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.