Jul 17 / Simcha

It’s Okay to Go to Bed Angry

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I am not a very good sleeper.  Going to bed upset or overwhelmed can keep me up and tossing until 3 a.m.  You might think, then, that I would welcome the imperative that one should resolve all disagreements before settling down for the night.  Should I perhaps be heeding the wisdom in the New Testament verse — “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26) — often quoted as the source for this entrenched belief?

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Aug 11 / Simcha

Learning from the N. Ireland Peace Negotiator

Harri Holkeri, a former Finnish prime minister (1937-2011) who helped shepherd talks that led to the historic 1998 peace agreement in Northern Ireland, died this week in Helsinki.  In a speech in 2008, Mr. Holkeri cited several reasons he and his colleagues were able to guide the long-divided parties to a deal. I wondered, as I read the NYTimes obituary, whether these might be helpful in navigating our own everyday disagreements and conflicts.

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Aug 10 / Simcha

Handling Tough Conversations

One of my favorite books on the subject of handling tough conversations and situations is Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Stone, Patton, Heen & Fisher, 2010). Based on 15 years of work at the Harvard Negotiation Project and consultations with thousands of people struggling to communicate effectively in tough situations, the authors answer the question: When people confront the conversations they dread the most, what works?

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