Listening for Relationship

By Shae Hadden | Bio

How often have you caught yourself ‘tuning out’ when listening to a friend, family member or acquaintance? Or had someone point out that you aren’t really listening to them?

We have all, at one time or another, done so—whether consciously or not. I discovered a few years ago that I had developed a habit of trying hard to ‘push’ my perspective on some of my close personal relationships. When they didn’t listen, I withdrew and stopped listening to them. I don’t know a more effective way to seal oneself off from other people. Not only can it lead to boredom, but it can sound the death knell for love. And it is a lonely tragedy often replayed

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Lemons into Lemonade

Well, it happened again. I was mugged and robbed on the street in Buenos Aires—this time at 7:45 in the morning while walking on a major thoroughfare. I am normally pretty vigilant at night. This time, I stopped to window shop and before I knew it I was on the ground and the guy had pulled my wallet from my front pocket. I instinctively tried to kick him from the ground as he leaped over me and started running down Avenida Florida, which is a wide pedestrian boulevard. The next thing I know

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I am on the road again. I’ve just spent two weeks in Mexico: one week with my son Clarke, and the other working at what must be one of the most fantastic meeting sites I have ever encountered. It is called the Hacienda San Gabriel de las Palmas. Built in 1529, it is easy to imagine Cortes and the Spanish conquistadors riding up the roadway. There are lots of ruins on the grounds and the meeting room was in what appears to be an old barn or storehouse with curved ceilings and antiques all around.

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Explainers Anonymous™

By Charles E. Smith

Explainers Anonymous
is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to help people addicted
to explaining everything. My name is Charlie. I started it.

It began in 1997 a few months after I retired. I woke one morning and said to myself:

now have no work, no place to go, no future source of earned income,
no people telling other people about me. The phone doesn’t ring and too
many of my e-mails are ads. I diet until 6 o’clock and then

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Agreement and Alignment

By Shae Hadden

In a recent conversation with my sisters, I was reminded that people don’t necessarily have to agree with the how, why or when of a particular possibility. But they do have to be aligned on the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ in order to move forward together—and the ‘who’ has to include a commitment from each person involved to the possibility of the ‘what’. In fact, disagreeing with the specifics of how to create a possibility adds value to the conversation and can inform and, in many cases, contribute to the success of the venture—whether it is the creation of something intangible (like a relationship) or tangible (like a product, project or organization).

most, agreement occurs when one person surrenders their point of view
to accept another point of view. Essentially, one perspective wins, the
other loses, within the context of agreement. An example: in
negotiations, the struggle for power is a struggle between perspectives
that has the winner take the dominant position at the head of the
table. Agreement is an either/or proposition. It does not allow space
for collaboration, respect or trust.

Alignment, on the other

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Springtime in Buenos Aires

I am always a little disoriented between the seasons when I travel to Argentina or Brazil. When it is autumn in Canada, it is spring in Buenos Aires. It is a beautiful and refreshing time of year. I am thinking about the clichéd parallel between the seasons and the phases of our lives—this being the autumn of my life. Yet as I travel, I can see how fluid and changeable the seasons can be depending upon where you are standing. This is an apt metaphor for living every moment creatively—consciously

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International Conflict Resolution Day

The third Thursday of October marks the second International Conflict Resolution Day. The World Mediation Forum and the Association for Conflict Resolution co-sponsored the first event. At the same time last year, the International Coalition of Concerned Mediators (ICCM) presented a Call to Action at their annual conference and began working to create a global community of like value-minded Alternative Dispute Resolution professionals and members

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Long-Term Commitments

By Rick Fullerton | Bio

On Thanksgiving weekend (the Canadian version that happens in early October), my wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with family and friends. Our children—now adults living on their own—arranged everything so all Phyllis and I had to do was arrive at the church hall at the appointed time. For those of you with younger families, there is hope!

In anticipation of this event, we pulled out photographs and other
mementos of our married lives together and recalled our earlier 25-year
milestone celebration. We learned that some of our memorabilia, as well
as an oil painting by our daughter, would be displayed at the
reception. We looked forward to being involved, yet also felt somewhat
out of the loop since others were doing all the preparations.

and I decided we would make our entrance to the festivities

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