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Ten Strategies for Conflict Resolution

Published on February 2017 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 5 | Comments: 0



Ten Strategies for Conflict Resolution
• When angry, separate yourself from the situation and take time to cool out. • Attack the problem, not the person. Start with a compliment. • Communicate your feelings assertively, NOT aggressively. Express them without blaming. • Focus on the issue, NOT your position about the issue. • Accept and respect that individual opinions may differ, don’t try to force compliance, work to develop common agreement. • Do not review the situation as a competition, where one has to win and one has to lose. Work toward a solution where both parties can have some of their needs met. • Focus on areas of common interest and agreement, instead of areas of disagreement and opposition. • NEVER jump to conclusions or make assumptions about what another is feeling or thinking. • Listen without interrupting; ask for feedback if needed to assure a clear understanding of the issue. • Remember, when only one person’s needs are satisfied in a conflict, it is NOT resolved and will continue. • Forget the past and stay in the present. • Build ‘power with’ NOT ‘power over’ others. • Thank the person for listening. Developed by Wholistic Stress Control Institute, Inc. Distributed by the State Wellnes

Types of Conflict There are two types of conflicts. Those that are internal (within yourself) and those that are external (within other people.)

Internal Conflict

The internal conflict can cause more problems with some people because it paralyzes them. People will stop and not do anything for the fear of choosing the wrong thing. You become unhappy and upset when there isn't anything triggering it. Conflict can be with your own values, beliefs or goals. If they don't get resolved, they will end up affecting others. An example is a retired couple had a goal of living in a smaller place. They sold their home, but didn't know whether they should live near family in a warm climate or live where they were comfortable, but no family in a colder climate. Instead, they are staying with a relative in one place, then staying with friends in another place. With this type of behavior, the goal is not being met. This leads to depressing feelings. To resolve this conflict, a decision has to be made. One of the conflict resolution strategies that can be used is to take a piece of paper and write down the pros and cons of living in each climate. Things need to be looked at in a realistic way, not with emotions. To get to that step, a person really needs to get in touch with their feelings. Why do they feel a certain way? Perhaps they're angry or sad over something but don't realize that's what is causing the problem. By spending the time thinking about it and not putting the emotions into it, you'll be able to figure out the best place to live. Really look at controllable factors, not those that "may" appear (i.e. the housing market might go down, relatives might move away, etc.)

External Conflict External conflict affects more than just the people involved. It might be between two people, but coworkers, family members or team mates can be affected as well. Effective listening is an important aspect of external conflict resolution strategies. Not everyone has the capability to listen to the other person. It is very important to listen and understand the other person's point of view. Sometimes just listening to them can bring you closer to a resolution. But, listening doesn't always happen. Many times the person that's supposed to be listening is coming up with their own thing to say next because they think the otherperson is wrong. Or, you can be so involved in your own side of the story that you can't possibly see the other person's point of view. I see this happen a lot with political discussions. One of the good conflict resolution strategies is that it's important to communicate your feelings clearly without putting the other person on the defensive. Instead of using "you" statements such as "you always do this...," its better to use "I feel" statements such as "I feel that you are always doing this..." It is the differences between people that can cause conflicts. People have different beliefs, goals, values, behaviors or expectations.

Conflict Resolution Strategies Between Two or More People There are two different conflict resolution strategies to help resolve conflicts.

Resolving conflict through compromise: This is the easiest way to resolve conflict. People need to understand each other's point of view. When both parties give up something and meet in the middle. Even though they don't get everything they want, they do get something positive in return. Sometimes someone's feelings are very strong on an issue that they feel their view is important. By giving in they must understand that the other person will be able to have it their way thenext time.

Resolving conflict through collaboration:

Collaboration is using peoples' strengths to work together. In order to get a project done with everyone involved, look at what each person brings to the table. Perhaps one personis good at making phone calls, another is good at using the computer, still another can spend hours doing research and yet another is good at coordinating and putting things together. Everyone has their strengths and skills and when they work together, they will have a successful end result that ties in their similar goals and beliefs.

