Dove with Branch
November 09, 2009 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I am a manager at a large company. My team and I have to work cross functionally and some of our counterparts have been very demanding and unprofessional, even yelling at me repeatedly in meetings over circumstances that I did not create and that I am trying to solve anyway. I have tried the following: 1) discussing the situations that arise with them in a rational and calm manner; 2) discussing separately with my boss and having him do the same; 3) trying to visualize myself and my team being treated fairly and respectfully. So far none of these have worked. Any ideas? I love the idea of eradicating anger in the workplace as there is a lot of it and it is likely making its way home..... even a few tips that would help to alleviate the situation would be much appreciated. - EF

Dear EF, This is a difficult and all too common problem. The secret is not to let these ineffective attempts at solutions become your emotional problem. Do not allow yourself to buy into other peoples' anger because then that becomes your problem. Develop confidence in yourself as a problem solver and a person who wants to help others who can stay focused on finding ways to help other people through their anger issues without allowing them to become your issues. It sounds like you have made some very good attempts to solve their problems that haven't worked. Don't allow this to frustrate you. Keep searching for positive solutions. Accept the challenge, and believe that as long as you stay positive and keep searching you will find a solution. If you can remain positive and give only help and love regardless of the other persons anger you will find a way. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Judy in CA also has another option in dealing with her mother who is always giving her advice. She can acknowledge her mother's advice without committing to acting upon it. "That's an idea, Mom. I might have to try that sometime." Or, "Gosh that sounds like good supper idea for the next time I have company." Perhaps all her mother needs is just some acknowledgement that she is still important in Judy's life and that her ideas (and concern) have merit. - CP in NM

Dear CP, Very good ideas! Thank you for your input. -the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

Most of us think that many of the things that are being done in our society are wrong, and if they were done differently our life would be better. We think other people are stupid, greedy, thoughtless and uncaring among other things. Most likely they are thinking the very same way we are much of the time. The other side of the coin is that if there are abuses in our society there are people who feel they benefit from those abuses and wish to maintain the status quo. If those who hold positions of power in our government benefit from their positions they are not the ones motivated by the desire to change.

If we want to be the ones in power so we can have things our way, then things will end up the same; only reversed. This is the way it works in our political system now. As soon as those in power have abused the system enough the ones not in power gain support, and it then becomes their turn to do the same in their own special way.

Until we as a society gain the understanding, integrity, and compassion to look for ways of being and doing that consider the needs and viewpoints of everyone, our system will continue to work as it does now. When we are ready to care about others as much as we care about ourselves and our own families, we will continue to do politics in this way. When we become concerned about the viewpoints and needs of everyone equally, we will create a society that is loving and nurturing for all people.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

One way to reduce our susceptibility to anger is to be open to the possibility of other right answers for our self and for others. Just accepting the possibility that the answer may change if we have more information keeps us open to the idea that the judgment that we have made is only tentative, and always subject to change. When we view a judgment in this manner, we don't have a strong emotional investment in it. And we find it easier to make changes when we receive new information that is not in agreement with our present thinking. It also makes it much easier to recognize when new information is not in agreement with our judgment.

In this society we have learned to view differences as an attack. We have learned to marshal arguments to support our view of the truth. It is like we are debaters who are assigned a side and then defend it as our own truth. We tend to buy into our own story and the first thing we know it becomes our truth. If we can learn to give up the need to always have a truth then life becomes much easier for us.

Sometimes you must make a choice because you must determine an action NOW. Choose a response based on your best thinking, but don't place any emotional value on your choice. Don't take your truths too seriously. Always be looking for a better answer than the one you are acting on. When you see the possibility of a better choice, be open to changing your thinking. Rather than defending your original choice, see what you might learn by considering someone else's.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the idea that I don't know everything about anything.

Tuesday: I think about the idea that I could possibly be wrong about anything and everything.

Wednesday: I learn to be open for and to examine new information.

Thursday: I fully examine new information that is not in agreement with my opinion.

Friday: I learn not to take disagreement by others as an attack on myself.

Saturday: I always choose the best response available to me based on the information I have.

Sunday: I change my response whenever I see a better possibility.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I will be conducting workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops will provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

I have taken on the task of supporting the teaching of emotional skills training in the educational system with the trust and hope, that many in your community will be able to share in the vision of this great work, and join us in this amazing project. We are promoting a "Sponsor a School" program to raise awareness and support throughout the U.S. & Canada If you have any interest in the program and/or having a workshop in your area. Contact me for additional information.

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