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About the Author


Dr. Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Named by Cosmopolitan Magazine as one of the country’s top relationship experts, award winning psychotherapist, syndicated columnist and radio host, Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized counselor, author and speaker. He has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, CBS News, NBC News, Beauty and The Geek and The Greg Behrendt Show. In addition, numerous radio shows and national magazines have interviewed him. Most recently, Dr. Goldsmith served as the national spokesperson for the Mars Candy My M&M’s Treasured Moments Challenge.

Since 2002, his weekly column, Emotional Fitness, which is syndicated by Scripps-Howard News Service, runs in The Ventura County Star, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Orange County Register, The Detroit News, The Cincinnati Post, The San Diego Union-Tribune and over 150 other newspapers giving him a readership in the millions. In addition, his popular monthly business column has appeared in over 200 other publications. Dr. Goldsmith also hosts a weekly radio show on the most award-winning station in Southern California, KCLU/NPR, with 80,000 listeners in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

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Best Boomer Towns Columns

We Can Work It Out

The Beatles were still in their twenties when they wrote ďWe Can Work It Out,Ē but somehow they understood that even though resolving issues can be hard, it is better than trashing a relationship, a job or a deal. Here are ten tips to help you work things out.

1. When youíre having a difficult discussion, put your angry emotions aside. You canít be logical when youíre mad. If you canít contain your ire, it may be best to put talking on hold until after you calm down.

2. Itís not about whoís right or wrong. If you try to blame your co-worker/client or make him or her wrong, you wonít find an answer. You both have to take responsibility for getting things back on a positive track.

3. Look for the high road and discuss whatís best for everyone concerned. Donít settle for anything less than equality and the knowledge that you are doing the right thing for yourself, your team mates and your clients.

4. Be humble and donít rub a nose in a misstep. If you share your feelings with a dash of kindness, whoever is the offending party will learn from his or her mistake much easier.

5. You can agree to disagree, but donít settle for less than a complete acceptance of each otherís point of view. If you walk away disappointed, you have not resolved your issue. For a business or personal relationship to work, you both have to feel like you have each other’s support.

6. Always have difficult conversations in private. You donít want other’s to pick up the negativity; it can make them feel insecure about your performance ability. Remember that you can be heard behind closed doors, so keep the volume low and the vibe as calm as possible.

7. Before making a decision about how to handle a problem, make sure you consider all of your options. This requires some brainstorming and working together to create a positive solution. If done correctly, this process alone can heal the difficulty.

8. Donít rush to judgment. You may not be able to come up with the best answers in the moment, so sleep on it before you decide on a course of action. If you still cannot reach a meeting of the minds, put the issue aside and look at it again in a few days.

9. Trust that you can find an answer that will work for everyone. Going into the discussion with an optimistic heart and mind will make working it out much easier.

10. Consolidate the gains of your discussion. Review out loud what you agreed upon, put it in writing, and then move on.

Most people avoid difficult conversations because they fear having an uncomfortable moment. I think a bad few minutes is better than an uncomfortable work-life. Truth is that those who are able to work things out have more successful lives and careers. Period.

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