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Conflict Resolution Tips and Blog

The Need for “Grownup” Leadership – Why Childhood Lessons Still Count

I ran into a friend who started working for a new company since I last saw her a year ago. Her job puts her in contact with leaders from several
departments regularly.

Her conversation with me was all about what she was observing about the difference in leadership styles and the effect they were having not only on
her ability to perform the tasks of her job, but also on her emotional well-being.

As a mother, she was comparing their styles of operation to the life skills and lessons that she was trying to impress on her teenage son daily.
Unfortunately, she was discouraged by the kind of leadership that she has to sit under. The more she talked, the more interested I became in her
analogy to getting her teenager to move toward adulthood and acting like a grown up and the leaders she was faced with daily.

I thought about the kind of leadership we are seeing today in all areas of life and about the life lessons that were impressed on me growing up.
Being a parent and a former teacher, I am familiar with the lessons that are still being impressed upon our young people today and wonder how much
impact the models of leadership they see are having on them.

As I began to focus on the basic lessons that are important as teens develop in to grownups, three things kept ringing true.

1. You Don’t Have to Respond to Everything Bad Someone Says About You

In other words, sometimes you just have to ignore what people say. With the popularity of social media, in particular Twitter, we are seeing
leaders in every arena “clapping back” at every remark harder and faster. Just the opposite of what we are trying to teach our budding young adults
to do. Real leadership requires a higher skill level around managing feelings, triggers and reactions. People are often unhappy sitting under the
leadership of a person who doesn’t know how to walk away or who just cannot let a remark go unanswered.

2. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You

The golden rule which exists in a similar form in almost every culture and language is still something that is taught starting in childhood. The best leaders who create climates where people feel respected and cared about are those where leaders live by this rule. These leaders don’t name-call, scream, berate and intimidate their staff in order to get them to fear them and produce more. They know that the very things that they hate being done to them are the things that will cause resentment, dissatisfaction and a desire to leave the company.

3. Keep Your Word

Your word is your bond. It is all you really have. It is still a principle that sets leadership apart. In order to adhere to this principle, a leader has to be discerning. They have to think hard about what they want to give their word to because people will remember. Leadership that inspires loyalty and high productivity begins and ends with a leader who keeps their word to their team, their followers and their loved ones. Yes, leaders who understand that these days when the world can follow your every move, the separation between business and personal is getting smaller and smaller, don’t save principled behavior just for the office.

As more businesses reap the results of ineffective leadership, it seems to be turning out that childhood lessons aren’t just for childhood.

The Sandwich – The 4 Ingredients That Make This Conflict Easier to Swallow

I’m not a fan of sandwiches, but I grew up during a time when a cartoon character became famous for his. They were called, Dagwoods and they were piled high with every kind of meat, cheese and condiment that you could imagine. This sandwich was piled high over his head. That seems to be an accurate description for the life of those in my generation and even a decade younger.

We are caretakers for our elderly parents while still raising our children, the double decker sandwich. Some of us are helping to raise grandchildren or taking care of parents and grandparents while still having to raise children, which is known as the triple decker. Either way, the common feeling I have heard expressed is “in over our heads.”

It is a lot to comprehend, schedule, manage and wrap your brain around. It can be overwhelming. This kind of lifestyle invites conflict pretty easily and sometimes unexpectedly.

When my dad was in his late seventies, he was living on his own, dating (like you wouldn’t believe), driving his own car and was very active in his church and the neighborhood. My sister and I started noticing some memory issues that we held family meetings to address, but my dad was still having a full life, including enjoying his three grandchildren. One night, he had a stomachache and we took him to the emergency room. He was immediately admitted to ICU and sedated. When he finally came out of sedation three days later, he was in full blown dementia.

In a matter of three days, all of our lives had completely changed. My sister and I were now responsible for him and all of his affairs just like that.

I have watched numerous friends and family navigate similar situations and almost drown in them. The stress, the tension and the conflicts can threaten to shatter the best relationships. So, it is important to be prepared even if you are already in this sandwich.

Here’s the four necessary ingredients for being able to digest all of this:

1. Address The Fear of What If

Yes, no one wants to deal with what if, but the truth is that on top of all the stress you already have, you will have so much more if you don’t. This means, get all of their paperwork in order now. Insurance, medical, wills and yes even funeral services. There I said it. The worst is out there. Straight talk helps. My dad was more than willing to write up his funeral service a decade before we needed it.

2. Enlist Help

You are not the only person going through this no matter how bad your story. My friend Terri V. White at shares that in her work, there are so many stories out there and most of them involving people not reaching out for help or reaching out when they are so exhausted they can barely function. Getting help and information is important even before this happens to you.

3. Expect Opposition

Whatever is happening in your life, you can expect your children to push back, because there is not enough of you to go around. You can expect opposition from your parents and/or grandparents, because change is scary and losing independence is humiliating.

