Download the PDF. The password is “cmapril2015“.
No, it is not a rhetorical question. Who actually are you? Do you actually know who you are?
Are you a conflicted individual who does not know their I from their me? And that’s before we start on The Who, geddit? So those of you who have read any of my blogs know I like a bit of a musical reference and 1978 produced the above classic. I was 19 in ’78 and really liked this track before punk led me astray. You see music is, for most of us pretty central to our identity. The explosion of youth culture in the 1950’s and 60’s changed the western world. Youth cultures were spawned and youth cultures clashed with Teds and Rockers fighting the Mods and the Skins with poor naive plod caught hopping around on his poor old size elevens at the seaside.
Well I for one experimented with all kinds of music, and the accompanying intoxicants and crap fashons, and still have diverse tastes but I think the old Two Tone stuff is my all time favourite, it’s a working class football orientated skinhead thing. Alas time and tide wait for no man and whilst I can reminisce with the best I see a very different chap when I look in the mirror these days. Somehow, somewhere along the journey of my life to date I lost the youthful me, I also lost all those certainties I once held dear, I lost those aliegences to football teams and political parties that I once held dear. Gone, long gone, are many once good friends, the steamroller of life keeps moving on crushing the past that is left in its wake. I cannot complain, I have a wonderful family, healthy and happy and growing as grandchildren appear in our lives and lately a cute new puppy dog.
As the saying goes the only constant is change. Life is good. I am happy. But is the me? And there is the rub. The i and the me are both part of who I am so when anyone asks me ‘who are you’ I get confused, because I am conflicted. There I said it, I am out and openly a conflicted person. The thing is we all are, it is natural. Here is why in a nutshell. We are born unfinished, unlike other creatures we need a great deal of looking after as babies, we are pretty useless.
BUT we are fast learners, as soon as our little eyes can focus we are watching, watching, recording, learning and ready to copy as soon as our limbs can support us. Socialisation is the lengthy process of becoming human and we learn many complex skills as the brain grows exponentially through the early months in particular. We imbibe our culture, language and learn to move, to walk to speak and to make decisions. Our little selves learn through imitation and experimentation and through the two most effective of learning processes, operrant conditioning and play. We soak up knowledge and skills like little sponges and we experiment like mad. Importantly we learn to distinguish between the ‘I’ and the ‘ME’ as we get to develop our self……
Hold on, lets just watch this great clip for a few minutes. Rory Miller and I just delivered the first CRGI Instructor Development Course in Sheffield, there was a great emphasis on how we learn and how we train and how, very often these two are mismatched to the detriment of all. So lets just apply the three stages, preparatory, play and game, to our training, be it martial arts, self defence, survival or fitness, it does not matter. The stages identified by Mead, in my opinion should guide how we organise our training, as students and as instructors and here is the rub, this is not a one off process but rather a never ending cycle as we advance through life.
Lets face it the process of socialisation is ongoing throughout life as we try out and learn new roles, I had no formal training for the role of grandad, but I had grandads, my own dad was a grandad as were lots of other people I knew. I learned from these significant others, some more significant than others, and adopted what I thought were the best ways to play grandad. I absorbed these into the introspective ‘I ‘ and I express them as the extroverted ‘me’. That is my take on how I became a grandad, there were loads of other factors too of course but lets keep it simple. So how did I/you become a martial artist (insert other role here…………….)? I bet if you cast your mind back you will recognise many of the stages you went through.
So if you, can see your development from baby martial artist and recognise the three stages does that help you picture how you train now, how you became your martial arts self? The thing is as in martial arts as in life sometimes an individuals development is affected by whether or not they are allowed to play, to copy, to experiment as well as by whether or not they are allowed to develop as team members and not just subordinates. The worst kind of training is run by the authoritarian ‘Master’ who forbids their students from training with anyone who will contaminate their ‘one true way’, anybody recognise this?
Whilst the best kind positively encourages experimentation and lets their students play, regardless of age to find ‘their’ best way, the students not the instructors, of doing things. Whatever facilitated your development, and never underestimate the role of significant others, how has this affected how you facilitate the training for others? If you can recognise the need to prepare, to experiment and then to find ones place in a group and you can provide a safe and secure environment in which this most natural of learning processes flourishes, then in my opinion, you are doing your job well. Student centred learning inevitable moves the centre of attention to the individual and away from the system. The system is not necessarily impoverished by this shift of emphasis but enriched if we allow students to develop as holistically as possible.
Entering into training inevitably means exposure to new roles and new ideas, it is what people seek as they develop their wider sense of self. They will become changed individuals to different degrees after exposure to your training whatever it is they learn. The very identity they possess on entry will be altered never again to become what it was before and that is a awesome responsibility. In order to empower our students it is the responsibility of the instructors to keep on pushing the boundaries of our knowledge in order to continually improve ourselves. That is the open world we humans inhabit, as opposed to the closed world of all other animals. But that is another article. For now let us remember the importance of play and the development of games as tools for learning, go back to your dojo and, well, learn to play.
