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Why We Must Learn to Accept Defeat

Why We Must Learn to Accept Defeat

It’s incredibly tough to face defeat, all too easy to assume that losing means we’re a failure or not worth anything. But in order to push past defeat, we must first confront it. Smarter people than you or I have pointed that out in some excellent quotes and excerpts. Here is some wonderful advice from great people from history on how to accept and even grow from defeat.

1. “There is no better than adversity.”

Legendary human rights activist Malcom X said, “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” He’s someone who knew a lot, too much in fact, about heartbreak and loss, so that quote is especially valuable coming from him. Don’t let defeat, no matter how painful at the time, define and control you. Instead, use it as fuel to become better and stronger physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally.

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2. “Learn to die to be liberated from death.”

As said by the master, Bruce Lee, “Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose — to accept defeat. To learn to die is to be liberated from it. So when tomorrow comes you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying!” Once you can finally accept of defeat, also referred to as the death of a dream, you can move forward with your life. Furthermore, that fearlessness will free you to do your true best, which in itself will mean more wins and less defeat.

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3. “We should be thankful to those who let us fly this flight.”

Aerospace engineer Gordan Cooper is quoted as saying, “Father, we thank you, especially for letting me fly this flight – for the privilege of being able to be in this position, to be in this wondrous place, seeing all these many startling, wonderful things that you have created.” We need to display gratitude towards those that gave us an opportunity to “compete” in the first place, whether they be gods, mentors, friends or some other presence in our lives. Being defeated is better than not attempting sometime at all, so we should thank those who gave us an opportunity to take a shot at our goal.

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4. “Be humble.”

Motivational author Harvey Mackay is known for the quote, “Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given; be careful.” Defeat isn’t always due to a lack of will or effort. In fact, it rarely is. It’s often the case that others have a genetic or situational advantage over you which caused you to “fail.” And in fact, sometimes defeat is the only thing that can remind you of how to humble yourself and see a larger world. Remember that every defeat gives you an opportunity to humble yourself in the eyes of your gods, friends, family or another thing you consider bigger than yourself.

5. “Success isn’t meaningful if it isn’t because of growth.”

Benjamin Franklin probably never would have discovered electricity or played his part in the creation of the United States if he didn’t believe this. He is quoted as saying, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” He spent most of his time learning and improving himself so that he could make a true, lasting, positive impact on the world. Only through defeat can you grow, and only through growth can you actually earn any sense of success. This and the other messages are important to remember if you’re struggling to accept defeat.

Featured photo credit: Defeat/James Simkins via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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