4. Schedule In Me Time

No matter what, something has to give. Learn to say no even when it is hard. Schedule time for yourself everyday and be upfront about it. It is not selfish. It is urgent care for you. If you are not doing well, then everyone suffers.

We are living lives that are very different from our parents and if you are not there yet, then get a jump on this because you will be one day. Handling these kinds of conflicts require skills, patience and preparation, but even with that there can be enjoyment. Just like that sandwich that Dagwood prepared. He knew that on top of everything he put in it that put it over his head, the main ingredient was love.

Family conflicts can be hard to deal with. That’s why I created The Soul of Conflict: Creating Peace In The Family Series. It starts March 27th and I would love to have you join us. Invest in yourself and your family now. Go to

lynne maureen hurdle, conflict resolution strategist

So You Disagree. Conflict From The Other Side

I have been doing a lot of listening lately. It is my response to the extreme discord in this country. I need to understand the views of people who are thinking differently from me on a lot of issues. But right now, I want to talk to those who are convinced that they have no interest in or no need for my services.

I have been listening to you and I want to see if I can capture what I have heard.

There is no use in trying to talk to the person or the people that you are in conflict with because they just don’t listen. You would rather avoid the issue and keep moving past it, because eventually it will go away or they will get tired and move on and you just won’t have to deal with it anymore. That’s good, because who wants to deal with conflict anyway? It’s messy and uncomfortable and really inconvenient. Like at work, just when a project is going along well… here comes that one co-worker who always has to throw some “ish” in the game. They are never satisfied and they have to let everyone know it. No one wants to deal with her. So you either shut her down or just walk away. It’s easier. Maybe it’s the team that you supervise. They don’t get along long enough to get the work done when it’s due. You just carry the bulk of the work because arguing is not your thing.

With your child… hey, you’re the parent. So you are the boss. You may not be able to make them get along all the time, but you can put them on punishment, yell to get heard or get out of the house for a little bit and let the chips fall where they may. It’s too much work to try to get everyone to get along and you certainly don’t want me to tell you what you are doing wrong (your words), because God knows it is not you who has the problem it’s them.

With your spouse, partner, love interest? Don’t get you started. They are impossible to talk to. They never listen and you don’t think they will ever change even though you are constantly telling them they need to.

lynne maureen hurdle, conflict resolution strategistSo to let you know that I am listening, let me tell you that I agree with you. You should not work with me. You should work with someone who will teach you some techniques to use that don’t require the challenging work of going within and finding out all of the things that you bring to the table when conflicts arise. You should work with someone who will give you some quick tips on listening and not ask you to evaluate your listening skills and the effect they have on others in your life. You should go with someone who will help you look at conflict on a surface level without requiring you to go deep into your feelings, deeply rooted beliefs and cultural norms.

I ask a lot of my clients and if I have been listening, I mean deeply listening to you, I am not who you want.

3 Ways I Use My Conflict Resolution Skills In My Parenting: A Homegrown Conflict Resolutionista Speaks

My life’s journey has allowed me to teach conflict resolution and leadership skills to teens for over 25 years. One of the outcomes that I envisioned so many years ago was to have these teens grow up and use these skills to educate others. I am blessed to still be in connection with so many young people who are doing just that.

Today, I am spotlighting one of them.

Melissa Velasquez found one of my Today’s Parenting Tips on Facebook and shared it in one of her blog posts. I was not only grateful but excited to find out what she is up to in the world. We shared a wonderful conversation about mommy-hood, blogging and conflict resolution.

Actually, we went all over the place with this conversation. Melissa was raised from teenage years on the skills of conflict resolution. She is what I call Homegrown. She was a prominent figure in an incredible organization called E.A.R.S., Effective Alternatives in Reconciliation Services.

She ventured into the world of blogging in order to lend a voice to the single moms out there.

As a single mom of three year old Misa, she wanted to provide hope, pride, direction, tips, advice and truth. She wanted to see if someone could get something good from her words. I certainly did. I am sharing three ways that she uses her skills of conflict resolution in her parenting in order to feature a younger voice who developed expertise early in her life.

Below are her answers to some pointed questions and my take on her responses.
1. What is on your playlist these days?

“I am so careful about the messages Misa takes in. What’s on my playlist is ABC by The Jackson Five.”

Being careful about what our children hear can be challenging. Being prepared to talk with them about what they hear when they go other places is important. Listening to their questions and being willing and ready to give them honest, age appropriate answers is part of the way she parents.

conflict-resolution-with-melissa-velasquez2. What do you do as a parent that you feel breaks culture?

“By the way that I discipline. She will never hear me threaten to hit her. By also letting her have a voice.”

Allowing children to have a voice can mean that they may take a long time to decide things, for instance what they want to wear in the morning as Melissa has experienced. However, they learn how to make decisions. It is also not easy to break culture. You really need to stand tall in that and use your communication skills, something both Melissa and I know something about.