“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” – English Proverb
It is likely that there will come a time when a skilled sailor is a thing of the past. Civilization will have developed to a point where the weather can be and will be controlled. There will be no storms, only calm seas. At such a time, there will be no need for skilled sailors.
There also may come a time when human conflict has been eradicated. No longer will there be disputes that arise from our human nature relating to safety, security, relationships, ideology, religion, culture, finance, politics, territorialism, anti-social personalities, biological drives, and more. The human desire to engage in conflict will be controlled in the same manner that the weather is controlled. Controlled for the common good. There will be no rape, murder, and mayhem. Humans will have domesticated themselves in the same manner that we have the created hairless dogs and giant pumpkins.
Gone too will be our individuality, diversity, and ability to determine our destiny. Just as there is no life without death, without the option of choosing Evil, we will not be able to choose Good. We will do as we have been predetermined to do.
But in the meantime…
We need to recognize that conflict is universal whether it relates to the violence of cosmic creation and destruction or to everyday interpersonal human conflict and confrontation. Those that have the ability to effectively manage conflict thrive. Those that don’t have these skills are relying on smooth seas to get by. Their demise is just a storm away.
Effective Conflict Management involves utilizing the 12 Universal Elements of Conflict Management:
- Respect (Tolerance, Empathy, Consideration)
- Clear Communication (Minimal misunderstandings, Directness)
- Appropriate Enforcement (Just-Right for the situation)
- Truth (Actuality, Reality)
- Knowledge (Deep understanding)
- Dynamic Problem Solving (Critical Thinking, Neo-cortex utilized, Situation specific analysis)
- Evolution (Constantly evolving and changing, Double Loop Learning)
- Continuum of Responses (Spectrum, Scaling, Progressive/escalating use of force)
- Control of Emotions (Limbic system controlled)
- Trade-offs (Cost/Benefit analysis, Give/take, Negotiation, Compromise, Cooperation)
- Open-minded (Responsive to feedback, Open to differing viewpoints)
- Accountability (Responsibility, Agency, Acceptance)
On the other hand, ineffective Conflict Management involves engaging in these Universal Elements of Conflict Mis-management:
- Dis-respect (Intolerance, Prejudice, Othering, Labeling, Name-calling)
- Ineffective Communication (Mis-understandings, Indirectness, Assumptions)
- Inappropriate Enforcement (Under-Enforcement, Over-Enforcement)
- Untruths (Inaccurate facts, Wrong data, Mis-leading statistics)
- Lack of Understanding (Ignorance, Misconceptions)
- Static Answers (Predetermined responses, Generalizations)
- Unchanging (Resistance to change and new ideas, Ideology)
- Singular Response (One Size Fits All, Non-scaling)
- Controlled by Emotions (Emotional Thinking, Limbic system in control,
- Fearfulness, Anger, Envy)
- One-sided (Blaming, Accusations, Unyielding, Non-negotiable position,
- Uncompromising, Competing)
- Closed-minded (Non-responsive to feedback, Non-receptive to differing
- Non-accountability (Denial of responsibility, Non-agency, Avoidance)
Effective Conflict Management is measured not only by the result. A great Conflict Manager may still achieve an unwanted result just as a great athlete or team may still lose an athletic contest. Conversely, an ineffective Conflict Manager may achieve a desired outcome in the same way that “a broken clock is correct twice a day”.
Over a period of time, consistently using the 12 Universal Elements of Conflict Management when involved in interpersonal conflict will lead to more desirable results. Many times, effective Conflict Managers resolve the situation before it becomes an actual conflict. Therefore, their skills can easily go unnoticed and unappreciated.
On the other hand, once you are aware of the Elements of Mis-management, Conflict Mis-managers are easy to spot. In their effort to manipulate the world to their benefit, they employ the Elements on a massive scale. The next time you read a blog or article advocating for social change, check to see which type of person you are dealing with.
I suffer, as many do, of falling into the trap of ’wandering’ around the internet, loosing valuable time in the process, looking at the latest trends, themes and current topics of discussion in various forums and social media sites. Given the marketing tools used and current social trends, it’s no big surprise many people spend their time in this way. I got to thinking more and more of late though, about the content being presented to me and its impact on individual behaviour and, to an extent, society at large.
An image I saw, first probably over two years ago now, keeps coming back to mind.
The picture resonates with many people, and while it may illicit a chuckle, I also want to explore the more concerning side of this trend. No doubt we are all familiar with the volume and virality of the ‘close call’ or ‘witness/bystander’ videos such as here, here and most recently here (The last one is graphic) Volumes could be written on the reasoning and motivation for this behaviour and for that reason I won’t explore the causes here but do want to look at the consequences and effects of this ‘new normal’.
Pope Inauguration. The difference in 8 Years.
