5 Life Lessons we can learn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  1.  Live Passionately – “I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
  2. We’re all connected – “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you outright to be.  This is the interrelated structure of society.”
  3. Violence isn’t the answer – “We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension.  We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”
  4. Love is the answer – “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
  5. Believe – “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Peace & Blessings – from my heart to yours,



Day of Thanks

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Thanksgiving is and will always be my favorite holiday. The day is filled with family, gratitude, and amazing food; everyday should be this way. It’s a day of peace where everyone rejects on whats good in their life at that very moment. In my family we hold on to the tradition of gathering in a circle and taking turns saying what we are thankful for. It may seem corny while your doing it, but it is also  nourishing for the soul and teaches the kids to be thankful and appreciative.

Every year we also make it a point to give back anyone in need. For the past two years we’ve done that by making lunches and passing them out directly to the homeless on the streets of San Diego. The feeling you get is indescribable and it allows my family to see with their own eyes that life could be a lot tougher, gaining perspective and building empathy.

Give Thanks by Giving Back

Whatever your tradition, have a great day and loving Thanksgiving.


Hearts and Hands for Northern California Fire Victims

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Here in Northern California, many are suffering devastating losses of life and property due to the Atlas Fires. It has a reported death toll of 21 and damage to over 160,000 acres in Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Napa, Calistoga and surrounding areas. During this time of shock and desolation, now more than ever we need to come together and lift each other up.

Shock, despair and helplessness from this crisis are touching so many in and outside the affected areas. Those of us looking from the outside in (through the news and social media) are vicariously suffering. That is real and we are affected, but let’s not forget those in the middle of it all. They are dealing with grief, fear, hopelessness, and uncertainty about their future. They need our help.

Listed below is a compilation of requests received from numerous sources. My goal, as with so many others, is to get the support directly to those affected with as little bureaucracy, paperwork, or middlemen possible.


Mission Solano’s Bridge to Life Center (310 Beck Ave., Fairfield) is currently an emergency shelter for evacuees of local fire areas. They are requesting help with donations of: water, blankets, pillows/cases, mats, paper plates/cups/silverware, napkins, and food donations. If you can assist Mission Solano in providing care for the evacuees, please take your donations to them on Beck Ave. They will provide you a donation receipt for your taxes, if you desire.
• Sacramento Bee article on how to help evacuees of Northern California fires

Brookdale Assisted Living at 6125 Hazel (and Greenback) just brought in about 50 residents from their Santa Rosa facility. The Folsom Location has similar needs, taking in 27 residents. 780 Harrington Drive right behind Burger rehab on E Bidwell.

Deliver items to either: Brookdale Assisted Living facility, 780 Harrington Way, Folsom, CA 95630 or 6125 Hazel Ave, Orangevale, CA 95662

Items needed: (keep in mind patients are elderly)
• Shirts (men and women)
• Undergarments
• Personal hygiene items (toothbrushes, wipes, toothpaste, combs, etc.)
• Socks, men & women
• Incontinence supplies (Depends, etc.)
• Sweaters (cardigans or jackets)

URGENT NEED: The 50 plus horses evacuated from R Ranch are at Vallejo Fairgrounds. Western Ranch needs drivers to transport supplies to them – Water buckets & hay & stable mix needed ASAP.

The Solano County Animal Care is in need of immediate help. If you can help by driving up or have a trailer or donations. Please call (707) 416-7421

Please bring anything you have to donate to Western Ranch & Pet Supply in Vacaville. Items needed are tents, sleeping bags, blankets, tarps, flashlights with batteries, food & water, and anything else needed to camp out with.

Facebook has a page listing needs as well as people willing to help 

These are just a few organizations that are providing direct help. As I learn of more, I’ll be sure to share.  If you learn of any more resources, please let me know as well.  Let’s lend a helping hand.

#AtlasFire #NorthernCAFires #Crisis #ComeTogether #Help #HeartandHands #California #Fire




What should I say when crisis and tragedy strikes?

