Moving through conflict the TaiChi way.
Creating your personal blogs
25 August, 2012Posted by on
This blog is intended to help you think about and prepare your personal blog for the class.
I realize that not all of us are blogging experts. I certainly am not. So, please be assured that I will be mostly focused on the content of your reflections, not how pretty it is.
Starting your personal blog
I don’t mind where you set up your personal blog. The class blog is hosted at WordPress and I have found it to be pretty easy to use despite the fact that I have never done this before. If you want to start your blog here, please go to the WordPress website at (http://www.wordpress.com) and start up an account. After that, the website itself has a lot of easy to use tools to help you design your blog.
For advice on how to set up and write effective blogs, consider accessing this site (which I identified from Jonathan Marshall’s course on leadership, thanks Jonathan!):
26 Tips for Writing Great Blog – Debbie Hemley (2012)
There are also lots of other blogs on writing good blogs, so you won’t be lacking for good ideas.
Note, my assumption is that you will want this blog to be private for now, so that others cannot read what you’ve put there until you choose to make it public. The default option on WordPress is that each blog post is open for the public. That means that you will have to:
A. Make your blog private
B. Invite me to the blog so that I can read it.
If you are using WordPress, then you can get help from this site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cI1rB2IhWg
With regards to the content, I suggest you start as follows:
FIRST, you should identify a negotiation that you’ve been in that you remember easily. Why do you remember it? Was it because something really good, bad, or unexpected happened during it? Or was it about how you or your counterpart behaved in the negotiation or an emotion that an event triggered in one of you? Did someone play an unusual role in the negotiation?
Whatever the case, this becomes the first part of your reflection blog, in which you identify one particular event, thing, or moment that was really interesting in that negotiation. It might be an outcome – e.g. we ended up with an agreement that was radically different than what I expected. It might be a relationship event – e.g. a colleague gets upset or a relationship is built that is unexpectedly strong. It might be an issue that was never discovered despite your plans to do so, the unexpected role played by one of the negotiators, or any other thing that stuck in your mind as something interesting.
SECOND, you need to really dig into that event, thing, or moment, and tell me your best ideas about why it happened. Be specific! Vague ideas (“it was about relationships”) will not do. Try to make your analysis so specific and clear that you could identify it to your 10 year old nephew. For example, did the event happen because of something you did? Or did it occur because something changed in the context? Perhaps it had something to do with what was communicated or how that message was communicated. And so on.
THIRD, you need to use your analyses to choose two to three specific future actions, behaviours, or attitudes that you will employ in your next negotiation. So, if you identified that one of your behaviour unintentionally made your negotiation counterpart like you, then your self-recommendation is simply, I will do that again to see if it continues to work. If you found that the negotiations were too rigid because (a) the other party really didn’t trust you and (b) they didn’t trust you because you didn’t take the time to make sure you understood what they were saying, then your self-recommendations would be 2-3 specific actions that you would take next time to be sure that you understand and confirm the meaning of your counterpart’s proposals.
So, by the end of your journal, I should be able to easily and clearly identify three sections: 1) an event, thing, or moment; 2) some specific analyses about why that event, thing, or moment occurred; and 3) two or three (2 or 3) specific actions, behaviours, or attitudes that I will use in my next negotiation.
Please note that I’ve also uploaded some sample journals on IVLE. Please note that these samples were all done on Word as this is the first year that I have asked students to do blogs.
If you have questions, please post them here so that my responses are available to everyone.