Officers

Introduction

Here you can find everything you need to know as a Officer.

Tools

Here are some automatic tools that can make your role much easier:

Role Guides


Training

Revised: 05 February 2017 by leader.gifGreatJackal

Why Officer Training?

Whilst a lot of people are able to manage and lead others to a reasonable standard, the standard DI wants from its officers is higher than average. So training was introduced to cater for everyone, including those who are new to leading, and those who are veterans (even in RL). Whilst you may know how to lead and manage, you may not be used to the protocols expected of you as an officer in DI. Things such as what exactly your role is and how it fits in with the rest of the clan etc. Doing the training allows Leadership to trust that the people they are about to promote into potentially significant positions are ready to do it, the DI way.

Does doing the training guarantee me a promotion to officer?

No. The training will give you the Officer Training Event Attendance Token (which counts towards your Event Attendance) that will display to Leadership and Commanders that you are ready and prepared to take on more responsibility. Promotion will be based on position availability, so if 20 people do the training and only 10 positions are available, then only 10 will be promoted.

What is Officer Training

Part One – Officer Induction Test

The Officer Induction Test is a straightforward multiple choice test that will test your understanding of all the subject areas listed above. There are also several situational questions that requires deeper thought and common sense to answer, which will measure your ability to think like an officer and manage various situations that our officers experience on a day to day basis. Its not hard, and you dont have a time limit to complete it. Spend time reading through the following sections to ensure you have a good understanding prior to taking the Officer Induction Test:

  1. Character
  2. Unit Compliance
  3. Enforcing Discipline
  4. Member Demographics
  5. Officer Bans
  6. An Exceptional Understanding of the Code of Ops

Part Two – Justice Session

The Justice Team runs a Training Session once a month on TeamSpeak that covers some key points surrounding the enforcement of discipline and the less well known situations where you may need to strike someone. It also covers the appeals process so your strikes are not overturned due to poor preparation.

Successful Completion

Once you have completed both parts you will be awarded the:

Award

cert1.png[DI] Officer Induction Training

How do I sign up?

Speak to the Commandant of your Legion.


Character

Revised: 05 February 2017 by leader.gifGreatJackal

Professionalism

Lead by Example

What kind of behavior do you want to see from our member base? Show it to them. Consider what we value highest as a community. Organization, teamwork, maturity, excellence. Demonstrate each of those things in everything you do.

Maturity

Don’t troll your members, even if you think they are not offended by what you have to say. When you become an Officer, you put aside the need to troll and joke around, because it undermines your respect. You are not there to entertain your members or be funny, you are there to lead them. At the very beginning of your tenure, caution on the more reserved side and as time goes on you can loosen up a bit, but never cross the line.

Take Responsibility

You will be held accountable in DI as an Officer. Understand what exactly your role is and make sure you are doing it well. When something does go wrong – and it will, nobody is perfect – own up to it and ask for help. The situation will be resolved with much less anguish if you approach your superior and simply explain. Attempting to hide the error and push the blame onto someone else for your mistakes will only cause tension, compound the original problem and make people both up and down the chain of command lose respect for you.

Initiative

Never wait to be told what to do. Take the initiative and resolve the problem yourself. See what can be improved within your area and take active steps to improve it. This is what sets good officers apart from mediocre ones.

Conflict Resolution

Never wait for someone else to handle a situation involving conflict. Take action immediately and resolve conflict at the lowest level possible (eg. two members arguing does not require the Leader to be messaged, its a simple situation that can be resolved by a Junior Officer).

Take Action

Don’t just sit back and watch; leadership is not a spectator sport. Take control of the situation. Depending on severity levels of the discord there are multiple things you can do from changing the subject, separating the participants, mediating on the spot to even banning one/both/all temporarily from ts/forums for a time out.

Identify the Issue

What is really going on here? Its important to understand the root of the problem so you can tailor your response accordingly. Learn and practice active listening – the art of rephrasing what someone has just said to you for the purpose of confirming understanding. This is where you are listening 90% of the time and are talking 10% of the time.

