The US is entering a season of key international negotiations, during which two arms control treaties that have been languishing for years will hopefully be completed.
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When you can distance yourself from your response, you separate the reaction from yourself.
Unlike a comedian who has to setup a punch line carefully and wait for the right beat, you can come back to an issue that happened hours, weeks and even years ago to work things out.
In conflict, two people can view identity as a zero sum game. The more right you are; the more wrong I am. You can sense this mentality creeping into stories we tell ourselves and other people.
Catch the ways you leave out the other person's perspective. Alter your actions by altering the stories you tell yourself and others.
Feeling forced to choose to be assertive or empathetic is natural. Yet you may actually feel mixed and even desire to both assert and empathize.
Identify your contribution to the conflict. By accepting your part and then taking responsibility, you give yourself the best chance possible for getting out of conflict.
If you truly want to bridge the gap between you and the person across from you, sitting alongside is still the place to start.
See yourself doing well. Separate that from what the other person has done or will do. Picture success as it relates to you, your body language, volume, tone and words.
If the the person your butting heads with is feeling safe, they are less likely to lose it.
Mousavi was always more open to dialogue with the West. If president, his discourse could now include the nuclear program with much less fear of attack.
Like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, North Korea is a little unbalanced but relentless. The first thing to know about their apparently successful nuclear test is this: don't panic.
History is not on North Korea's side, and ensnaring the hermit state in negotiations establishes some possibility of reining in its behaviors.
When you have discomfort, treat it as a learning opportunity. The less you go into denial and accept discomfort as expected, the easier it will be to relax.
Remember that another person has a positive intention.
It matters little in the big scheme of things how many new troops President Obama announces. If there is no real change in policy, new troops won't accomplish anything.
When you are surprised by your own flash of anger, you may not be fully conscious of your own desires. You may be missing the underlying needs that your own anger is revealing to you.
A part of who we are is what we believe. This explains why we tend to assess other people's likeability and credibility based on their positions.
If you are already scratching your head about the other person before you've even engaged with them, then you are missing something.
As a mediator, I remember the power of asking the parties questions they would not ask each other. Anything a mediator can do, individuals can do on their own. Observe with fresh eyes.
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