How do I prevent conflict?

Jerome strolled into the shelter for lunch.

He was NOT staggering or swerving.

He was NOT slurring his speech.

He WAS sober.

That didn’t happen too often.

It was time to get some pennies!!!!

I would need them next time Jerome was not sober.

Pennies in the Cup

In last week’s email we talked about how you can prevent conflict through “Sentiment Override.” (If you treat people well before a conflict, they tend to “give you the benefit of the doubt.”)

I turned it into a game to make it easier to remember.

The game is called “Pennies in the Cup.”

Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Pick up your imaginary cup.

Step 2: Earn 1 penny per good interaction you have with someone (e.g. smile, greeting, helpfulness, etc.).

Step 3: Lose 5 pennies per bad interaction you have with someone (e.g. rolling your eyes, yelling, etc.). The reason you lose five pennies for every bad interaction is that the human brain perceives negative events more strongly than positive events.

Step 4: When a potential conflict arises, if you have five or more pennies in the cup with that person, you can “cash them in” to avoid conflict.

It is that simple.

De-escalating conflict is good. Preventing it entirely is even better!!

Have a great day!



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