Cool, Calm and Collected

It can be easy to get pulled into things, lose objectivity, perspective and even your cool. Remember you are there to mediate and solve problems not create them. Keep Cool, Calm and Collected are three invaluable principles.

Find a Resolution

When intervening you take responsibility of the situation along with that control. At this point it is now up to you to work with the parties involved and make sure there is a solution to the issue. That can mean anything from simply monitoring for a short time to make sure no hostilities break out again up to involving the justice system for official mediation. This is where you are talking 90% of the time and listening 10% of the time.

Communication

As an Officer, most of your role will involve constant and effective communication. Communication can be a tricky concept to master within a clan, particularly one with complex levels and multiple issues which arise from being in multiple games. No one likes not knowing whats happening because the communication is poor.

Trust

Open communication can reduce feelings of uncertainty and distrust, which makes for a more productive clan environment. Its important to note that the trust doesn’t just translate downwards, but its upwards as well. By ensuring those around you are kept in the loop all the time about your plans and how you are achieving the goals and objectives they gave you, it will improve the trust from them to you. They may even grant you more responsibility knowing you don’t need to be micro-managed to see it done.

Relationships

Communication is essential to building relationships between all members and officers, both on a professional and social level. An atmosphere of open communication makes it safe for members to express their ideas; as a result, you will have the benefit of your all your members and officers combined experience in coming up with innovative solutions. Communication prevents members from feeling isolated, builds teamwork, and creates a more collegial atmosphere in the group. When relationships are strong, members are better able to trust one another and work together more effectively, which in turn, increases activity.


Unit Compliance

Revised: 25 February 2017 by leader.gifGreatJackal

Compliance Overview

Compliance is the minimum baseline activity and operating protocols that qualify a certain unit (eg. Team) of our structure as “Compliant”. Not remaining compliant will cause a unit to be downgraded or disbanded.

Units of Damage Inc

  • Legion
  • Super Division
  • Division
  • Team (Competitive)
  • Team (Casual)

Compliance Responsibility

The Commander or Team Leader of a unit is ultimately responsible for the compliance of that unit. They must ensure all tasks are conducted to ensure that the unit remains compliant and operating in Damage Inc’s interests or face disciplinary action or disbandment.

It’s an Honor

At the end of the day, being granted command of a unit is an honor within DI that must be earned and upheld. Losing a unit due to negligent command is one of the worst blows to morale that the clan can suffer.

Legion

Requirements to remain Compliant

– Maintain 200+ members on the Master Division Registry
– Maintain 4 – 7 Divisions and/or Super Divisions, with Commanders appointed
– All Divisions in Legion are Compliant

To attain the status

– Decided by the Leader based on clan needs

Officer Allocation

– 1 x Director (Command Position)
– 1 x General (Support Position)

Super Division

Requirements to remain Compliant

– Maintain 50+ members on the Master Division Registry
– Maintain 4 – 9 Teams, with Team Leader positions appointed
– Host 1 or more Official Division-Wide Events per month
– All Teams in Division are Compliant

To attain the status

– A Division must reach 50+ members on the Master Division Registry
– Division has been commanded by the same Commander successfully for 3+ months (changing Commander’s resets this)

Officer Allocation

– 1 x General (Command Position)
– 1 x Vice (Support Position)

Division

Requirements to remain Compliant

– Maintain 20+ members on the Master Division Registry
– Maintain 2 – 9 Teams, with Team Leader positions appointed
– Host 1 or more Official Division-Wide Events per month
– All Teams in Division are Compliant

To attain the status

– A Venture Team must reach 25+ members on the Master Division Registry of which at least 8+ are full members

Officer Allocation

– 1 x Commander (Command Position)
– 1 x Vice (Support Position)

Competitive Team

Requirements to remain Compliant

*Maintain 5 – 15 Members (including Team Leader / 2IC) on the Master Division Registry
– Host 3 or more Official Events per week
– Conduct at least 1 x Clan vs Clan event per month (if part of a Competitive Division)
– Maintain a Team Topic in respective Division sub-forum
– Ensure Team Member Profiles are updated to reflect Team/Division information
*Exception for Rocket League (3+ min team) & Atlas Reactor (4+ min team)

