Hello do-gooders, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

Every Friday, I gather my Panel of Experts and pose a question to them. We’ve covered all sorts of topics…which they handle with charm because they are Experts in life.

Today let’s get started by saying hi to them. Hi Experts!

 

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

Aw, you’re so cute! From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

The recent government shutdown has been weighing on everyone’s mind. I personally can’t understand why people in Washington seem to thrive on conflict, when us regular people either try to avoid conflict or resolve it quickly. It’s like they are stuck in high school.

I decided to ask my Experts about conflict resolution…to prove that there are adults in this country. Maybe not so much in Congress, but the rest of America actually works to solve their problems. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. What’s an effective way to resolve conflict?

Expert Andy, start us off, please.

A. I am often amazed at how much conflict is needless and simply due to miscommunication.  Often conflict is bred out of the way we are saying things versus the way the other side is interpreting those same things.  A big breeder of conflict is EMAIL or the written word in general.  It is far too easy to misinterpret someone’s written words simply because of the frame of mind of the reader of those same words.  I see this all of the time.

There are two ways to resolve conflict that have proven effective for me;

1)  Ask the other side what their primary perspective and objective is of their point of view.  Ask “What is it you are trying to achieve?”  When they answer you may ask “Why?” a few times after that to get to the bottom of their motivation.  Then think about your own motivations and objectives.  Chances are, in the absence of selfish pursuits, the objectives of both sides will be nearly identical.  And so it goes, what are you arguing about in the first place?

REAL CONFLICT occurs when both sides have different fundamental principles or under purely selfish pursuits.  When those conflicts arise, if there is not a mutual respect and attitude of cooperation and collaboration…..a true meeting in the middle, the conflict cannot be avoided, muted or even resolved.  There are plenty of examples of this in the news every day.

2)  Avoid conflict all together.  When conflict arises, run away.  Of course that is easier when deep rooted convictions don’t exist on one side or the other.  Face it, there are not a lot of things to really argue about anyway unless it comes to life itself, food, water, health, possessions and the free pursuit of happiness.  If someone is not allowing another the freedom to pursue or retain those fundamental needs, conflict cannot be avoided either because human life and existence are at stake.  Other than that, everything else is pretty much meaningless anyway.

A. Keep people talking. If you let things fester and avoid communicating, things invariably get worse. Most people loathe conflict, and prefer the path of least resistance: avoidance.

That said, I don’t handle conflict well. Typical child of divorce, I want everyone to get along and prefer a forced, artificial detente to a perfectly natural conflict. This leads to my periodically spewing wildly inappropriate levels of anger at people, especially since I quit drinking and therefore no longer have a mechanism for sublimating/re-directing said anger at myself.
 
On a related note, I miss drinking.

A. I don’t pretend any wisdom about such matters. I can only suggest a willingness to listen. Then actually listening.

A. The best way to resolve conflict is to :
    a. Take a Zoloft
    b.  keep your mouth shut!
    c. Take a nap—maybe it will all go away!

Just kidding.  Seriously, it has been my experience
 In management of a staff with 65 employees and a department with 89 volunteers, that: 1. having a thorough knowledge of the subject of conflict is essential;  #2. have an ability to understand where the other person or persons are coming from, although you do not agree with their point of view, and #3. Avoid having such an extreme ego that you are unable to make necessary compromises to bring about an agreement.  You also have to look to the greater good of the results even though it may not benefit you directly.

It is also a good idea to establish ground rules in the inception prior to the start of negotiations, such as:
     1. Create a receptive and respective
     environment.  No personal attacks allowed.

    2.  Each person is given due respect and time
    to explain their  point of view and the process
       they envision to reach a successful resolution.
    Make it a “We” process.  Let each person feel
       they are a necessary part of the solution.

    3.  No shouting, finger pointing, temper
     tantrums or grandstanding allowed.

    4.  Last but not least, “Goodie” refreshments
     and a good sense of humor go a long way!

If all else fails, you might try having a facilitator, who is not involved in the “conflict” in question in any way.