Given the footage available for public viewing it seems to me the ‘wiring’ for capturing images runs pretty deep, to the extent I propose we are now seeing a fourth addition to the stress response. Meaning we now have Flight, Fight, Freeze, Film as a predictable behaviour. Along with this, it seems many will inadvertently or intentional put themselves at greater risk for the sake of recording events they see. So what does this mean in regards to conflict?
Trend 1 – There is far higher and exponentially increasing chance that any altercations you are involved in will be captured in both video AND audio. So not only your actions, but your words are recorded and have the possibility of being brought forth as evidence.
Impact – If you haven’t trained in articulation and witness coaching previously, you should be prioritizing it more now. The weight of evidence that potentially can be bought against you is massively increasing.
Trend 2 – Social media in various forms is here to stay for a significant period, and will increase in functionality and accessibility.
Impact – As well as facing criminal and civil charges for any incident you may be involved in, there is now the ‘public’ court to face. This court is brutal, unregulated and can be deeply impacting. The NY Times wrote an exceptional piece on this issue here
Trend 3 – The evidence suggests that many bystanders will now prioritize recording an event ahead of intervening, assisting, or even calling for help. (To make an emergency call would mean to stop recording… Let that sink in for a minute)
Impact – The impact of this is broad and far reaching, but to surmise, you have never been more ‘on your own’ to manage conflict situations while simultaneously subject to mass scrutiny than now.
Trend 4 – The quest to produce a ‘viral’ video is compelling and highly sought after. This results in a number of disturbing social trends, from the ‘knock out’ game, to the meant to be funny but deeply insidious ‘pranking’ and a variety of other trends in between.
Impact – Recording of (random) violent incidents is established and will likely become even more popular, and necessarily more gruesome, in order to capture the viewers attention (The phrase ‘If it bleeds, it leads’ has been with us since 1989. That’s over 25 years of direct media prioritization) The odds of being subject to a random or unprovoked attack are increasing, in addition to the likelihood of any incidents you become involved in being captured by multiple witnesses (read, multiple angles).
There is a great many more observation in this ‘new normal’, but for the sake of brevity I will not go further in this article. It has not been my intention to ‘solve’ the problems identified here, merely, at this stage, to raise awareness. But it begs the question, how will you train to tackle these trends?
“Sensei Why Do You Have Handcuffs on?”
It was my children’s class and I had both handcuffs on one wrist. As children arrived for their class over and over I heard “Sensei why do you have Hand cuffs on?”
But of course the children were curious. My old friend Kevin Smith had just left after telling me about his new job as Defensive Tactics Instructor for York Regional Police services. He was showing me a new handcuff technique when he got a call and had to leave. It was then he realized he didn’t have his keys for his handcuffs. So I had to teach my children’s classes with both cuffs on one wrist.
Kevin and I had practiced Jujitsu back in the 70s’s and had remained friends. He stopped by to tell me of his new job and asked me what I was up to. I explained that I had developed a Shoot Wrestling Program he responded “coppers could really use this”.
Kevin returned several hours later with his handcuff keys. Kevin then mentioned that he had a new partner he couldn’t choke out. I suggested that he and his partner stop by for a class sometime.
Kevin returned for a class with his partner Keith and a few Use of Force Instructors. It was during a daytime class over the summer holidays so I had children and teens on the mats. I could see the puzzled looks on the officers faces as they came in to work out.
The looks on their face quickly changed when I said let’s start with chokes. Kevin you start with one of the children over here and I’ll start with your partner Keith. Well, soon all the Use of Force Defensive Tactics Instructors were tapping like a bongo players on the mats.
Several days later Keith and Kevin invited me to critique the new York Region Use of Force Program. With my observations they changed their program and invited me to a National Use of Force Trainers Conference. After attending the Conference, I was asked to put a lesson plan together and Police Services from the Greater Toronto Area came together for my first class of the Tactical Control Systems I was about to create.
Little did I know that it would lead me on a path to instruct Customs Agents, Corrections Officers, Department of Fisheries, the Senate Police Force, and Police Services from Toronto to Vancouver. Being a civilian in a Law-Enforcement world I had a lot to learn. Disengage, create distance and go to a higher level of force was my first learning curve and perhaps I could share some of my ideas and dynamic simulations with you today.
Arm drag is a classic move in the Shoot Wrestling Canada Program. Testing the arm drag in combative games like Uproot the Tree and Sumo Wrestling are a great way to gain practical experience.
The arm drag allows you to get behind your opponent and for law-enforcement you are able to disengage, create distance and go to a higher level of force. Or in a civilian self defence setting escape and live to tell the story.
Wrestling Games to Challenge the Arm Drag (Also, this is a great cardiovascular work out)
Try each game in 3 minute rounds, the average work out is 3 rounds.
- Up Root the Tree – A bear hug game where one person tries to get a bear hug and lift their partner off the ground. Note: Use the Arm Drag to get behind your partner and make the lift or disengage from the training circle.