To attain the status

– Managed and set by the respective Division Commanders

Officer Allocation

– 1 x Captain (Command Position)
– 1 x Lieutenant (Support Position) (if applicable)

Casual Team

Requirements to remain Compliant

– Maintain 5 – 15 Members (including Team Leader / 2IC) on the Master Division Registry
– Host 1 or more Official Events per week
– Maintain a Team Topic in respective Division sub-forum
– Ensure Team Member Profiles are updated to reflect Team/Division information

To attain the status

– Managed and set by the respective Division Commanders

Officer Allocation

– 1 x Captain (Command Position)
– 1 x Lieutenant (Support Position) (if applicable)

Venture Team

Requirements to remain Compliant

– Maintain 5 – 25 Members (including Team Leader / 2IC) on the Master Division Registry
– Host 2 or more Official Events per week
– Maintain a Team Topic in respective Division sub-forum
– Ensure Team Member Profiles are updated to reflect Team/Division information

To attain the status

– Managed and set by the Community Division Commander

Officer Allocation

– 1 x Captain (Command Position)
– 1 x Lieutenant (Support Position) (if applicable)

Enforcing discipline

Revised: 05 February 2017 by leader.gifGreatJackal

Overview

There may come a time where you as an Officer must take disciplinary action against members who have broken our Code of Ops. As an officer you are expected to uphold and enforce our Code of Ops to its fullest extent with no exception and across the entire clan. There may also be times that you may have to strike a member from another Team, Division etc when none of that member’s officers are online.

Power of Officers in Damage Inc

Junior Officers are empowered/have access to:

  • Strike Members below them in rank
  • Temp Ban on TeamSpeak for up to 24 Hours

Senior Officers are empowered/have access to:

  • – Strike Members below them in rank
  • Temp Ban on TeamSpeak for up to 7 Days

Leadership are empowered/have access to:

  • Strike Members below them in rank
  • Permanently Ban on TeamSpeak

Striking Members from other Divisions

If you see someone committing a breach of Discipline, and:

  • A)An Officer is online from their Division (and not afk!, they must be responsive to a poke), then
    1. Poke the Officer, and let them know what you just witnessed.
    2. That Officer is to investigate, and issue strikes as required/Suspend from Forums/TeamSpeak as required etc.
  • B)There is no Officer online from their Division, or the Officer is not responding to a TeamSpeak poke, then
    1. The Officer who witnessed the discipline breach is to issue the Strike/s, and Suspend from TeamSpeak/Forums as deemed reasonably necessary (ensuring the Strike entry contains evidence (if applicable/where possible).
    2. The Officer who witnessed the discipline breach is then to PM the Commander and Team Leader of the offender, notifying them of the breach that occurred, and the actions taken (including any strikes/suspensions).

If there is a disagreement from the:

  • Team Leader or Vice of the offender with any aspect of the Strike issued (either the quantity, the type of offence striked for, the reason for striking etc), they must take the case to their Commander, who must review all the facts and determine whether the strike is deserved and abides with DI’s Code of Ops.
  • Commander of the offender with any aspect of the Strike issued (either the quantity, the type of offense striked for, the reason for striking etc), they must:
    1. PM the Chief Justice with their concerns, providing reasoning as to why they deem the strike as unreasonable.
    2. Encourage the offender to Appeal their strike within the Justice System.

Important Notes

  • Even after consideration of a Commander’s disagreement, the Justice Committee may rule that the strike stands.
  • The Commander (or anyone) must not intimidate, berate, insult or attack the Witnessing Officer in anyway, as they are the ones who did what is expected of them as an Officer at the time the event took place, and upheld the discipline of DI in the absence of an officer from the offender’s division.
  • If the member decides not to appeal their strike, then the strike will stand regardless of whether the Commander believe it unreasonable or not.
  • The Commander is not obliged to challenge a strike of one of their members, even if one of their Division Officers believe it was unreasonable.

