If you look through my blog, you will probably notice that Tammy Lenski is one of my favorite conflict resolution bloggers. She consistently has great content at Conflict Zen.
This weekend, I noticed this post where she mentions that she will be speaking at a Women's Leadership Summit in Manchester, NH in June. Her post inspired my thinking for my topic today.
Here's the short version of what she will be speaking about at this conference:
Too many negotiations get cluttered with baggage, sidetracks, pop-psych diagnoses and other traps that inhibit reaching resolution and minimizing debris in personal and professional relationships.
A professional mediator and negotiation coach will teach you how to unclutter negotiations and focus on the most important parts of the discussion. You will learn how to:
- Recognize what is really important in any negotiation.
- Keep the conversation on track.
- Set aside the garbage and prevent it from polluting the negotiation.
Reading the description of her talk reminded me of how often we let conversations get too complicated. We talk at length about past events that cannot be undone. We go off on tangents about what would have happened if:
- I had done this
- You had done that
- I had said it this way
- You had said it that way
- blah, blah, blah…
How many times have you found yourself “in the weeds” when speaking to your coworker, your boss, your spouse, or your child about a conflict? For me, I find that it happens far too frequently. When it does happen, focusing on the past is almost always the cause.
I find that getting off-track tends to come from an effort to discuss or fix things that either do not really matter to the future of our relationship or cannot be changed by anything we do in the future.
In writing this post, I find myself thinking about one of my favorite scenes from the Disney movie The Lion King. As Simba, the young lion, and Raficki, the wise, old monkey, walk across a field, Raficki hits Simba on the head with his walking stick. Simba says: “Hey, wha'd ya' do that for?” Raficki replies: “It don't matta'. It's in the past.”
With that thought in mind, here's my Monday Momentum Message: Focus more energy on what you can do to positively impact the future than you do on what happened negatively in the past.