Sumo Wrestling – One person tries to push the other out of the circle.
Note: Use the Arm Drag to get behind your partner either leave the circle or push your partner out of the circle.
For more info on Tactical Control Systems
Contact Ron Beer at:
The light wrestler knocks the dark wrestlers wrist in a circular motion, then reaches above the elbow on the inside of the dark wrestlers arm. The light wrestler then ‘Pulls’ creating the Drag, enabling him to get behind the dark wrestler.
Overview of Violence against Women in nepal
Like in many other developing countries, in Nepal violence against women is one of the key factors responsible for the poor health of women, livelihood insecurity, and inadequate social mobilization. The extent of gender-based violence in Nepal is extremely high.
Women and girls in Nepal are exposed to a many of forms of violence. Experimental studies in Nepal have documented the prevalence of sexual violence suffered by 12% to 50% of women (Deuba et al 2005, Puri et al, 2012). Violence against girls and adolescents is quite predominant in Nepal. A recent study, Sexual Violence Assessment in Seven Districts of Nepal, found almost one in ten girls (9.8%) reported experiencing sexual violence. Thus, gender-based violence is a serious issue that requires serious attention and a comprehensive solution.
Physical violence is also predominant. About 22%, one in a five women ages between 15-49 years are found experiencing physical assault in Nepal (source: Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, 2011).
One of the study revealed that almost half of women (48%) had experienced violence at some time in their lives, and 28% had experienced violence in the past 12 months; where emotional violence (40.4%) was most commonly reported type of violence followed by physical violence (26.8%), sexual violence (15.3%) and economic abuse/violence (8%) (OPMCM, 2012).
IS THE PHYSICAL VIOLENCE PREVENTABLE?
The answer is Yes. It can be, if the potential threat is identifiable. If one is trained to identify potential threat or to recognize the threat, it’s possible to prevent from being attacked. But if one is equipped with certain techniques of self defense than chances are extremely favorable that one can defend attack and easily escape with no harm or damage been made.
In any country, the self-defense is permitted by law. Self-defense is defined as the right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence.
real self defense “academia of fight management”
Real Self Defense (RSD) Nepal is an organization dedicated to promote the art of self defense system with its motto of “Teaching Self Esteem Through Self Defense”. The Syllabus of Real Self Defense constitutes of techniques from wide range of modern combat arts. The threat management and fight management are embedded in the self defense & personal protection training organized at Real Self Defense training centers.
Apart from training to civilians, elite groups, professional securities and martial art students, training to Female groups on personal protection and self defense at RSD is highly regarded.
At RSD we design the trainings which constitutes simple, doable, effective techniques which are practiced in an environment which imitates the real scenarios of physical assaults and domestic violence.
personal protection and self defense training To Female ?
When you look like a victim, you tend to become one! In contrary when you walk with confidence and show no fear in your face, the assailant tends to think many folds before he/she attempts for ill intention.
It has become inevitable in today’s world to learn the art of self defense – both the threat and fight management skills. The cruel reality that someone with no known reason attacks, assaults, stabs, attempts to murder has no defined norms, guidelines, standards or laws that allows us to prepare for those circumstances. There remains no other way to protect oneself, protect one’s family, property and friends, than getting prepared to fight back with the given situation, which is unforeseen.
On the occasion of World Women Day, March 8, 2015, RSD Nepal organized a self defense training for 120 females. Training was participated by school & college girls, working women and housewives. The training was organized with the aim to disseminate knowledge on both the threat management and fight management. The real scenarios were discussed, visualized and rehearsed during the training.
The only way out to manage with the unpredicted situation in the street, homes, public places, dark areas, might be is to get through the training course on Personal Protection and Self Defense. And there is no other substitute for it, only Training might help prevent damage, and might even save the only life we have!
About the Author: Bikrant Bikram Chand, Founder and Chief Instructor of Real Self Defense.
Email: email@example.com Mobile: 00 977 9802027555
“Let us never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy
When we think of conflict communication oftentimes the focus is on managing violence. Sometimes, however, it’s not physical harm you are trying to avoid but rather that your career is on the line. A common instance of this is in negotiations. For a sales teams it’s a competition, who can land the best deal, them or the other guys. The company that wins not only obtains desired revenue but the salesmen and women get to keep their jobs, feed their families, and have a little piece of mind. Maybe they’ll even make a bonus. On the buy-side it’s a matter of meeting targets, say savings, speed to market, or quality objectives. The job might not be as immediately on the line as it is for the sales team, but the negotiator’s career oftentimes is. A track record of solid performance is table-stakes for promotions, raises, and job security.
