Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

Archive for the ‘Conflict resolution’ Category

Ten words for a better world?

November 30, 2015

There’s an awful lot of upset in the world at the moment. Our media and leaders seem intent on sending messages that can strike fear in our hearts, stifle our spirit. The assumption is that the only way forward must be to fight. As my way of handling this, I list a number of words […]

What, no rows?

January 26, 2015

A couple I know claimed that they never ever rowed. I found this very difficult to believe, assuming that all couples row from time to time and that it’s all part and parcel of a healthy relationship. They’d known each other since they were fifteen –  childhood sweethearts. They stayed together “till death do us […]

Straight talking

December 8, 2014

A judge decided last week that the word “pleb” was most likely uttered by UK MP Andrew Mitchell during his altercation with a police officer. Whilst, you could argue that its not OK to use such language, there was a small part of me that admired the straight talking. In his years of attending sessions […]

Poppies

November 10, 2014

Remembrance Sunday was generally considered a fitting tribute to those that have fought for our country. The display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London was also a poignant reminder of every one of our troops who never made it as a result of World War 1. I think it’s absolutely appropriate to remember […]

Confessions of a swinger

October 20, 2014

I’m a swinger. There it is, I’ve finally come out and said it. I’ve been a swinger for most of my adult life. Living in the great metropolis of London has probably provided the most fertile territory for my swinging, although I’m certain there there are also swingers doing their thing across the nation in […]

The missing skill

June 23, 2014

How many of us spent our school days being told to sit up and listen? What if, instead we had been taught to listen? I don’t simply mean nominal written comprehension tests or repeating back by rote what the teacher had said. I mean real, genuine listening in order to fully understand the other person. […]

The good life

April 21, 2014

I’ve never felt particularly comfortable around words like morals or ethics –somehow they smack of judgment, right and wrong and of such things being passed down from some rule book or higher authority. What I do know is that they are all too often the subject of great intellectual and philosophical debate – usually involving […]

Violence

January 27, 2014

I’ve always considered myself to be a peace loving, non-violent kind of person. Admittedly, I fall short of being all hippy about it, but I’m certainly not the type to throw my weight around or get into fights. In fact, I don’t recall ever actually having been in a physical fight – even in my […]

An abundance of Mandelas?

December 9, 2013

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson . I have to start this post  by making a striking admission.  I have felt somewhat detached from […]

A lesson from “Australian rules football”

November 4, 2013

Missionaries working with Aboriginals in 19th century Australia decided one day to teach some of the local  youngsters to play soccer. They set about marking out a pitch, setting up makeshift goalposts and recruiting two  teams of eager players. So, the match was on. The teams played with great gusto, throwing themselves into it 100%. […]

Understanding

August 12, 2013

A few weeks back I promised a mate I’d watch a TV programme on line that he’d referred me to. I haven’t got round to it yet, as it’s a show that seeks to disprove the value and efficacy of complementary therapies. To be honest, I’m not sure I really want to watch it, given […]

True

July 1, 2013

“We all interpreted the past how we thought it was. And we were truthful about that and honest” These were the words of Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet during an interview with him and his bandmate Tony Hadley on the radio last week. He was referring to the massive split the group had suffered caused […]

Open letter to the head of Lacoste Retail UK

June 17, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam Please excuse the impersonal appearance of this letter, however I have had difficulty establishing the name of the top person at Lacoste in the UK. Hopefully, given the wonders of the internet, this missive will find its way to you. On a recent Sunday afternoon,  I visited your retail store in Gatwick Airport. […]

Easter message: “I don’t care”

April 1, 2013

Recently I watched a fascinating episode of the excellent Storyville documentary series on the BBC. This particular edition was about the Anonymous movement which has arisen in recent years. I found the programme fascinating, inspiring, sinister and scary in pretty much equal measure. However, I want to focus on just the very last few seconds […]

Observation from a Facebook forum

March 4, 2013

I regularly dip into a Facebook forum page for people with visual impairment. As is typical of such pages, people will post questions, comments, experiences and so on. Most, but not all of the subscribers to the forum are UK based and the majority seem to be white British. What I have also noticed is […]

A new flag to wave?