Summary

  • All Officers have the Right to Strike any member, regardless of Division, as long as the conditions above have been met.
  • The purpose of allowing cross-division discipline enforcement is to ensure that members do not take advantage of AFK or offline opportunities to breach the Discipline code set forth by Damage Inc.

Member Demographics

Revised: 05 February 2017 by leader.gifGreatJackal

Overview

Understanding why members join Damage Inc and continue with us throughout time can assist officers to ensure that we maintain a good quality environment that is attractive to members and potential members. Adapting your leadership style around your member’s needs and expectations, can create a scenario of much more effective leadership and in turn a healthy relationship of mutual respect and trust. There is generally three phases that members pass through during their time in Damage Inc and not all members pass through each one at the same time, and some never pass through all the stages.

First Stage – Game Focused

This is where new members start. They joined DI to play their main game with other people. Things like “Community” is initially a foreign concept, but it does not mean they don’t understand that there are other Divisions like theirs in DI with people similar to them coming on each day to play their game, work with a team, and help their Division grow.

Statistics

  • Approx 60% of the clan falls into this bracket
  • Most likely to have been in DI for approx 1-12 Months
  • Most likely to be the rank of “Initiate, Member, Companion, Junior Officers and some newer Senior Officers”

Strengths

  • Generally very good at the game they joined for, in fact will be leading the ingame points/scores across their Divisions in most cases, and even if they are not experts in their game, they are very eager to learn.
  • Eager to work with others in teams and within their division, because that is why they joined DI, to play their game with others online with other like minded individuals in an organized team environment.
  • Generally love to mentor others in their Division about their game, given their own ingame skill, they make great coaches in bringing up the skill of their teammates.

Weaknesses

  • Are more likely to leave DI if their game preferences change or they get bored, as their “buy-in” to the clan as a whole is not strong yet (which is standard, only time makes it strong).
  • Are less likely to care about, or understand the concept of “Community Events” and “Clan Competitions” and how it impacts the bigger picture within DI; some may avoid these events/efforts alltogether preferring to just focus on their own game.
  • Views effort and energy spent on their own, their Team’s or their Division’s ingame efforts and achievements as more important than effort and energy spent on the clan as a whole and/or its community.

Second Stage – Community Growth

This stage is generally reached when a member seeks to learn more about other aspects of DI (irrespective of whether this interest is driven by curiosity or boredom of their current game). They make more effort reading, talking about the community with others, and understanding all the information on the forums, clan site, announcements etc and in turn through this gain a better understanding of where DI is going (big picture) and why the clan is structured the way it is (purpose) making them exceptional community mentors (and therefore more likely to achieve the Mentorship Clasp).

Statistics

  • Approx only half of the First Stage members reach Second Stage, the other half leave the clan or go inactive
  • Approx 30% of the clan falls into this bracket
  • Most likely to have been in DI for approx 3-18+ Months
  • Most likely to be the rank of “Companion, Senior, Veteran, Senior Officers, Junior Officers”

Strengths

  • More likely to understand the Big Picture (i.e. that DI exists outside of just one game or server, and that DI will still be around long after that game/server is dead).
  • Attends almost all Community Events, unless RL or timezone gets in the way.
  • Much more likely to move to other Division’s Channels, or the General Clan Channel on TeamSpeak to speak with people not in their Division (as well as increased activity in General/Off-topic sections on forums instead of just their Division).

Weaknesses

  • Can sometimes forget that ingame achievement and skill is still important for DI’s reputation (community is important, but not the ONLY thing that is important).
  • Generally more likely to oppose “change” within the clan, whether it relates to procedures, processes, requirements or rules, as they have become accustomed to a certain way of things and prefer to keep it that way.
  • More likely to not be as active ingame within their Division (despite being active within the community as a whole), which can hurt that Division’s ingame objectives and goals especially in games like SHK or MMO’s.