Negotiations in the business world can easily be as high stakes as physical confrontations on the streets. Your livelihood is on the line. Your reputation. Your job… Consequently it’s important to not only take such things seriously but also to get them “right.” There are a ton of tricks and tactics that can help assure the outcome you need, such as playbooks, communication plans, escalation paths, and the like, but there simply isn’t enough space to cover such things here. I’ll keep things higher level, addressing some strategies for four common types of negotiations that everybody should know about: negotiating a contract, a job offer, a raise, and resolution to a conflict at work.
Negotiating a contract is not only something that many folks do for a living, it’s also something that everyone should understand at least a little. After all, someday you will very likely want a new car, house, or other major purchase where a bad deal will not only lead to buyer’s remorse but also heartache and unexpected expenses or hassles. A lot of folks think that contract negotiations are all about compromise, finding the right balance of give and take, but that’s usually a recipe for a losing outcome. With proper planning, however, it doesn’t have to be.
Start with whether or not the other guy(s) is someone you can work with. Even at the corporate-level decisions are made by individuals, so the account team matters. Lack of character, integrity, or cultural compatibility are but three of many reasons why deals fail to provide expected value in the long run. A bad fit at a low price is a recipe for disaster that will cost you time, money, and very likely your job down the road. Once you believe you’re dealing with the right folks, you need to identify the “non-negotiables” on both sides. For example, if you’re the buyer you likely cannot go over your budget whereas the seller wants to be price-competitive but still needs make a profit. You are likely not willing to let the supplier violate the law or your ethical standards to get the desired outcome under contract, so certain behaviors are off the table too. This is why, for example, Nike has child labor rules baked into their deals and Starbucks has inviolate ethical sourcing rules. Only suppliers who are willing to comply make it into their infrastructure.
If both sides can clearly articulate what’s off the table up front you will know immediately whether it’s even worth pursuing a negotiation, saving a lot of time and money. And, you’re less likely to get bogged down or derailed by details when you can go back to the original, well-thought-out list of deal-killers, discover whatever challenge isn’t on that list, and then look for a path to resolution that’s acceptable to both parties. You can be far more accommodating and creative when you realize that the disagreement is over money or risk-sharing, for example, than if the dispute is over something one side or the other is unwilling to budge on. Cover the Terms (which adjusts risk amongst the parties), statement of work (what the parties will do), the service levels (how successful outcomes are measured), and then price in that order. In this fashion it’s far easier to negotiate an outcome you can not only live with but will find is low maintenance throughout the life of the resulting contract.
Virtually everyone negotiates a job offer multiple times throughout their career. And, most people are really bad at it. Never forget that the initial offer is the point at which you have the highest leverage. And, it’s the time where you can set yourself up to succeed or fail. Begin by understanding what the company or agency’s reasons are for wanting to hire you in the first place. What’s their unmet business need that you are intended to fulfill and, most importantly, what’s your success worth to them? While value is vital, salary matters too. Companies and agencies often post salary ranges online so it’s not all that tough to know where their initial offer fits within the range and how much higher they are likely to be willing to go. If you cannot find that information, search for similar companies to find comparable positions.
Just like the contract example, your next step is to determine where your boundaries lie. Is there anything that’s non-negotiable in terms of salary, benefits, working conditions, travel, success measurements, career path, or the like? It probably goes without saying, but if you are just wanting to get your foot in the door for a first job you should have lower expectations than if you are a seasoned executive, though I mention it as many Millennials have inflated expectations of their worth. It’s a business deal, a cost/benefit equation, so keep emotion out of it. Your prospective employer certainly will.
Be willing to walk away, you’ll have a lot more leverage that way, but also be reasonable in what you ask for, especially if you’re negotiating with your future boss rather than with an HR department. These initial steps will set his or her impression of you, a notion that will last for a long time to come. It’s very challenging to overcome a negative first impression. Conversely, how they negotiate from the other side of the table will provide great insight into what it truly will be like to work there. Interviews work both ways—you convince them that they want you on the team while they convince you that you will be able to succeed there.
I once turned down a job offer that would have been a significant promotion and commensurate raise over a parking spot. It wasn’t that the parking spot itself was a deal-killer, though it would have been a great convenience that shortened my commute and made downtown traffic more palatable, but rather the way in which they handled my request. Their intransigence made it clear that a culture of bureaucracy and blind adherence to policy would have made implementing innovative solutions virtually impossible. Knowing that I couldn’t be successful after taking the job in such an environment I turned them down and moved on to other opportunities.
Once you’ve been working for a while, typically a year or more, a raise may be in order. Negotiating a raise is very different for union-represented employees (whose progression is set by contract) than for everyone else, but either way reminding employers of the value you bring is important. Most companies and agencies use routine performance appraisals where your boss goes over what you have done, what goals you have struggled with, met, or exceeded, and discusses how well you are doing. Continuously plan for that so that you’ll be ready when the moment arises. Invisible accomplishments don’t count, so without undue bragging or bravado, keep your boss appraised of the things you do that go over and above throughout the year. And, document them as you go along to bring with you for the performance review.