Internal Conflict Resolution Strategies First, you need to know exactly what you want and plan to achieve it. Once you do this, you will have more desire to move forward towards that goal. Then you have to find out what that internal conflict is and confront it. When you think about this conflict, notice how your body is reacting to it. Are you nervous, worried, do you get headaches or are you depressed? When you think of each side of the conflict, write down those feelings and what triggers them. Notice whether you are doing the right thing for how you feel. Take that retired couple, for instance. They should note how they feel when they think about living in the warm climate versus the cold climate. That should be a good indication to help them move forward. Another step is to actually visualize yourself with that decision. Do this every day. Picture yourself making that decision. See how you will feel with the choice you have made. You will soon come to realize the right thing to do. Don't give up. Keep doing working on these conflict resolution strategies and the burden of the internal conflict will be lifted. Conflict resolution needs to be seen as an opportunity to succeed. Learn from the conflicts rather than giving up.

Conflict Resolution Tips Follow these conflict resolution tips for team building ideas to help you reach your goals.

We all experience difficulties with others at some time in our lives. We either "butt heads" or walk away from it. You can't expect everyone to agree with you. It's a normal part of life to not agree on the same things.

To keep your relationships with others at a healthy level, you need to learn how to deal with and resolve conflicts as them come about. If you do nothing, you can actually cause harm to your relationship. By stepping in right away, you will be able to nurture and strengthen your communication and build a greater bond with each other. Many of the conflicts that you experience can be small, yet others can cause you to feel deeply about the situation. Most conflicts that arise are a threat to the way you perceive or do things. You might have a set way of doing a certain project and someone else might suggest another way. In this case, your methods are threatened and you might perceive the other person taking over your project. But, how can you do something about it without creating hard feelings between you and the other person?

Your life's experiences play an important part in how you deal with conflict. The less experience you have, the harder it is to compromise. Once you are able to work with the other person and resolve any conflicts you will begin to strengthen your relationship, build trust and have a better understanding of how both of you work together. The following conflict resolution tips will help you resolve differences that you and someone else may have. These conflict resolution tips not only work for you and someone else, but they are also effective with groups. You might be observing the group dynamics or you might be leading them. Either way, by using your leadership skills you will have a better understanding of how the people interact with each other and with you. You want everyone to reach their goals when they're working together. Resolving conflict within a group setting will build up the trust amongst the individuals. When the trust is stronger, the both the group and each individual will reach their desired goals.

Here is a list of ideas to help you recognize the issues at hand:

Identify the problem. What is causing the the conflict? You need to be aware that there is a problem and then you need to figure out what the problem is. Do you have an issue with a coworker or family member? If the other person does things a different way and you want things done your way, that could be the source of the conflict. Perhaps you want to buy a plasma television and your spouse wants to buy a refrigerator. This could be the source of the problem.

Do the people within the conflict know what the problem is? Sometimes you can feel that there is a conflict by the way the other person acts. But, you're not sure what it could be. This is where you need to really think about what is happening and what is causing the problem. An example would be your teenager is coming home late and your rules are set for 10:00p.m. There's a conflict, but is it the rules or is it the behavior of the teenager or could it be an underlying factor that both of you are fighting over? What if there is an unknown conflict at work as well? You might feel its important to advertise heavily and the other person might feel you will get more bang for your buck by setting up test markets, etc. Others might think both need to be done. Could the conflict really be where to spend the money?

Does everyone agree on the final outcome?

One of the conflict resolution tips is that everyone involved needs to agree on the final outcome. If one person doesn't agree, you need to find out why and see if you can work things out so that all of you are satisfied with the solution rather than forcing them to do it your way.

Does everyone agree on the process to get to the end result? Again, everyone needs to agree on how you're going about the process to come up with a solution to the conflict. Let's say you work things out with your teen to be home on time. The teen has to agree on working the logistics out with you so that you both will be satisfied with the outcome.

Make a list of what everyone does agree on. You can make two lists. One with everything you agree on and one with items you don't. If you focus on the things you agree on, it will be easier to work on the other list and come up with compromises so that you can agree on them.

Does each person give and receive respect to the others? Do you respect the others as a person with needs or do you perceive them as objects where your needs are most important? One of the conflict resolution tips is to see the other person as a person and they see you the same way, then you will be able to work out the conflict. You need to respect their thoughts and inputs to help resolve any problems you might have.

Are there any people that don't contribute? Look around and notice if everyone that's involved is contributing. I found that to be common where a group of people meet to discuss a product or event and only the louder individuals are contributing. They think everything is resolved but have never given the quieter people a chance to voice their opinions. One of the conflict resolution tips is to make sure everyone is contributing.

What type of body language does everyone portray?

This is something that you need to look at. Watch what the other person's body language is saying. Think about what your body language is saying. Are you sitting on the edge of your seat, are you relaxed, are you hiding behind an ipad? Just by watching how people portray themselves with their body language can tell you whether they are comfortable with the solution or not.