3. What is a big mistake that you learned from?

“Being triggered. We had someplace to go and we were going to be late. I do not like to be late. It is programmed in me from E.A.R.S. She started yelling and screaming and really losing it. Nothing I was trying worked. So I really lost it and she heard me say a bad word. I had to apologize to her later.”

It didn’t end up being completely resolved in this big happy ending for them, but they were able to get through it and attend the event. The lesson learned was about taking a minute to notice that you are being triggered and to try to calm yourself down. But if that doesn’t happen, then an apology is important to your child. It is something that I teach about often.

Young voices need to be heard. They can really add something to the conversation.

Both Melissa and I agree that there is too much division in the parenting world. We have much more to gain by coming together.

conflict-resolution-parenting-with-melissa-velasquezFeel free to connect with Melissa on:

Her Blog:


Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat: @justabxmom

The Need for Flood Pressure Checks is On the Rise

Right now, I live in an NBA household and it is playoff season. My oldest son is a longtime diehard fan of The Golden State Warriors. They have had some exciting, history-making and frustrating times this season not the least of which are those moments presented to us by forward, Draymond Green. In Game 3 of the Conference Finals, Green kicked Oklahoma City Thunder player Steven Adams in the groin while getting a shot off. Also, in a more recent game while attempting a baby hook over 6 foot 4 Oklahoma City guard, Russell Westbrook, he kicked him near his chin. Here’s a man in need of a Flood Pressure Check.

While politics has always been messy and passionate, the current political climate has brought out the worst in many people including the candidates. Just the mention of Donald Trump’s name sends people into an emotional frenzy. Hillary Clinton and the Clinton legacy leave behind their own emotional carnage. Emotional flooding is happening on a level of epic proportions. It’s time for a national Flood Pressure Check.

How To Check Your Flood Pressure

I’m sure we all had our blood pressure checked. I hope we have… if not, please get it checked regularly. Flood Pressure Checks are very similar. Just like blood pressure there are two numbers involved. In order to do a Flood Pressure Check, you need to reflect on a situation where you were emotionally flooded and give yourself a number that would reflect the extent of that flooding. Your number should be from 1 – 200. However, thanks to the suggestion of Mia who attended my most recent conflict resolution workshop, I will add that if you are from a culture where your starting point in any conflict is highly emotional, then your starting number might be 200 and range up to 400. Yes, emotional expression and conflict are definitely cultural.

The Numbers Game

This is your high number. Now you must assign yourself a lower number. Your low number represents how conscious you were of knowing that you did not want to be as emotionally flooded as you were and did not want to react in the situation the way that you did. This should be a number from 1 – 200. The point of a Flood Pressure Check is to begin to assess the work that you need to do to become conscious of your emotional reactions quickly enough to do something about them. If there is a large gap between your high number and your low number then your goal is to close that gap by bringing your high number down (flooding and reacting less) and your low number up (being conscious of emotions beginning to flood you and not reacting).

The goal is to close the gap between reacting and responding.

Here are 3 tips For lowering your Flood Pressure.
1. Have A Stress Release System

When your body is flooded with stress hormones, your brain’s function is to protect you and go in to fight or flight mode. There is little to no access to conscious decision-making. Having a regular method for releasing stress in your life that you can put in place when conflict happens is crucial in changing your Flood Pressure numbers.

2. Take Advantage of Your Down Time

When you are no longer in a heightened emotional state, don’t let that be the end of the situation. Take the time to reflect on your reaction and where you think that reaction came from. Ask yourself: What words or actions triggered me? What in my past could be responsible for setting this as an emotional trigger for me?

3. Start On An Emotional Escape Plan

Without judgement of yourself, start to develop a plan for addressing it. In developing your plan, ask yourself the following questions: Do I need more skills in managing my emotions, resolving conflict and releasing stress? Do I need a calming phrase or a word to remind me to become more conscious of when I am being triggered? What work do I need to do if I want to release myself from this trigger?

As you put these tips in to action, you will begin to see your Flood Pressure numbers change and your relationships strengthen.

lynne's giftShoutout to Aldeen who took 4 days of training with me and immediately began to put the techniques and strategies to action in her life. She had such success that her family noticed right away. I am blessed to have this t-shirt made by her son and given to me from her family as a thank you! THANK YOU FAMILY!

If you want to learn to lower your Flood Pressure in a powerful one-on-one consultation with me, I have a few spots available this month. CLICK HERE to Sign up Now.

Exciting News!

The 5 Things You Should Never Do If You Want Your Child To Listen To You Free Webinar was such a SUCCESS… I am doing Part Two on June 14th!

It’s called: 5 Ways to Stop Fear From Being The Loudest Voice In Your Household.
Register for this FREE Powerful Webinar today at