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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Confrontive Diplomacy - Not Fighting

Continuing with my New Year's resolution tradition, I've been struggling with what to commit to for 2007. Some years the idea comes easy, some years it just appears. This year was definitely the latter. While surfing blogs this morning I came across a post that struck a chord with what I should commit to.

Some background first. My personality is to be a diplomat. I avoid conflict and continually seek conflict resolution. This is a good trait to have most of the time, but sometimes it becomes necessary to risk conflict by confronting and since confrontation is often times a precursor to conflict, I usually never confront.

Today, when reading Barry Moltz's blog my 2007 resolution jumped off the monitor at me and screamed "THIS IS IT!"

Barry makes the comment "One of the lost skills in our business world even with email and voice mail is our ability to tell another person, "no". We mostly either tell them not now and put them off or we just do not answer them, still giving them hope that someday it may be yes."

To me, this is conflict avoidance and is exactly what I do in both business and personal life. My resolution for 2007 is to not just tell people no, but to be more straight forward and confronting in everything I do. I'm looking to make a major shift in communication style, but it is one that if I can master and control at the same time I know will make a huge difference in my effectiveness both as a businessman and a person.

One thing I've always struggled with is letting my yes be yes when what you want to hear is no or vice versa. That ends in 2007. So, fair warning to all. I have a concern that I'm letting a monster off its leash and from time I will over compensate with confronting conversation that will be viewed as rude. I'm not saying I'm going to "drop the gloves" and fight with everyone like a goon, but I am worried it will come across that way, so forgive me in advance as I work hard at mastering the balancing act of "confrontive diplomacy".

What are your resolutions, or do you avoid making them?