Does anyone question everything? Notice if someone in the group is always asking why things are done this way or just asking questions to understand the whole concept that you're working on. If people question a lot of things, then maybe they aren't comfortable with the process or the solution to the conflict.

Are there unwritten rules determining the outcome? This is common but easily overlooked. There are unwritten rules such as how you will look to management if the project takes too long or is over budget. This is the same with the home environment. The outcome of your dinner is based on the unwritten rule that there is food in the refrigerator.

Who tends to lead the discussion? It's common when one individual tends to lead the discussion. Many times the discussion stays on that track without looking at other possibilities. One of the conflict resolution tips would be to give others a chance to take the lead and discuss things that someone might not have thought about. You might find alternatives to solve problems or find other opportunities to take advantage of.

It is important to be aware of the above conflict resolution tips and ideas as well as observe how the people interact with each other and individually. This will enable you to help resolve the conflict within the group or with an individual. Conflict Resolution Techniques Try the following conflict resolution techniques to resolve differences and build good leadership skills:

When you force someone to do what you want, it will only cause more problems later. Both of you will only get angry at each other and nothing gets done. You

might be thinking that "she never does this" or "he always does that." Those type of statements only put them on the defensive. Instead, you should start your sentences out with "I feel that you're not interested in contributing to this project." This puts everything on your shoulders without blaming the otherperson. And, you're more likely to come up with a solution to the problem.

When you come across a conflict, you know exactly how you want to solve it, butthe other person might have a different solution. Make sure that you both compromise on a solution that benefits both of you rather than coming up with one that satisfies only one of you.

You might have a conflict with your coworker, spouse, teammate or sibling that has nothing to do with the project you're working on. Make sure you find out what the real issue is. Sometimes your conflict could be your attitude toward something not even related to the project that causes the problem. So, find out all the facts before deciding on a resolution. If you make a hasty decision before finding out all the facts, it could cause more harm than good.

Tell the person you're working with, what the problem is. Don't expect them to guess. Be aware there is a problem. For some people, an issue can be a major problem and for others it's not. It's important to acknowledge that fact. Try to work out a conflict resolution as soon as possible. Otherwise, whatever the issue is, it will fester and grow.

You don't want to attack the other person's personality. This only puts them onthe defensive. You both get mad at each other and nothing gets done. Make sure you set the time aside to discuss the behaviors or circumstances that have caused the conflict between you and your coworker or spouse. When you are talking about the problem, do not focus on your attitude towards them. If their personality irks you and you don't like them or you think they could do no wrong, you will need to put those thoughts aside and just work on the problem at hand.

After you have reached a compromise and both of you are happy with theoutcome, then you need to forgive them as well as admit that you made a

mistake. Leave your differences about the conflict behind you.behind you. Then move on. When you're resolving any differences you might have with the above conflict resolutiontechniques, be sure to set up guidelines that both of you will follow. Remember to tell them, in a calm manner, how and why you think the project should be done and to understand your coworkers' or spouses' viewpoint. If one or both of you don't follow these guidelines right away, then you need to make time to discuss any problems as soon as possible. What if you're an outside party to the conflict? You might be someone that gets dragged into the situation because they need help. In this case, you're acting as a third party mediator. You can use the same conflict resolution techniques and get the viewpoints of both people. Let both of them talk about their perspectives on the issue. After they've talked, then share your thoughts and observations with them. This will help both of them discuss the issue that's causing the conflict. If a decision is required by you, then use your good leadership skills and make it as soon as all the facts have been reviewed. If you don't, then it could reflect poorly on you. The decision may not be agreeable to all parties, but people can move on from there.

Good Leadership Skills Do you have good leadership skills? Melissa Poe Hood, a young leader that made a difference in the environment said, "Everything you need to be a successful leader you already have: your intelligence to see an issue and a way to fix it, your heart to stay motivated, and your courage not to give up. You can't look for the man behind the curtain to solve your concerns. Everything you need you already have." If you plan on becoming the best leader, then you must become the best learner. Leadership is not reserved for the few that make it to the top. You won't find it in any gene that has been handed down through the generations either. Learning to lead is a skill just like learning another language, playing an instrument or becoming a chef are learned skills. You're not just born with these talents. You have to have an interest in order to learn the skills.

Good leadership skills is like that. It's not handed to you on a silver platter. You must have the desire to work for it. That's why not everyone becomes an effective leader. It's an area that you constantly need to learn and strive to better yourself.