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Today our minds and heart are reeling from another senseless tragedy.  As I sit and watch information continue to unfold about the Las Vegas attack, I am stunned, confused, and pained.  As of this date, this is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.  Situations like this as well as natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey can traumatize us and shake our sense of comfort and safety.

How do we handle the emotional impact of tragedies, disasters, and heartbreak?  What do we say to comfort others?  What can we do to find peace within ourselves?

Honestly, it can be hard to determine what to say to others as they grieve.  We may have difficulty managing our emotions because the experience of devastating events touches us all.

It’s important for us to be sensitive, comforting, and encouraging.  We do this by listen without trying to fix “the problem”, allow others to process without interruption, be patient as people express their feelings, and be open to the expression of grief.

Below are some phrases I uses to provide comfort, understanding, and validation without trying to explain or rationalize other’s thoughts and emotion.

  • It’s understandable that you’re upset.
  • What you’re feeling can be a normal and natural reaction to this situation.
  • I am here for you.
  • You are not alone.
  • I don’t know what I can say
  • My heart goes out to you.
  • What can I do so support you?

It’s important to avoid making statements that may appear to be insensitive.

  • I know how you feel.
  • Time heals all wounds.
  • This must have been God’s will.
  • Don’t feel bad.
  • It’s going to be okay.

These statements may be difficult and hurtful because they can minimize or invalidate a person’s lived experience and the reality of their situation.  Why do people say such things?

  • They may lack empathy – The basic definition of empathy is putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes.  Sometimes people lack the ability to do so and they may have a hard time realizing the emotional or physical pain the other person is experiencing.
  • Victim blaming – Sometimes it’s difficult to reconcile why bad things happen to good people.  Some people find it easier to rationalize this by believing that the victim did something to bring this upon themselves.
  • A loss for words – We’ve all struggled with trying to find the right words to say.  As a result, we give canned responses which may give the appearance that we lack compassion and understanding of the other person.  It’s okay to say that you don’t know what to say.

We all have made the mistake of saying something that might have made a difficult situation worse.  Now more than ever we need to sensitive and understanding to each other as these challenging times create vulnerability, heartbreak, and fear.  I encourage you not to only think of the Golden Rule as a benchmark of ethical conduct:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

But consider and practice the Platinum Rule:

Treat others the way they want to be treated.

In order to abide by the Platinum Rule, we must learn to view the world as others see it, to adapt our communication style to their behavioral style, to lead others in a way that motivates them to want to follow, and to embrace our differences while admiring the strengths in others.

Let’s keep this in mind today and everyday.

Peace and Blessings everyone.  I am here for you.



Psychological & Emotional Abuse

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I’ve written and used material from experts in the field of abuse.  Not all abuse is physical and some of the most painful abuse is psychological and emotional.  No matter the reason, no abuse is acceptable.  Period.

I’m going to sidestep abuse and talk about conflict.  Conflict is a part of life and despite my best efforts, I experience it probably more than I prefer.
I’ve found that my original conflict resolution style was to avoid.  Someone would say something rude or hurtful and instead of confronting it, I would suffer silently.  The result was illness such as migraines and ulcers and the person making the offense went on their merry way with no idea of the pain they caused (but sometimes they did).  A larger consequence is that the conflict was not handled, I felt resentful, and the relationship suffered.  Additionally, I set a pattern of behavior with people that indicated that I would accept their poor treatment of me.  I often felt angry and exploited, but I had no one to blame for it but myself.

I found my behavior to be self destructive, and I was tired of feeling hurt so when a negative situation presented itself, I instead became a fighter and I fought hard.  .  No longer was I going to allow someone to treat me poorly and I was going to stay on my position no matter what.  At times did I feel victorious?  Sure, I did, but overall it was a win-lose result.  And the truth is that at some level we both lost.

The best method of conflict resolution is to be a negotiator.  The idea is that each party can express their concerns and needs and you both work through a method to resolve the conflict in a productive way, so each can get their needs met.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  A key factor in communicating is using “I” language and not to disguise it in an insult or blame.


