Excellence University Blog

Posts filed under '2. Interpersonal Expertise Tips'

February 8th, 2010

Interpersonal Expertise Tip: Create and Maintain a Supportive Environment

by Dr. Brian Higley | 2 comments

Many experts believe that consistently supportive relationships (both personal and professional) is the “soil” out of which true effectiveness and satisfaction grows.  In today’s often disconnected society, it has become increasingly difficult for many to maintain safe and healthy relationships.  The good news is that it is possible to overcome these relationship barriers by creating a positive and nurturing environment.  A critical step toward enhanced Interpersonal Expertise is the cultivation and maintenance of a such an environment.  Supportive relationships help everyone involved to lay a foundation for more satisfaction and effectiveness in all areas of life.

Supportive environments can be created by first becoming “self-supportive,” then gaining an understanding of how to spread that support to the important others in our lives.  Here are some ways people have been able to create supportive environments: (more…)

February 7th, 2010

Interpersonal Expertise Tip: Creating Clear, Strong and Flexible (CSF) Boundaries

by Dr. Brian Higley | 2 comments

We all have personal preferences and values.  If we don’t know how to respect our own preferences and values (and those of others – even those we disagree with), we can set ourselves up to experience a great deal of unnecessary conflict.  Therefore, it seems imperative to know how to consistently set clear, strong and flexible (CSF) boundaries.  CSF boundaries are created by individuals with the ability to identify and establish the kinds of relationship patterns that help everyone feel connected and understood; such abilities contribute greatly to Interpersonal Expertise.

Clear, strong and flexible (CSF) boundaries can be created by understanding the basics of boundary-building.  Here are some ways people have been able to create CSF boundaries: (more…)

February 6th, 2010

Interpersonal Expertise Tip: Engage in Honest, Respectful, Empathic (HRE) Communication

by Dr. Brian Higley | 1 comment

Many of us have experienced the problems that miscommunication often brings about in our lives. It has been our experience that much of this dissatisfaction and conflict is caused by being (or at least feeling) misunderstood by well-meaning others.  We can often avoid this unnecessary pain by expressing our views in honest, respectful, and empathic ways and encouraging others to do the same with us.  Establishing such communication styles can  open the door to more direct discussions; the kind of communication that is free of dishonest manipulation or attacks and filled with genuineness and respect for all parties (including ourselves).

Increased engagement in honest, respectful, and empathic communication respects the boundaries, uniqueness, and limitations of ourselves and others.  More honesty tends to increase our trust in ourselves and in others, more respect can increase openness, and more empathy can set a tone of comfort and understanding.  Here are some ways people have been able to cultivate more “HRE” Communication in their lives: (more…)

February 5th, 2010

Interpersonal Expertise Tip: Practicing Honest Influencing (vs. Manipulation and Control)

by Dr. Brian Higley | 3 comments

Whether we notice it or not, every day is filled with attempts to influence others – from what goals we want to pursue with others to what we will eat to how to raise our kids with our significant others.  In other words, we are constantly negotiating with others.  One of the major myths of negotiation is that one should “leave the table” feeling as though one has won or received what one wants at the expense of others.

This “me vs. you” negotiation mentality often leads to manipulative and controlling negotiations filled with traps and smoke screens.  This may lead to short term victories, but in the end this style of interacting destroys the possibility of long-term, effective and satisfying relationships.  Honest influencing and negotiation helps build a long term”win-win” relationship focusing on mutual benefit and success.  When we learn how to negotiate with others honestly, even when others are not doing so with us, we add another piece of the Interpersonal Expertise puzzle. (more…)

February 4th, 2010

Interpersonal Expertise Tip: Avoiding Unnecessary Conflict, Resolving Necessary Conflict

by Dr. Brian Higley | 1 comment

Many of us have been raised reading fairy tales that often end with the heroes living “happily ever after” once they have overcome “the bad guys.”  Contrary to the relationship myth of happily ever after, occasional friction in long-term relationships of all kinds (professional and personal) is often unavoidable, no matter how many interpersonal barriers (or “bad guys/ineffective habits”) are overcome.  This conflict can be draining and overwhelming if not handled with skill and care.  The good news is that if addressed well, interpersonal conflict can actually open the door to more effective and satisfying relations with others.

Because conflict in relationships is a given from time to time, it can be important to develop the ability to avoid unnecessary conflict while facing and resolving the necessary conflicts with others in our lives.  This can be done in three phases: (1)  identification of avoidable conflicts and minimization of such conflicts, (2) identification of unavoidable conflicts and genuine resolution of these conflicts, and (3) transformation of currently unavoidable conflicts into conflicts that can eventually become more avoidable in the future. (more…)

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