If you became a doctor and practiced everything you learned without educating yourself to the new advances in medicine, you would eventually become outdated. People wouldn't consider you a good doctor any longer. It's the same for leadership. New methods are always being introduced and you need to stay on top of all the new information. Even if you are good, you can always be better. Having good leadership skills doesn't always come with the turf. But, it is one of those things that you can learn with practice. Some will learn quickly and others will learn over time. To learn to be a better leader, you must practice and take part in activities that teach youhow to improve your leadership characteristics and skills. Can You Do It? Not everyone can learn how to be a better leader. Of those that do, there are fewer that excel at it. You must want to learn these skills and continuously seek out information to improve your leadership characteristics and abilities. Open your mind up to new possibilities. You might fail at times, but that's part of the learning process. As long as you learn from your mistakes and your successes, you willcontinue to improve as a leader. To be the best leader, you need to have a desire to learn, reflect on past experiences and apply that to new experiences. For you to be a true leader, you will need to learn from your mistakes and not be afraid to take a chance on new opportunities. Learn to Lead

As you know, technology is always changing. You must adapt by learning new ways to do things differently. Everything is changing faster and faster. What was new today is obsolete tomorrow. For you to be an effective leader with good leadership skills, you must change with the times. This was simply stated by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times: "In such a world, it is not only what you know but how uyou learn that will set you aprt. Because what you know today will be out-of-date sooner than you think." There are two types of mindsets when it comes to good leadership skills. The first mindset is those that believe leaders are naturally born. In this case, you may end up waiting all your life for the right skillset to magically appear. You become frustrated because you think your talents will get you everywhere, when they don't. The second mindset is those that believe leaders are made, not born. With this belief you are more likely to teach yourself the skills to become a successful leader. You won't let failures stop you. Instead you'll learn from your mistakes and constantly push yourself to be the best you can. If you have a growth mindset, then you can learn to lead. Once you believe you can learn, then you will. Perfect Practice In order to become a good leader, you can never stop learning and you must always spend time practicing your good leadership skills. It doesn't matter how smart you are, if you don't practice you won't be the best. If you have natural talents, that still doesn't make you the best at what you do. If you don't practice, those with lesser talents and more desire to learn, will surpass you on your way to success. To be the best, even if you have talents, you will need to put many hours of practice time in. This doesn't just apply to leaders. It applies all across the board. To singers, artists, doctors, athletes and so on. You won't find a quick way to success. There are no shortcuts to get good leadership skills. It takes time learning and practicing. That doesn't mean spending time researching the subject on the Internet. It means going out and practicing first hand. If you're going to sing, then practice singing, not just listening to music. If you're going to lead, then practice leading others rather than just observing. We've always heard the phrase "Practice makes perfect." It really should say "Perfect practice makes perfect."

But What Kind of Practice? You need to practice exactly what you want to improve. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, then you need to practice speaking in front of groups. If you want to improve your time in a track meet, then practice running at different speeds. Set a goal for yourself and practice, practice, practice. You must do it over and over again. This is where perfect practice comes in to play. If you repeat something over and over again, but the wrong way, then you're not developing the skillset that you need. When you practice, make sure you're doing it the right way. After awhile, your efforts will become automatic. If you practice it wrong, then your bad habits will become automatic. This happens quite a lot. Downhill skiing is a prime example. You can be a good skier, but you might lean back a little. You should be leaning forward a bit, facing down the hill. If you practiced the wrong method, it becomes automatic and you're comfortable with it, even if you're doing it wrong. That's why perfect practice makes perfect. It's also important to measure your goals against something so you can see the results. But, also you need to ask for feedback every step of the way to make sure you're doing it right. If you're not, then you can make changes along the way. Don't just rely on your own feedback. Make sure you get the viewpoint from others that aren't afraid to tell you what needs improvement and what doesn't. As you're going through this process, you will receive negative and positive feedback. Take the constructive criticism and work with it. Accept it and learn from it. You might be embarrassed by some of the things you hear, but it's a necessary part of growth. Learning to be a successful leader is very demanding. You need to focus mentally. Most of the time this isn't fun. It's a lot of work, but in the end you will be able to learn good leadership skills and reach your goals. Therefore you won't mind spending the time practicing and learning. Support Group In order for you to become a great leader, you need to have people around you that will support you. You need to have people around you that encourage you when you are learning something new and provide the support you need when things don't always go

right. Some might make suggestions so you will continue learning and practicing. You can't lead alone nor can you learn alone. Its important to work on your strengths and weaknesses. Learn how to do the things you cannot do rather than relying on someone else to do them. You're only as strong as your weakest skill. Really great leaders will focus on educating themselves. So they can take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves and improve their good leadership skills.