“I feel scared when you stay out late without calling because I’m worried you were in an accident.”  (I feel expressing your emotion, when  about a situation, because  sharing your concern)

is better than…

“I feel like you have no regard for my feelings”.  (blaming the other person for the situation)

It’s not easy.  When emotions are strong and you feel hurt/betrayed/insulted/scared/rejected/ignored, it is easy to fall back into familiar patterns.

It’s also difficult if you are dealing with a person who refuses to apologize for the hurts they’ve caused you because in their mind, they are “just being honest”, but they disguise that “honesty” in insults.

There are other times where a person may tell us something that hurts, but deep in our hearts, we know it is true.  Perhaps no one has ever had the courage to confront us on rude behavior or an unhealthy pattern.  Has that ever happened to you?  How did you respond?  Did you lash out at them, return their comments with insults, ignore them, or acknowledge that what they are saying might be true?

You may still be hurt by what people have said, but if you desire to maintain the relationship, you both have to:

  • negotiate better ways of resolving conflict,
  • sincerely acknowledge and apologize if you have hurt the other person,
  • make efforts not to fall into familiar, nonproductive ways to handle disagreements.

I’m not talking about abusive or violent relationships.  If there is a pattern of unhealthy power and control or if you are involved in a primarily one-sided relationship then different decisions about furthering the relationship need to be made.  Seeking assistance from a counselor or relationship coach would be beneficial, if not necessary.
This topic is for your friendships and relationships that are ordinarily healthy.  Everyone experiences conflict.  The key is that both parties have to be willing to work through it in a way that is not demeaning and that is fair.

If you both are not willing to do it, it won’t work, but if the relationship is worth it to you at all, then it makes sense to try. You may have to set your pride aside to do it.  Ego and pride and killers of relationships.  They get in the way of humility and healing.   I’m known for being stubborn.  It’s a trait that I’ve embraced and has been the foundation of many jokes with friends and family.  However, I would never let my ego stop me from reconciling a relationship that was otherwise healthy (not including betrayals of honesty, fidelity, abuse, and respect).  A trait I find most appealing in people, and one that I cherish and grow within myself, is one of humility.

However…if all else fails and you believe that you are sacrificing too much of yourself or if the other person chooses to end the relationship, then work through the process of grieving, learn and grow from it, and move on.
This is worth sharing… don’t you think?

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Conflict Coaching Company Blog

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Conflict Coaching Company and The Leadership Challenge®: Leader’s First Step Toward Achieving the Extraordinary

What is the difference between a boss and a leader? A boss is in a position of power over a group of constituents. He/she demonstrates through action that their position is about managerial responsibilities around the office and does their part in making sure every piece of the puzzle is completing tasks.

Leaders however, understand that while the managerial tasks are vital to day to day operations, their job is to grow and develop their team to maximize effectiveness. Leaders are also bosses, but bosses aren’t always leaders.

My absolute favorite aspect of this company is the team’s passion for empowering others with the skills to overcome conflict and thrive in their professional careers, often these skills benefit their personal life as well. In an effort to continue this mission, Conflict Coaching Company has teamed with experts in leadership development to offer our clients an effective program to create exemplary leaders.

Leadership Practices Inventory® created by James Kouzes and Barry Posner is a research-based leadership development program that utilizes 30 years of data gathered from leaders across the globe. Using this data, they have successfully identified traits and behaviors most commonly displayed in dynamic leaders.

The authors of this program believe that “to develop, nurture, and empower leaders, you need a tool that doesn’t simply measure and assess skills, but one that inspires the breakthrough insights leaders need to build positive relationships and make extraordinary things happen.” That is what this program offers and C3 has recently received certifications allowing us to benefit leaders in any industry. Over three million people have taken their first steps towards their personal leadership best with the Leadership Practices Inventory® (LPI®) contact us to begin today!




Founders of The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner take a photo with Karen and Maurice of Conflict Coaching Company.



The Leadership Challenge®, Leadership Practices Inventory® (LPI®) and the 5 Leadership practice image belong to James Kouzes and Barry Posner. All ideas expressed belong to Conflict Coaching Company and do not necessarily represent The Leadership Challenge® nor it’s creators.