Random Book Pages Provide A Great Learning Experience

I am not sure if I am the only one who does this but whenever I get a new book, I open to a random page and start reading.  
Why? Why not? 

Well, one thing is by reading a random few pages is it informs me if the book is any good.  This random thin slice (a snippet or section representing the whole.  Thin Slice methodology also happens to play significant role in my PhD- read more HERE) creates an instant learning moment dualistically.

First, it lets me know if I will enjoy the book and make me want to have a larger ‘slice’ or  really the ‘whole pie.’  Secondly, if it is a good thin slice, it will provide me a learning moment allowing me to discern the content and apply it to my life.

This brings me to my newest book, Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY Model by conflict expert and coach, Cinnie Noble.  The page I randomly opened to was 112 and the title states, “Clarify the Goals.”

While reading only this title, I thought to myself, “wow, this is great already.”  Before I even started reading, I began reflecting on how easy it is during my mediations, both the ones I do professionally and also the informal mediation and conflict communication engagement I do on behalf of the NYPD, that my goals and assumed goals of the parties and stakeholders can easily get in the way of me helping them.

Cinnie adds on the following page another gem- “Clients may need time to identify goals.” Again, obvious, but also brilliant.

Think about it (well I am at least). Checking in with the parties is important but do not overlook that checking in with yourself is equally important.  Who’s pace are you moving at- yours or theirs? Have you properly identified their goals?  Did you establish the goals and did you do it jointly?  It should be their goals, not yours.

Have I learned anything new from those two pages?

Honestly, no, not really.

Have a learned anything again?


This is the crucial element, as I have said many times before.  Being good, really good, at what we do is by practicing.  Practice includes conducting mediations but it is not limited to that. 

Reflection, in this example by reading, reminds me to take a breath and a moment to realize that my goals might interfere with their goals. 

Of course as professionals we have goals (we should!) and this reflection allows me to remember the party must be able to firstly establish goals before we can work on achieving them and then determine the options on how best to meet them while ensuring your goals and theirs are congruent.

In Conflict Management Coaching, Cinnie reminds me, is that since the parties have come to me, there is a very good chance the party(s) and stakeholder(s) might need assistance first in identifying their goals before I can assist in helping them try to achieve them.

I look forward to reading the rest of this book to learn many things… again.

The book is available from Amazon [HERE].

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Cinnie Noble with no arrangement or expectations by any either of us for me to write a review or provide comments for the book. 
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Ever Experience The "Duper's Delight"?

Have a look at my latest article on micro expressions, and the famous "Duper's Delight"- taking joy in fooling someone.  Have you experienced this during a mediation session or during negotiations?
Keep in mind, these micro expressions, or facial actions that happen in less than a second, are a form of leakage that is often missed by many.
[Read, look at the pics & video HERE]
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Have a Look!

For all my conflict resolution professionals that enjoy my posts on nonverbal communication, you can now enjoy reading all about it at www.PsychologyToday.com as I will now be writing their in my new blog titled, "Beyond Words."

Have a look and let me know what you think!

I hope you enjoy it.
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Occupy Wall Street Protest: Collaborators in Peace- Not Against It

As someone who has been there multiple days, I can attest to the powerful and peaceful nature of basically all the people present at Zucotti Square- the proper name of the "Occupy Wall Street's" location.

The important note to point out to my fellow professionals is my primary job (aside of being a mediator) is as one of those people Jerry mentions.  Actually though I am just "blue" being that I am not a supervisor but rather a detective in the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.

My job is to ensure everyone gets to participate and engage in the protest while making sure safety concerns are addressed.  
How do I do this?  

I am happy to say I have had many interpersonal and informal conversations with many of the people there protesting.  One of the main topics is always the police and often the mis-perception that "we" are against "them."  Happily I am able to explain what our role is and how it is not designed to be confrontational between the protesters and police.

Last night as I walked in the pouring rain, I spoke with people holding posters, I respectfully declined to participate in a impromptu meditation session, had a great discussion with a man playing the diggeridoo (and sharing my appreciation for it and aboriginal art), and explained to a person blocking the sidewalk trying to take a photo that they had to move on because they were blocking traffic... after they took their photo.

It's the last bit that I want to explain a little more in-depth.  We all know the cliche of "expanding the pie" and "developing empathy" while serving as mediators, right?  

Well, the real challenge, and joy is applying it elsewhere in the other jobs and roles we serve in life.
Yes, the Chief of the NYPD told me to make sure during a portion of the night "my corner" of Liberty Street and Broadway was not to be cluttered with gawkers and protesters while he watched me do my job.  

How did I do?  


And common sense. 

If I am a protester, or interested worker or tourist or press person walking down Broadway and see the protest, for sure I would want to stop and take a picture- admittedly it is, at its superficial level, very cool to see.  Also, If i am one of the protesters and trying to meet up with my friends, a corner is often one of the best places to meet.
Does this create an intractable situation with the me and the orders of the Chief, who staring at me?


These are some of the things I said:

"Hey, sir, once you get that great picture, please, you have to move on."

"I know you want to take a picture of that woman, especially because she is topless and has a sign that says "I Said Listen to Me- NOT LOOK!", but you are in the middle of the sidewalk, people can't get through.  You have to take a picture quick and then move along."

"I know you are you waiting for someone but this corner is not the best spot- perhaps waiting just over their by the phone booth will be a better spot."

(using humor) "Buddy, this isn't working- you and your big bike at this corner is blocking everyone.  This is definitely not a good spot to text message someone... especially considering you are standing in front of the Chief of the NYPD (he was).  Do me a favor please, can you move down the block?"

"Wow that orange looks really, really good.  I know once you are done peeling it (he was peeling it and throwing the bits in the garbage), you are going to move on, right?"

I said all of this in a tone that I would like to be spoken to, while also often gently patting or touchy the people on the back of the shoulder.  I would then often end the encounter with "Thank you."

Cops are not against protesters.  

We are there for you- not against you.

(note: these comments of mine and don't represent that of any organization that I work with/for or associated with.)
* Also, a 'plug'- if you liked this, you might like my first article at PsychologyToday on body language- http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-words/201109/is-nonverbal-communication-numbers-game click HERE (please)
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