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What building a website taught me about myself

What building a website taught me about myself

I think you should setup your personal website or blog. Don’t do it for fame, money, or fortune. Do it for the journey, and for what you will learn about yourself in the process.

Let me share a few of the things I learned about myself by building a website.

I don’t like asking for help

One of my biggest challenges is knowing when to ask for help. I will fight myself internally and will try to find my own solution much longer than I should. Most times, it turns out to be easier to call up a friend that knows the answer and simply ask for their help. This was a really important lesson for me. I need to get better at identifying when it’s time to ask for help.

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Key question: Do you know when it is time to ask for help? Is it a challenge for you to ask for help? Has that helped or hurt you in the past?

I have my own writing voice and style

Content creation is an often overlooked part of website building. This part can sometimes take longer than actually building the website. So many website building blogs talk about the technical aspects of site design, but fail to elaborate on how to write content. I believe this is because writing content ultimately comes down to finding your own voice.

If you try to write like someone else or imitate another author, your writing will always seem a bit off. If you write in your own voice and style, your message becomes authentic and it will force you to organize your thoughts before you put them up on a public site.

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Key question: Have you thought your message through? Do you know your voice and style?

I need to understand “why” before diving into “how”

There are many quick and easy options for putting a website together. However, I found that even quick website builders like WordPress have a learning curve. I needed to learn how to setup my own hosting, connect my domain name, and do simple modifications using HTML and CSS. I had never done any of this before.

Along the way I started to pick up my own learning style. I am a “why” learner. When I know why I need something, I can then fully grasp the “how to.” Every time I tried to dive into the “how” first, I found myself annoyed and unable to grasp why I was doing it.

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Key question: What’s your learning style and preference? Are you a “why”, “what”, “how”, or “what if” type learner?

I found a good video from Jeanine O’Neill that describes the 4 learning styles

I am pretty good at learning applications, but not coding

Modifying PHP is really hard for me. It has taken me years to learn how to perform some of the smallest modifications. On the other hand, learning to use the backend of my website engine has been fairly easy. I learned that I am really good at learning how to use an application, but not so good at understanding its code. Now I hire someone to help me with that part.

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Key question: What is your aptitude for technology? Which aspects of technology are you good at? What gives you the most challenge?

I am resourceful when it is time to solve problems

Problem solving is a skill. I’ve seen colleagues hit a brick wall and give up. And when building my first website, I ran into a lot of brick walls. I learned that I’m not the type of person who just gives up. My habit is to grab a cup of tea and start googling to find solutions.

Key question: What do you do when you encounter a problem? What is your system for finding a solution?

Featured photo credit: Bluesbby via flickr.com

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Paris Law

Life Coach & Designer

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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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