Final Stage – Enlightened

This is the final stage that members, who have spent a significant proportion of their time and effort remaining committed to DI, reach. These tend to be members who have been around for years (with the intent of remaining for years to come) through the good times and the bad times and who’s loyalty has remained unquestioned. They are pillars of wisdom and knowledge that form the foundation of the clans culture and structure, and worth speaking to if you do not want to re-invent the wheel or make the same mistakes that many of those before had made.

Statistics

  • Very few people reach this stage (the effort and time commitment is significant and often life changing)
  • Approx 10% of the clan falls into this bracket
  • Most likely to have been in DI for approx 18-36+ Months
  • Most likely to be the rank of “Veteran, Ace, Senior Officers, Leadership”
  • Likely to hold a Ring of the First 9

Strengths

  • Generally they consider DI to be everything to them, and they will go to great lengths to protect it from harm or rogue attacks, including isolating and destroying threats both external and internal.
  • Generally their knowledge and wisdom of “having been there and done that” is a significant resource in upholding the clan’s culture and extremely valuable in mentoring others (especially officers) and ensuring that mistakes of the past are not repeated.
  • Generally extremely comfortable with how DI operates, and strong supporters of its infrastructure and setup (or they wouldn’t have lasted so long!) with a focus on continuous excellence (always looking for ways to improve and fix things, even if its not broken).

Weaknesses

  • Years of commitment and dedication can takes its toll, and often leads to burnout. Whilst their loyalty remains unquestioned, their activity can wane and decay as time goes on reducing the effectiveness of their strengths. Eventually they will be swallowed by the jaws of history and join the afterlife as a shadow of their former self. This may have catastrophic impact for the clan if these members are officers who do not recognize this about themselves and step down from their positions of power.
  • Generally even more likely than those in Second Stage to oppose “change” within the clan, especially if it goes against what they are used to or against the status quo.

Bans

Revised: 05 February 2017 by leader.gifGreatJackal

Overview

As an officer you are held to higher standards than regular members, and you are expected at all times to set a good example to the rest of the clan. If officers set a bad example it creates dysfunction within the clan, and this has a snowball effect towards the members. However DI understand that sometimes you have to step down for reasons outside your control (such as when something comes up in RL) or when you have served a long and successful tenure and wish to take a break.

Officer Ban Period

In good faith:

If you step down (and your division, team or appointment is in good standing and served in your position/current appointment for at least 3+ months)
A mandatory officer ban of 2 months will apply
If are removed in good faith a subsequent time
A mandatory officer ban of 2 months will apply

In bad faith:

If you step down (and your division, team or appointment is in bad standing and/or served in your position/current appointment for less than 3 months)
A mandatory officer ban of 6 months will apply
If you are demoted (for any reason INCLUDING being placed on Probation)
A mandatory officer ban of 6 months will apply
If are removed in bad faith a subsequent time
A mandatory officer ban of 12 months will apply each time

Disclaimer

  • Moving between positions in a division is allowed, with approval of Commander. Side-ways moving (same role, different division) is prohibited and results in an officer ban.
  • Directors and above are able to issue longer Officer bans depending on the case/history.

Difference between ‘Good Faith’ and ‘Bad Faith’

Relatively self explanatory. Stepping down In good faith you have served in your position well for a decent amount of time, you have have provided stability and support and there was not an issue with your performance or motivation (aka you were a good officer) and you are able to hand your team/division/position over without baggage (issues) to your successor. This may occur when something in RL came up or you have grown fatigued from leadership and you had to step down to take a break. The ban period should not to be seen as a punishment, but rather a well earned break where you wont be asked to provide more to DI (and buying you the time you need to sort out your RL issues).

On the other hand, if you are stepping down in bad faith, it means you are stepping down in a period where your division, position or team needs you most. You are leaving behind chaos for someone else to step in and fix. This may sometimes be unavoidable, especially if you are a Venture Leader or a new Commander and something in RL forces you to step down. It is what it is and no ban will be waived. So think carefully about instances that may impact you in RL before accepting more responsibility in DI and whether you can give at least 3+ months to that position. On the other end, if you are demoted, the ban is very straightforward and means you need to spend more time in DI as a member learning about how the clan works and the culture that is expected.