January 14, 2013

“Every bullet that is fired, is destined for some mother’s child”  Anon  I greatly enjoyed watching Simon Amstell’s stand up routine “Numb” on the BBC the other day. I was particularly amused and struck by his routine about flag waving. Asking where each of us comes from, he pointed out that we, every one of […]

Ripples

December 10, 2012

At the end of a particularly fun day’s work a few weeks back, I was saying goodnight to the security guard in the reception where the course had taken place. My cheeky chappy self was very much in evidence and we had a playful, jokey exchange. As I left the building, I spotted him through […]

The trouble with “win/win”

December 3, 2012

Just about every negotiation course and book nowadays talks about the importance of achieving “win/win” outcomes. On the face of it, this is laudable and desirable – both parties in the discussion get what they want. Both parties are happy. Both win. Yet, I would suggest that “win/win” outcomes only go so far. I’d even […]

Two men and a hole – a lesson in empathy

November 5, 2012

A word that often comes up when I’m running customer care courses is empathy. However, when I challenge people to come up with a definition, especially as distinct from sympathy, they often struggle. So, I turn to a distinction I heard years ago on a motivational tape by a man called Bill O’Brien. Whilst it […]

What are you missing out on?

October 8, 2012

“[Pippa] wonders what the new DG would have said had he been allowed to finish a sentence or two.” This slightly cryptic looking sentence was a post written on Facebook a few weeks back by a buddy of mine. She was referring to a radio interview that morning with the new Director General of the […]

Man behaving badly

September 9, 2012

Two days ago I was running one of a series of performance management days for a major public sector body. This is a mandatory programme, devised to introduce a new system to staff throughout the organization. Going round the room each participant introduced themselves and had opportunity to say how they felt about being there. […]

The “Nor-way”

August 27, 2012

“During the trial we got the story of Breivik’s past and why he became that way. I think that’s the most important thing for us who are trying to become politicians – that we want to create a society that won’t create another Breivik……….We need to create a society that includes everyone, so no one […]

An unrecognised pleasure

July 2, 2012

A few days ago, Ingrid my partner and I were engaged in a rather heated discussion. It was going nowhere, apart from perhaps downhill. And then…..….. I can’t identify precisely what she said or how she said it but I suddenly understood her point of view. It’s like something clicked and I let go of […]

Give and get

March 26, 2012

Are you a person who tends to give as good as they get? Last week, as I was about to kick off a training course, three of the delegates arrived looking rather unenthusiastic to say the least. The three men sat down together – body language clearly indicating that they most definitely did not want […]

Lo siento

January 9, 2012

Some of you reading this will recognise the title of this week’s post as the Spanish term for “I apologise”. However, the phrase, in its literal form has a subtly different meaning. The words “lo siento” actually translate as “I feel it”. Somehow, to me it comes across as a far more heartfelt and empathic […]

High performance – its a matter of lubrication

August 22, 2011

We replaced our car a few weeks ago. The venerable old Mercedes had served us well for almost  twelve years, but the time had come to trade it in for something newer and more economical. We  made sure that our “new” car came supplied with evidence of regular servicing – reassurance that it had been cared […]

It takes two

February 28, 2011

As a training practitioner and coach I find that I am constantly learning new things myself and I’m sure I will do so for a good many years to come. I learn of course from fellow professionals, from books, the internet and other such sources. However, sometimes a powerful insight can come from a most […]

Is “you” the problem?

January 31, 2011

Have you ever been poked in the chest? Do you enjoy being poked in the chest? Somehow, I doubt it. Yet, so many of us do it to each other on a regular basis. In fact,  I did it big time to my partner just yesterday morning.  I realise that I have probably confused you, […]