If all else still fails, go back to the first paragraph!

A. I’ll lead

All  we  are  asking  is  give  peas  a  chance,

All  we  are  asking  is  give  peas  a  chance,

All  we  are  asking  is  give  peas  a  chance,

If  you  believe,  believe  in  Whorled  Peas

If  you  believe,  believe  in  Whorled  Peas

If  you  believe,  believe  in  Whorled  Peas

Ok everybody now, you can do this

All  we  are  asking  is  give  peace  a  chance,

All  we  are  asking  is  give  peace  a  chance,

All  we  are  asking  is  give  peace  a  chance,

All  we  are  asking  is  give  peace  a  chance,

All you guys ok let’s go

If you believe, believe in World Peace

If you believe, believe in World Peace

If you believe, believe in World Peace

Now ladies with all your hearts

If you believe, believe in World Peace

If you believe, believe in World Peace

If you believe, believe in World Peace

EVERYBODY, all together now

Yeah that mean you, you can sing

Let them hear you next door

ALL WE ARE ASKING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

ALL WE ARE ASKING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

ALL WE ARE ASKING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

IF YOU BELIEVE, BELIEVE IN WORLD PEACE

IF YOU BELIEVE, BELIEVE IN WORLD PEACE

IF YOU BELIEVE, BELIEVE IN WORLD PEACE

YAAAAAH,

ALL WE ARE ASKING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

ALL WE ARE ASKING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

ALL WE ARE ASKING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

 

Thanks you all were great,

Got you right here didn’t it

Now go live in PEACE

Shout it to the World

Love ya

Wow you guys! Those answers were excellent! Thoughtful, funny, insightful, useful. We should send a copy of this blog post to Washington, stat!

Very well done, everyone. You’re all awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us again this week. I appreciated reading all your answers – they were wonderful. Thanks again.

That’ll do it for this week’s Panel of Experts. The Experts will return in exactly one week. They hope to see you back here.

Now let’s move on to the current puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this plant was real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “The leaves seem almost plastic-y, but I think I see discoloured/dead tips, so I will say real.”

Joseph Brenner of Texas wrote, “I was beginning to wonder if you were all out of real.(puts pills back in bottle.) (B>{D>>”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “I’m saying fake. And it looks more like some sort af agave than aloe…”

Oooh, that’s two votes real, one vote fake.

So what’s the correct answer? Well, all I have to show you is this terrible photo:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

I’m not sure that photo is any more telling than the first, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that it is FAKE! Yup, fake and ugly and beatup – the dang thing has damaged tips which is what led to the tricky aspect of the puzzler. Usually, fake plants are flawless, unlike real plants which almost always have flaws. But this fake one must’ve gotten dropped or knocked off the table a few times, because it’s got all sorts of problems.

Sorry Ivy and Joseph – I successfully tricked you! Haha, I live for these moments. But Claude couldn’t be tricked, he totally nailed it. So Claude, that makes you the winner – well done!

For seeing right through my trick question, this week you’ve earned the title of “Ain’t No One Foolin’ Me Because I’m Unfoolable and Way Super Smart and I Look Good in Cowboy Boots.” So if you’re at the flea market this weekend and meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as Claude Ain’t No One Foolin’ Me Because I’m Unfoolable and Way Super Smart and I Look Good in Cowboy Boots. Congratulations. I’m sure you’ll forge lifelong bonds. You may multiply all the prizes by ketchup.

To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: One full moon, the path of least resistance, 14 1/3 extra credit points, purple, a voucher good for one conflict resolution, two ring fingers, six corn and gouda bocaditos, a vacation to the planet of your choice, one furry Ostrich, root beer, eight more points, one Unser Boulevard, three garden gnomes, a free pamphlet, two succulents, and salmon. Congratulations, and thanks for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this plant real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, October 24th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you here.

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