Shortly after a good review is a great time to make overtures about a raise if your boss hasn’t already opened the conversation without your prompting. The discussion should be about facts and data, not feelings. Nobody cares if you believe that you deserve higher pay, bonus, or benefits, they only care about your contribution to the team. Talk about what you have done to make your boss and/or your team look good—important company goals you have exceeded, revenue you’ve raised, costs you’ve cut, or other accomplishments that set you apart from the rest of the pack. If you operate on a team, gracefully acknowledge the group’s successes then explain your individual role in getting things done.
Additionally, be armed with information to help you succeed in the negotiation. For example, you should know the salary range for your job or skill code, both inside and outside your company. Oftentimes internal pay scales fail to keep up with the marketplace. Don’t worry about what other folks in your workgroup make, focus on how you add value and how you believe that translates into what you are worth.
Be polite and persuasive, but don’t take things personally if you cannot achieve the desired outcome. The boss may face constraints or politics you know nothing about. If you can discover what those are so much the better, but rather than getting upset about how the conversation goes consider the alternatives instead. Is it time to update your resume or redouble your performance? If you do end up leaving never burn your bridges. It’s often a smaller world than you might think. Telling a current employer to piss-off and die, no matter how badly you want to, will likely hurt you on your next job. Folks have a way of finding out.
The challenge with conflict negotiations is that more often than not you’re emotionally involved, which is why many companies and agencies employ professionally-trained facilitators to help navigate the process and resolve disputes. Successfully negotiating resolution to conflict depends on the underlying causes. If it is a clash of personalities that requires a different approach than an intentional ethical violation, for example. Consequently the first thing you’ll need to do if you are the independent party brought in to resolve things is to interview stakeholders and try to ascertain what truly happened. If you find yourself in a situation where you may be the cause or the aggrieved party and have to take care of things yourself you will still want to do as much fact finding as feasible before working toward resolution.
Keep in mind that perception is reality so just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter to the other party. But, misperceptions can be cleared up. For example, I used to start work at 6:00 AM on the West Coast when I’d have several meetings with folks on the East Coast. Two or three hours later, whenever my schedule opened up, I would go out, say good morning to my team, making sure I was visible for a while so that folks could tell me if they had something urgent on their minds or ask for help. They called that “management by walking around” in business school. I saw it as being there for the team (as opposed to hiding in my office which was around the corner from where they sat). One of my employees, however, saw it differently. She thought I was checking to see if everyone was at their desk working, a thought which never even crossed my mind. If I didn’t trust the team I never would have hired (or retained) them. That misperception wasn’t particularly hard to correct, but it did cause morale issues for a short while until I realized what was going on.
Armed with whatever background information you are able uncover, you can formulate a strategy for dealing with the disagreement in a way that will keep it from reoccurring. When you speak to the parties, especially when you have a vested interest in the outcome, it is vital to keep your cool and focus on behaviors rather than making things personal. Folks who feel threatened or insulted stop listening, often becoming defensive or aggressive and poised for (verbal or physical) battle. In fact, when someone is losing an argument they virtually always take things personal. At that point the disagreement is no longer about the action or error, often turning to animus that is not easily resolved.
You can feign anger on the job, but it’s a tactic that should rarely (as in no more than once every couple years) be used and then only for special purposes. If folks think you’re bound to blow up at them it will undermine their trust and your career. If you’re actually angry, walk away and re-approach the subject when you’re in a better mood. Saying something along the lines of “I’m having an emotional reaction to this” can both help you calm down as well as have a good reason for tabling the conversation. The only time that feigned anger is appropriate is when you’re dealing with an ethical breach or similarly serious event. It takes years build up an emotional bank account with those around you, yet in seconds you can withdraw all the credit you have gained if you act out inappropriately.
Conflict negotiation can be tough, but it’s also a time to pull out your bag of “dirty tricks,” so to speak. There are a variety of tactics that are often used by conmen and criminals for nefarious purposes that, when turned to a more positive intent, are appropriate in a professional setting. This includes things like forced teaming, coopting, and loansharking. Forced teaming is tactical use of the word “we.” Instead of “I have a problem,” say “We have a problem.” It shows that you’re in it together, both vested in the problem as well as the outcome. It feels inclusive too. Coopting is designed to get other people on your side before they’ve determined what they really think about you. If you can turn critics into advocates, which takes a bit of social and communication skills, you strengthen your position, gather allies, and get help in resolving the issue. If helps if you focus on the superordinate goal of helping the business so that it doesn’t come across as self-aggrandizing. Loansharking is typically done by offering small favors designed to evoke feelings of indebtedness in others. Yeah, it’s cheesy, but even simple stuff like getting coffee for the other person every so often, can make a difference in their feelings toward you. Those may appear to be shallow tactics, but they are highly effective psychologically, especially when you are well-intentioned.
