In contrast, when students had more of a growth mindset, they held the view that talents and abilities could be developed and that challenges were the way to do it.

    Gross-Loh: When I first interviewed you about growth mindset a few years ago, I remember that it was a relatively unknown idea. Dweck: Many educators were dissatisfied with drilling for high-stakes tests. They understood that student motivation had been a neglected area, especially of late.

    So many educators, as well as many parents, were excited to implement something that might re-energize kids to focus on learning again, not just memorization and test taking, but on deeper, more joyful learning. But a colleague of mine, Susan Mackie, was doing workshops with educators in Australia and observed that many of them were saying they got growth mindset and were running with it, but did not understand it deeply. But I started keeping a list of all the ways people were misunderstanding growth mindset.

    When the list got long enough, I started speaking and writing about it. Everyone is a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets. You could have a predominant growth mindset in an area but there can still be things that trigger you into a fixed mindset trait. Dweck: Many people understood growth mindset deeply and implemented it in a very sophisticated and effective way.

    So we might say the child has a fixed mindset, without understanding instead that, as educators, it is our responsibility to create a context in which a growth mindset can flourish. Are there certain children who are more vulnerable to this sort of misunderstanding of growth mindset? Dweck: Yes, another misunderstanding [of growth mindset] that might apply to lower-achieving children is the oversimplification of growth mindset into just [being about] effort.

    So this kind of growth-mindset idea was misappropriated to try to make kids feel good when they were not achieving. The mindset ideas were developed as a counter to the self-esteem movement of blanketing everyone with praise, whether deserved or not. To find out that teachers were using it in the same way was of great concern to me. The whole idea of growth-mindset praise is to focus on the learning process.

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    When you focus on effort, [you have to] show how effort created learning progress or success. Dweck: A lot of parents or teachers say praise the effort, not the outcome. You want them to know when to ask for help and when to use resources that are available. Gross-Loh: Is there a right way to praise kids and encourage them to do well?