Effective Leadership Communication Skills
Your leadership communication skills are what will bring you success with your team. Why? Because communication is an important of building relationships in all styles of leadership. How successful of a leader you are is dependent upon how good your communication skills are. Learning and developing these skills will get you to the next level. If you are a manager that has a team to complete a project, how effective would you be if you couldn't get your message across? How would anyone know what needs to be done? That's why communication skills are part of the important leadership traits to have. Without them, you will not be an effective leader. You will also have to consider how you communicate with your team. Your communication style does influence how they will see you. How you communicate can make or break or career. So, its important to develop effective leadership communication skills. Many people think they need to impress others by using big words. They feel that they will have more respect from their team.

How you communicate isn't about your vocabulary usage or your meaning. Communication is how you come across to the other person. It s how you relay your message so that it is clearly and easily understood. Leadership communication skills are the main factor to your success in the workplace. Its not just verbal and written skills. But, it also includes body language and listening skills as well. To be an effective leader you need to be able to communicate well. With a little practice and focusing on improving your communication style, you'll develop good leadership communication skills. Leadership Communication Skills Process There's a process to help improve your leadership communication skills that you need to start with to become a better communicator. A process that can be applied to every aspect of your life, not just in the workplace. It involves planning, having the right message, how you want to get the message across, listening to make sure they understand and evaluating whether your message was interpreted successfully.

Plan. Before you get started, plan out what you're going to say. Don't go overboard with the details because it will just confuse the other person. Think about who you are communicating with and how much information they need to know. Determine how you plan on getting the message across to them. Whether you will be speaking in person or on the phone or writing an email or texting are also important factors to consider. Don't forget that you need to evaluate whether they understood your message.

Message. Make sure you know what message you want to get across to the other person. Think about how they might perceive your message and whether you will be using the right words and body language so they will understand you. Their reaction is something you need to consider. Have backup material in case more explanation is needed. When writing, you have to realize that there is no emotion or body language to go with the words. You're better off keeping the slang out of the message because it could be misunderstood. Make sure your message has the right tone without being overbearing. If you think your message will give the wrong idea, then change it.

Method. Decide the best way to communicate your message. If you use email it should be for something simple. If you need to give a more detailed explanation you might want to speak in person or on the phone. There are many factors to help you decide the method of communication. It can depend on how sensitive the information is, whether you need to explain details, how the receiver wants to get the message, time constraints and if your message will bring up more questions.

Listen. You usually want to make sure you get all of your information across, but you also need to stop and listen to what the receiver is saying. You need to pay attention to the other person by looking at them and observing their body language. Think about what they're saying, don't interrupt them and don't spend the time thinking about what you will say next. And of course, when you're communicating with someone, shut off your phone. You don't want to get distracted by anything including calls and texts.

Evaluate. You need to spend the time looking at the other person's body language and perhaps asking questions to see if they understood what you said. See if you put them on the defensive or if they agree with what you said. Make sure they feel confident with your information, whether they understand it and how interested they are in the subject. Sometimes the person will agree and say they understand when they really don't. As you interpret their body language you can adjust your message so they understand it. You also might have them repeat what you said to them so you know they understand your message.

Here are some other tips to improve your leadership communication skills:

Be kind to the other person when speaking. When you're rude to the other person it causes them to be on the defensive. When that happens, it turns into an argument, nothing gets done and you're back to square one.

Ask questions. When the other person comes in to ask for help in some way, you can start with asking them questions. Try to find out what they are doing, the process and the outcome they're hoping for. When you ask questions, the other person will have to think and he or she may just come up with the information they need.

Always use the "I" statement. It puts the other person at ease. When "you" is used, the other person feels accused. Example, "you are always late." Instead, use "I feel that you are always running late."

Be specific. Don't make generalized statements, say exactly what you want done. Another way of saying "we need to find a way to increase sales," say "lets meet for 30 minutes to discuss different sales methods that are working."

Stay positive. When you speak about positive outcomes or pointing out the positive in everything, will make the other person more interested in what you have to say. If you have negative thinking, most people will get tired of it and try to leave the room. When you're positive, you tend to be more passionate about your subject.

Focus on the future. You need to help people make decisions that will change the future. If their decision only holds them back or keeps them stagnant, then you want to help them make positive changes that will improve their future outcome.