Some final thoughts:
No matter what you’re negotiating begin by keeping the endgame in mind. Know your goal, know your boundaries (non-negotiables), and stay on track. The better you know the other party, what’s urgent and imperative to them, what they need, and how they are compensated or measured, the better. Know yourself and your objectives so that you can stay on track too. Creativity is good. There’s more than one appropriate way to solve most anything, but guard against an agreement that unduly alters what you were originally aiming at. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, especially if the other party is a very experienced negotiator and more than a little manipulative. If in doubt, sleep on it before agreeing to any final resolution.
Make sure you’re talking with someone empowered to make a decision before you get started. There’s no point in wasting your time otherwise, so if you discover you’re dealing with the wrong people escalate. Or play them off against each other, though that’s tough if you’re not a professional and not a game that most folks ought to play save in special circumstances.
Negotiation is more about communication than anything else, so you will need to exercise active listening skills throughout the process. Silence can be your friend, as the other party will often feel compelled to fill it, oftentimes giving away more than intended. Ask before you assert, aim for clarity and cooperation, pay attention to non-verbals to see if it’s working, and don’t hesitate to course-correct as needed (so long as you don’t stray from your goals, of course) The best deals are those in which both parties find a win. Be courteous, patient, and respectful, but always stay within the parameters you decided before you got started.
About the author:
Lawrence Kane is a senior leader at a Fortune 50 corporation where he is responsible for IT infrastructure strategy and sourcing management. He saved the company well over $2.1B by hiring, training, and developing a high-performance team that creates sourcing strategies, improves processes, negotiates contracts, and benchmarks internal and external supplier performance. A bestselling author of more than a dozen books, he has also worked as a business technology instructor, martial arts teacher, and security supervisor.
I am a court recognized expert witness regarding knife use and violence. Yes, lawyers pay me. Don’t be a hater. The down side is I have to deal with lawyers.
One thing lawyers always tell me is “Your job is to educate the jury.” I politely smile and respond, “My first job is to educate you about knife use so you can ask me the right questions …so I can educate the jury.”
Ever tried to teach a lawyer anything?
This especially when it comes to your field? It’ll drive you to drink. Or if you’re an author, it will drive you to write something. I wrote this ‘appendix’ so I can hand it to lawyers. (I’m also planning a series on “Violence for Attorneys.”) After they read it, we are talking the same language when it comes to knife use. Prior to that? The Tower of Babel. Now they can ask me intelligent questions to educate the jury.
This break down also explains how I can look at autopsy photos and ER photos and — while I can’t with 100% tell you what it was —I can rule out a lot of things. Basically, I can tell you what it wasn’t. This just from looking at the wound patterns. How do I do this? Simple, different attack methodologies result in different wound patterns.
Knife Use Stratagems
This summation was co-created with Terry Trahan to articulate different types of knife usage among humans. The purpose of this list is not to demonstrate what a specific incident was, but to help rule out what it wasn’t.
Knives are first and foremost tools. Their primary purpose of tools is paramount in both design and use. Having said that when these items are used as weapons, there tends to be broad categories usage strategies. These strategies tend produce recognizable wound patterns and targeting.
Overwhelmingly ‘knife fighting’ is a myth. While certain cultures have systemized arts, (escrima, silat, piper) these tend to be poorer countries, where knives are easily accessible because of a high reliance on manual labor. The marketing of these ‘martial arts’ and Hollywood are why the idea of ‘knife fighting’ exists. In reality knives are used in a much different method. However, let’s start by referring to one specific branch of martial arts that claims to teach knife fighting.
FMA/knife combatives. Filipino Martial Arts (FMA such as escrima/eskrima/kali) and combative knife systems tend to be largely ‘dueling systems.’ The strategies largely are predicated on mutually armed opponents fighting over issues of honor (mutual aggressors). As such, the danger posed by the equally armed opponent must be neutralized for the safety of the duelist. This often results in multiple, wounding slashes — especially to the arm (“defanging the snake”) and torso. Allowing for honor to be satisfied, engagements using such training can result in no wounds at all (the two participants ‘dance around’ showing their bravery but never connect). Another result can be multiple and extensive wounding patterns without a fatal blow. Still a third option is extensive wounding with a ‘closing’ and finishing/fatal wound (delivered when the opponent is incapable of resisting.)
Commercialized FMA systems — as taught in the U.S. — often leave out closing and finishing moves. They typically hang back and repeatedly slash. If they do close they often continue to slash and stab ineffectively. Much Americanized FMA training encourages what the author refers to as ‘the weedwhacker of death’ approach to inflicting multiple slash wounds; this strategy is ingrained by the training drills. This makes it impossible to distinguish between commercialized FMA trained attacks, rage or fear attacks by the wound patterns alone.
Knife combative systems are often marketed as having military roots. In reality, most of what is taught is commercialized FMA techniques performed with militaristic looking equipment. Use of these systems also tends to result in excessive slashing wounds and an overkill approach.
