A World Class Mediator Shares 7 Ways to De-escalate Your Office Tension - Deepstash





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A World Class Mediator Shares 7 Ways to De-escalate Your Office Tension



A World Class Mediator Shares 7 Ways to De-escalate Your Office Tension
We've all been there: the tense meeting, the adrenaline-spiked email, the feeling that we've hit the same speed bump a thousand times before. When tensions rise at work, we tend to subsume, get passive aggressive, or maybe plain old aggressive. And then just use our fallback coping mechanism to get through the rest of the day.


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Know your brain

Know your brain

Our response to difficult conversations is neurologically the same response to fear: the fight, flight, or freeze response.

When you feel that internal escalation,  think, “‘Oh this is really interesting, what’s happening is my reptilian brain is taking over.’ Just that awareness itself can be helpful.




Assume good intentions

Assume good intentions

When we are in conflict, our view of the other person becomes so narrow that we do not see them as a fleshed-out person. 

Try to assume that the other person is acting in good faith. That baseline assumption can get you through plenty of instances of misplaced tone and timing.  



Body language speaks volumes

Good communication is a full-body experience. It’s how we breathe. It’s our tone. It’s our gestures. 

Cultivate habits like keeping an open expression, avoid defaulting to crossed arms, and taking deep breaths to help change the tenor of an interaction.



Repeat, repeat, repeat

Repeat, repeat, repeat

To avoid miscommunication, repeat or summarize their words back to them in a form like, “What I’m hearing you say is…” It creates a feedback loop that allows someone to course correct or dial it back. 



Ask open-ended questions

A mediation mindset is a place for trying to get to the root of an issue. That might mean proceeding without an agenda and just trying to learn more. 

Use open-ended questions: "Can you tell me why?” Keep the questions to six words or fewer. And don’t think too much. Just be curious.



Go towards the heat

One of the traps of digging into hard conversations is a desire to get to a copacetic place where everyone feels better. 

Head for the fiery core of the issue. Find the pain points. And, before getting wrapped up in resolving, acknowledge how they’re affecting everyone. The ultimate goal of mediation, after all, isn’t agreement. It’s understanding.




Why we hit the snooze button

It's important to understand why we are using the snooze button in the first place.

For some, it's a habit that started early on. But for many, it can signal a significant problem with sle...

What normal sleep looks like

Our natural body clock regulates functions through what's known as circadian rhythms: physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle.

Most adults require approximately 7,5-8 hours of good sleep per night. This enables us to spend adequate time in the stages of sleep known as nonrapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM).

What affects sleep cycles

  • If a person is not breathing well during sleep (snoring or sleep apnea), this will disturb the normal sequences and cause the individual to awaken feeling unrestored.
  • Sleep quality can be diminished by the use of electronic devices, tobacco or alcohol in the evening. 
  • Even eating too close to bedtime can be problematic.

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Failure Is Inevitable

Most of us fail in our endeavors at some point in our lives, whether it's a New Year's resolution or a health goal you are working on. These setbacks make us human, not a failure.

Our will...

Schedule Your Habits

Schedule your habits by giving them a specific space in your daily waking hours. You can put it in your calendar, or link it to your current behavior patterns. 

Create a system around your existing life to incorporate the new habit.

Stick to Your Schedule

Even doing something small towards your goal can help build a daily routine.

Example: Instead of skipping the morning jog entirely due to lack of time, one can jog for a few minutes.

Emotions are hard to express with text

Emotions are hard to express with text

When you meet in real life, you can read a person’s emotions. Even with a phone call you can extract a lot of information from someone's tone of voice.

But with email, you’re flying bli...