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Right, Wrong, Legal, Illegal

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Life would be easier if there was no grey area between legal and illegal or between right and wrong. But if you are like me, you can find yourself in situations that are difficult.

I know the difference between right and wrong, and the difference between legal and illegal. But what if following the law injures another person? What if doing what you believe is right, breaks the law? In these cases, you can find a vicious debate. I am driven more by moral values than I am by the laws written by other people. I also recognize that being morally right does not allow me to judge others.

In today’s culture, we are experiencing conflict about gun control, abortion, gender, euthanasia, immigration, global consumption, and growth. This topic has been on my mind since I read a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. She said, “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?” I can also restate that from another perspective as, “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than accept it as a cost of our greed?”

Moral dilemmas have existed throughout history. To me, it is important how I act, and how I respond. Yet, I can only make a difference if I understand the issues. Listening to one or even both sides of the argument by itself does not help. Both sides will claim to be right. Is it right or wrong, legal or illegal? Because in today’s culture every voice can be heard, it has made finding the truth more difficult. But if we listen to Eleanor, preventing human misery may help us start. How do you deal with all the conflict that invades your daily life?


© Flickr user Damien Pollet.

Conflict can creep into any part of your life, especially while you’re at work. Sometimes, management has a hard time figuring out how to resolve issues the arise. Alyssa Shea touched on this topic when she talked about managing conflict issues in the workplace. One way to manage conflict that she mentioned is by listening.

1. Listen.

Think of a time that you have had an issue with someone, either a coworker or family member. Is it safe to say that the issue came about because of miscommunication? In fact, that’s a pretty common theme when it comes to conflict.

Miscommunication is the root of many conflicts. Over at Chief Learning Officer, they explored how miscommunicating really affects workers. The continuous march of technology developments means we’re all becoming more and more connected to a continuous stream of updates from each other. But that doesn’t mean that we’re all on the same page. The Economist Intelligence Unit produced a study called “Communication Barriers in the Modern Workplace” which has taken a look at the levels of communication in workplaces. The numbers don’t lie.

EIU’s study of 403 executives, managers and staff at U.S. companies found that, across the board, employees believe miscommunication is contributing to their stress, failure to complete projects and loss of sales. “This is not just an unpleasantry. This is really affecting the performance of the company,” said Nathan Rawlins, chief marketing officer at Lucid Software, makers of Lucidchart.

So much of our correspondence is over text and email. You can’t really infer tone of voice from these messages and it’s likely this is a big part of where a breakdown in communication starts. Sometimes, you’ll have to dig deeper in your vault of communicating skills. Scheduling some face-to-face time or using slideshows in presentations are some ways to help you get your point across!

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Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown is an executive coach who is passionate about personal development. He works to make a difference in people's lives by empowering them with skills and knowledge that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Mark has been coached, mentored, and certified by John Maxwell and his team. This coaching certification allows Mark to successfully coach and train individuals, groups, organizations, and companies.
Mark S. Brown


Executive and Business Coach at New Roads Leadership. A founding partner of the John Maxwell Team. We coach for your personal success!
Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown

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