Having addressed the knife-to-knife approach, ordinarily, only one person has the knife. But even there predictable patterns arise from strategic goals:
Prison methods are more of an assassination strategy where specific vital targets are aimed at and repeatedly attacked. For example, seven or eight stab wounds under the left armpit. The gang and prison connection extends this knowledge outside prison walls. Due to the improvised nature of the blades in prison, cutting is restricted inside, but can be incorporated outside. (Often resulting in multiple, targeted fatal wounds followed by a larger ‘finishing one.’) The safety of the attacker is usually ensured by a second person holding the targeted individual while the attacker with the shank delivers multiple fatal wounds to a specific spot. This can also occur with multiple attackers targeting different vital areas while other hold the victim. Although an individual attacker doing the same cannot be ruled out, coordinated multiple attackers are most common.
Military methods tend to focus more on immediate neutralization and fatality —starting with sentry removal. U.S. military knife tactics were primarily influenced by Colonel Rex Applegate (who learned under Captains Fairbairn and Sykes of the British Army in WWII) as part of commando operations. Although method has changed over the decades, doctrine remains the same, immediate neutralization of an enemy soldier via massive damage with one strike. Specific actions, once the knife is inserted, combined with selective targeting can create faster neutralization at this range than a bullet.
The targeting, size and the degree of the injury usually renders one’s opponent incapable of prolonged threat or resistance. Additional safety of the knifer is ensured by concurrent techniques that render the enemy incapable of resisting, counter-attacking or crying out.
Rage attacks tend to result in multiple large wounds as the attacker attempts to ‘beat the person’ while holding a knife. Slashes and other wounds tend to range from 10 up to 24 inches and appear all over the body (including on the back as the victim attempts to flee). They also tend to be not specifically targeted at vital areas, but instead are aimed at head, torso and arms. Also common in these kinds of attacks are defensive wounds, when the victim puts up his or her arms to shield the body from the attacks. Also slashes occur on front, side and back as the victim. This often occurs because realizing he or she is being injured, the victim often attempts to flee during a barrage of attacks.
If and when the attacker changes to stabbing attacks it is not uncommon for the attacker to self-wound. Most vital targets are soft. A rage attack often hits bone. Often, as the attacker is trying to strike with as much force as possible, he loses grip on a utility knife and his hand slides off the handle and onto the blade creating a specific type of self-injury. Also common in these kinds of attacks are massive amounts of blood spatter on the attacker. This is mostly due to the extended nature of these attacks, closing and continued wounding.
You’re not you when you’re scared. And if you ARE scared – under the influence of the survival brain where the fear factor lives, then the martial techniques and tactics you spent SO much time learning will fly out your butt (literally) and leave you inefficient, floundering, flailing, bleeding, unconscious, or worse. Granted, that moment of survival will probably never happen to you (person-to-person crimes are rare in the ‘western’ world), but shouldn’t you, at least, train up to that level of focus and intensity?
True, many training modalities are very hard physically and mentally (multi-man!), but they occur in a (relatively) safe venue – known instructors and training partners, protective surfaces and gear, guided techniques with start and stop times.
Not so in the mean shtreets. The ‘martial arts’ of the thug is to take you out from ambush as suddenly, overwhelmingly and brutally as possible (paraphrased from Rory Miller’s, Facing Violence). Absent a pure ambush scenario (where you never see it coming), you are seriously behind the curve not because your training hasn’t been thorough but because of the effects of the fear factor.
The fear factor is what happens when adrenaline floods the system after a ‘startle’ event. This is the most intense of the three adrenaline events, the other two being anticipatory (like performance anxiety) and emotional (fight with your significant other). All three have the same basic chemistry but it’s the suddenness of the adrenaline reaction that causes the initial freeze that precedes fight or flight.
The freeze is caused by adrenaline and other hormones flooding the body, slamming the heartbeat upward and creating the perception-action gap. Muscles clamp down (thus the term “scared shitless”), you duck, compressing inward, making you a smaller target and ‘winding the spring’ – readying the muscles for rapid decompression – fight or flight. Tachypsychia (from the Greek takhus – swift and psuche – mind) occurs (this term is used in a wider sense): tunnel vision – fine focus with greater clarity at longer distances in exchange for peripheral vision and a sense of space and position, auditory exclusion – background sounds are damped while those that stand out from that background, like the racking of the slide on a pistol or rapid footfalls, are isolated and amplified, loss of fine motor skills (drawing your pepper spray from your purse), dry mouth (saliva is not needed) and sweaty palms (wetter palms grips better).
This freeze can last from a fraction of a second to a minute depending on your training, mental preparation, and experience.
In part two of this three part series, I will examine the seven training categories and how they do, or don’t, develop the mental preparation and mind-set for dealing with those rare situations of life or death and how ‘training-up’ to this level, using the fear factor instead of it using you, can be achieved. Part 3 will cover experience – situations that put you in the fear zone and test your training.