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5 Dos and Don'ts to Disarm a Bull

Mary Lee Gannon

 Mary Lee Gannon

The Life/Career

Reinvention Coach

From Welfare to CEO of organizations with up to

$26 million in assets

  

Mary Lee Gannon is a Life/Career Reinvention Coach, strategic planning consultant and president of 
StartingOverNow.com - a coaching and consulting firm that helps people reinvent themselves, their organizations and their businesses. 
She is a graduate of the Duquesne University Professional Coaching Program and an alumnus of the 2010 Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership Conference. 

 

Mary Lee's personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where she earned success to support her family.

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Clients are from throughout the US and are individuals in transition because of divorce, career change, empty nest, relocation, or leaders at small to mid-size corporations or non-profits who seek a new direction. What keeps them up at night is not having a vision or strategy to move them forward. They see the future very much like the present +/- 10% and know what that has cost them in growth, income and fulfillment. They are working hard but not smart because there is a lack of vision, goals, accountability or good work/life balance in place to produce exceptional results. So bureaucracy, personal agendas and cynicism have grabbed hold when what they want is rekindled passion to be their best or create the best product or service in their industry at a rate of high performers who are fulfilled by a lifestyle friendly business.

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Mary Lee Ganon is Recognized 

Michelle Wright of WTAE-TV, Mary Lee Gannon and Beth Caldwell of PPW - Women of Integrity Award 

Mary Lee Gannon is awarded the 2012
"Woman of Integrity" award by Pittsburgh
Professional Women on December 1st at Le Mont.  Awardees are women of distinction who have balanced career and civic responsibility, who share their success by mentoring others and
supporting their communities.  Pictured
here with Michelle Wright of WTAE-TV
and Beth Caldwell of PPW.

The Book 

Cover to Starting Over Book
Starting Over

Mary Lee's personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother, with four children under seven-years-old, who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance. From there, within a short time, she worked to the level of CEO, directing three hospital foundations over the last 16 years each with assets of up to $26 million.  

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Greetings!   

 

Disarm the bully in your life or office with these 5 Do's and Don'ts that are good negotiating skills for any conflict resolution.

 

The Disarm Your Bully "Dos"

 

1. Ask to Meet with the Bully in Private. When you can meet with an adversary one-on-one, you remove their fear of judgment by others. Generally a bully will be less harsh and more likely to be vulnerable when there isn't an audience. Explain that you are appreciative of their time, and would like to develop a better relationship with them. Ask them how you can help that to occur, so that you can see where you stand in order to strengthen your relationship with them.

 

2. Be Curious and Compassionate. When people behave in a threatening way, chances are they are feeling threatened themselves. That threat may not be genuine, but their perception is that the threat is indeed real. Find out what the bully fears by showing your honest curiosity. For example, "Jay, I noticed you reacted negatively yesterday toward my opinion. What would have to happen to bring value to you?" or "Jennifer, I know you are not in favor of the initiative, and I want to better understand what you are most opposed to."

 

3. Sit on Your Ego. When you meet with an adversary, let them have the stage. Ask thoughtful questions and say nothing. Listen only. Develop a forgiving attitude because in reality, most people are doing the best they can. Be kind to unkind people, because they probably need it most.

 

4. Agree on Mutual Goals Whereby You Both Benefit. Committees, partnerships, teams and new initiatives fall apart when there isn't shared buy-in. Add a bully to the mix and it can be volatile. Show the person that you are flexible on your goals. Ask what his or her goals are and demonstrate that you see how that brings value to the situation. Suggest a concession on your part that shows your willingness to work together.

 

5. Make Sure You Both Know Who Does What in the Next Steps. Confirm that you are in agreement on how you will work together moving forward, making sure that nothing has been overlooked. Ask him or her how you both will know if the agreement is working. Itemize the specifics and list of concessions to verify all conditions and terms of what will happen in the future. Review any to-do lists with deadlines for any issues. Ask when you can meet again on this specific issue to reinforce the relationship and agreement.

 

 

The Disarm Your Bully "Don'ts"

 

1. Don't Become a Bully Yourself. Bullying the bully never got anyone anywhere but more battered. The bully is meaner than you are and will undoubtedly win that battle, embarrassing you in the process because they are more than likely slicker at the passive aggressive nature of bullying than you are. They have had a lot of practice. Besides, you want to be able to get along with the bully in order have a better work environment. So make sure that you don't become the bully.

 

2. Don't Use "You" Statements. Refer to everything in terms of yourself. Use "I" versus "You" when talking. This way the bully is not feeling the finger of blame pointing his way. When he or she hears you taking responsibility they are nore open to listen to possibilities. "You" statement put people immediately on the defensive. They shut down and it is close to impossible to move forward when they feel they need to defend themselves. Instead of saying "You didn't listen," say, "I am sorry I must not have explained this clearly."

 

3. Don't Use Negatives. Instead of using negatives, focus on the positives. When you must use negatives words such as can't, won't, shouldn't, and don't, use them sparingly. When you converse from a negative posture the bully will as well. Speaking from a positive perspective puts the listener in a positive frame of mind and the movement in this direction will pull in his or her positivity as well. If he or she remains negative - hold firm to positive statements, they will come around. Instead of saying, "I can't do that," try "I have a few other options I'd like to get your opinion on."

 

4. Don't Ever use "But." Eliminate "but" from your vocabulary. It signals that you are making excuses or there is a big concession request to follow. For example: "Our production costs are high, but so are our supplier costs." People stop listening to anything you have to say after "but." Instead say, "Our costs are high, and the supplier charges XXX for these materials."

 

5. Speak Negatively About the Bully Behind His/Her Back.

You are trying to establish a history of trust and shared purpose. Everything that you may try might be to no avail. You still should not degrade the bully to others. You want to remain true to your values of mutual trust and respect. You want to demonstrate everything that you are and not stray from that in retaliation for another person's bad behavior. Be known as the leader who took the high road. Focus on doing your own good work. Be the person people turn to when they are feeling bullied or fearful. In time, the bully may turn your way as well.

 

Dealing with a bully is like any negotiation. You must establish mutual trust and respect. You must identify and eliminate their primary fear by being curious and compassionate. You can then create shared goals and purpose. And you identify how you will evaluate if the process is working moving forward. Do this, and you may turn the office bully into a buddy.

 

Get Mary Lee's article Be Yourself, Everybody Else is Already Taken

 

         

 

Mary Lee gives executive coaching tips in MONEY MAGAZINE.

 

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Mary Lee Gannon is the president of StartingOverNow.com - Transforming People and Organizations with Goals-to-Results. With more than 16 years of experience as a CEO of organizations with up to $26 million in assets, Mary Lee coaches individuals and organizations with a Goals-Accountability-Results system. Read testimonials from her clients.  She is a graduate of The Duquesne University Professional Coaching Program and an alumnus of the 2010 Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership Conference. Her personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where she rose to the level of CEO to support her family.  Areas of Specialty: Strategic Planning / Board Development /  Executive Coaching / Healthcare / Public Relations / Meeting Facilitation / Leadership / Productivity / Life/Career Transition.  Her book "Starting Over - 25 Rules for When You've Bottomed Out" is available in bookstores and from online booksellers.  

  

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