| Communication Skills to manage conflict, handle difficult conversations and build emotional intelligence
A case study of Wendy who treats people with contempt and often gets in conflict
conflict, resolution, resolve, difficult people, communication skills, emotional intelligence, EQ, training, contempt, coaching, courses, assertive, assertiveness, negative emotions
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Do You know this person?

Do You know this person?

Win-at-All-Costs Wendy’s behavior is just as common in men as it is in women. Wendy is a case study from the international best-seller, Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence. Maybe you have a colleague just like her. Perhaps you’ve been guilty of her behavior yourself.

Wendy was a single parent, juggling two teenagers and a full-time job. Perhaps with her many demands, Wendy had become a “no-nonsense” person. She was not too tolerant of those who did not see the world the same way she did.
I was alerted to this at the beginning of a workshop when she declared that the outcome she wanted for the day was to learn how to “deal with stupid people.” She revealed that she often had problematic encounters with people, and her manager had sent her to my workshop.

Wendy would often use sarcasm or patronize other staff members. On occasion she might speak to customers in a similar way. She was annoying team members and causing friction.
A similar issue was happening for Wendy at home. Her children were mirroring her confronting habits. She had ongoing battles with them.

Of course, it wasn’t her. In Wendy’s mind, there just seemed to be a lot of “stupid people” in the world.
Wendy needed a way to maintain her cool when people didn’t see the world as she did. She also needed a way to impress her point of view respectfully rather than force it on people and rub them the wrong way.

Do you suffer “fools” poorly? Are you impatient when others are not as quick as you? Are you prickly and sometimes aggressive or passive aggressive when people do not see the world the same way as you? Are you relating poorly due to a hectic schedule? Do you work with someone like this?

I only worked with Wendy in a one-off customer oriented workshop. At first, she was quite defensive, having been “sent” by her manager to my program. But as we got more into the program, Wendy revealed that she would often use contempt to push others into UNINVITED on the Emotional Judo® Mats.

The Emotional Judo® Mats are a metaphor to illustrate how we position ourselves in relationships (or are positioned) in relation to our primary need of significance. It is a usually a highly unconscious process, but once you understand how the dynamics work, it opens you up to much more personal power in relationships.

Because it was a one-day workshop, I did not teach the full list of Emotional Judo® skills to Wendy. I also can’t report what happened to her post the workshop. What I do know is, when Wendy learned the difference between sympathy and empathy and how it could be used to move her around the Emotional Judo® Mats, she was quite stunned.

Wendy realized why she was often getting into conflicts. She openly declared at the end of the workshop that her biggest take-away was EASE.

EASE is a four-step process that helps manage conflict, where the first step is empathizing with the other party’s situation or view. Wendy also said that she needed to be more tolerant with “stupid” people because perhaps they weren’t stupid at all; they just thought differently. It was a big turn-around from the start of the day.

I have no doubt that Wendy would have deployed EASE at work and home. She was highly able to do it in the workshop exercises, and she had a profound shift in her attitude.

If you have people around you like Wendy or you would like to make similar changes to her. You can get access to all ten Emotional Judo® tools. Here is the link to the book. https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07BJ7X3KL

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