Listen to the other person. Don't let your mind wander off. Show that you're genuinely interested in what the other person has to say. Ask questions or rephrase a statement to make sure you understand it. When you really listen, the other person will open up more, making it easier to help them.

Help build someone's self-image. People act according to how they view themselves. If they have a low self-image, then they aren't very productive. Those that think highly of themselves will work more productively. Its important for you to help build others people's self-image of themselves. This will create a more positive environment as well.

Make yourself sound interesting. Rather than droning on in a monotonous voice, use voice inflection to ask questions or get your point across. It will also help you to use body language while talking. Your eyes and posture will help emphasize your words. Others will want to listen to you.

Speak to people using their own language. Talk to the other person at their own level. Using big words to show you're smart, can be a real turn-off to someone. They won't know what you mean, get bored and their productivity will drop.

Be clear and brief. State the facts of what you want to get across. Get to the point and don't be vague.

As a communicator its important for you to make sure your message comes across the way you intended. You need to listen to what the other person is saying, pay attention to their body language and ask questions to make sure they understand you. Leadership communication skills can be a lot of effort but its a skill that will help you succeed in many areas of your life.

The Powers of the Mind Can Lead You To Success
Your powers of the mind can determine whether you're vision will become successful or not. It's not just hard work. It's a combination of positive thoughts, perseverence and hard work. Steps To Change Your Thinking

The first choice is to try to get away. If you can't just take time off, then get away from the situation by going for a walk, taking a bath, reading a book, phoning a friend or working on a hobby. Find something that you can immerse yourself in and feel like you're doing something special. Examples are having a picnic in your yard. Pretend you're at the beach by setting up a chair, putting sea shells around you, playing ocean sounds on a CD. Sometimes just a few hours away will revitalize you and you'll be able to tackle what comes next.

Have a positive outlook. Make a special effort to look at things in an optimistic light. Don't think about anything negative, because it will just bring your mood down.

Attitude is everything so be happy. Look at everything from a happiness standpoint. If something isn't going right, find the good thing about it. You'll have to use the powers of the mind to make this a conscious decision. If you don't constantly remind yourself to find happiness in what you do, you'll go back to old habits and find things wrong.

Listen to music. Fun, lively music will put you in an upbeat mood and it will be easier to work towards your dream. Slow music will help you relax and enjoy some quiet time. Some people can't work to music with lyrics, which is understandable. When it's background music without lyrics, it can work in your favor.

Socialize with positive people. There are both positive and negative people in your life. It's your choice on how much time you spend with each of them. The powers of the mind and optimism work together. The more time you spend with the positive people, the more their happiness will rub off on you. When you're with negative people, your powers of the mind will work against you and bring you down. So, do your best at separating yourself from them when you can. Try to remove yourself from the negative relationship completely and spend time with those that matter.

Recognize that you are who you are. Use the powers of the mind to accept the traits that you're born with. Many of them can be changed, like hair color, and others cannot, such as how tall you are. There are ways of enhancing some traits, such as wearing high heels, toning your muscles, wearing make-up.

Stop complaining. If there isn't anything good to say about something or someone don't say anything at all. When you complain about things, it brings your mood down and it will be hard to work on your dreams or find anything positive about it. When you practice talking about the good things, it will eventually become a habit.

Don't take things for granted. Be thankful for what you do have. When you aren't thankful, you'll be unhappy. Take some time each day to be thankful for two or three things that you are appreciative of.

Mellow out. Don't make a big deal out of small things. It will only wear you out emotionally. Ask yourself "how important is this?" Or, "is this a battle worth arguing over?" In essence, choose your battles based on whether it will affect an outcome down the road. It's important to not take things too seriously. If the outcome doesn't come out the way you wanted, you can always find another way to do it.

Practice positive self talk. Remove the negative words, because pessimism and the powers of the mind will work together and will only bring you down. Instead of saying you hate doing something, start saying, "this isn't so bad." You'll get through it a lot faster and with better results. For instance, many people dislike making sales calls because of the rejection rate. Before you need to make the calls, psych yourself up saying you can do this, it's not so bad and perhaps you'll get an appointment or sale from the call.

Reward yourself by doing the fun things first. This will set the tone and you will have a tendency to enjoy the work that has to be completed afterwards.

Enjoy yourself and have fun. It's important to have fun in life. Without it, you would be very mechanical and boring. Fun activities invigorate you and opens you up to new learning experiences. Live for today, take charge and enjoy your life.

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