Why Officer Bans Exist

Officer Bans were created to manage instability of officers within the clan by ensuring that people who take the positions of officership actually have the time, skills and motivation to succeed in that position. It is also to ensure that officers who were demoted in one division don’t become promoted in another. At the end of the day, not everyone is suited to leading and in many instances they need more training and experience in DI before taking on this responsibility. It is also not acceptable for people to take responsibility but without the proper time to devote to the efforts involved in a leadership position.

Whilst on an Officer Ban, that particular person is not able to serve in any officer role. They cannot lead teams, divisions or serve in any official capacity (even as a member rank). The Officer Ban Register should be consulted by Commanders and Leadership before considering the promotion of someone to officer. In extremely rare circumstances an officer ban may be waived for operational reasons, but requires approval by the Leader of Damage Inc and will not be approved unless all other options are exhausted.


Difficult Conversations

Created by Zezette

What is a Difficult Conversation?

A difficult or challenging conversation is a conversation where you have to manage emotions and information in a sensitive way in order to:

  • Address poor performance or conduct
  • Deal with personal problems
  • Investigate complaints/deal with grievances
  • Comfort or reassure someone
  • Tackle personality clashes

The conversation usually takes place one-to-one and can really test an Officer’s skills.

You can find out more about this section in the Conflict Resolution section in either the Team Command Guide or Division Command Guide.

Why Should I Act Now?

If you do not act now then you could:

  • Mislead the Member by giving the impression that there is no problem
  • Deny the Member the chance to improve or put things right
  • Damage the productivity and efficiency of your Team/Division/Clan
  • Lower the morale amongst Team Members

What Skills Do I Need?

Many of the skills needed to manage difficult conversations and behaviour are often referred to, in a rather derogatory tone, as ‘soft’. But there’s nothing soft about dealing with an emotional or confrontational Member who may appear to be trying to unsettle or undermine you or other Members/Officers.

In order to get what you want out of a difficult conversation, you need to have:

  • Awareness of your emotions
  • Assertive language
  • Strong listening skills

You can find out more about this section in the Communication section in either the Team Command Guide or Division Command Guide.

Emotional Awareness

Take a minute to notice and name your emotions. Which is the most intense? Instead of trying to hide or ignore your feelings, focus on becoming aware of them. When you feel a strong emotion or feeling, take a second to stop what you’re doing, pay attention to that emotion, and try not to let it get in the way of your message. Both positive emotions, like happiness, and negative emotions, like anger, can get in the way of communication.

Feelings are never right or wrong. They simply exist. We are all entitled to have feelings. All human beings experience emotions like anger, envy, jealousy, sadness, frustration, and irritation.

People generally tend to suppress their feelings, whether they are aware of it or not. As children we are sometimes taught to suppress our feelings and then it becomes a habit. The result is that as adults we tend to be out of touch with our feelings. We begin to ignore and withhold them instead of acknowledge and respect them.

You must understand yourself before you can understand others.

Recognise Your Feelings

When your needs are satisfied, you feel:

  • Affectionate
  • Engaged
  • Hopeful
  • Confident
  • Excited
  • Grateful
  • Inspired
  • Joyful
  • peaceful
  • Refreshed

When your needs aren’t satisfied, you feel:

  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Afraid
  • Small
  • Shy
  • Annoyed
  • Jealous
  • Embarrassed
  • Guilty
  • Disconnected
  • Vulnerable
  • Tired
  • Restless
  • Overwhelmed
  • Hurt

Assertive Communication

Assertiveness means to communicate your thoughts and feelings honestly and appropriately. Assertive communication can be verbal and non-verbal. To express yourself assertively requires self-awareness and knowing what you want and need. It means showing yourself the same respect that you demonstrate toward others.

If you do not assert yourself by letting others know what your thoughts, feelings, wants and needs are, then they are forced to make assumptions about you in those areas. Assumptions have about a 50% chance of being correct. That means that you only have half a chance of people understanding you and responding to you in a way that you desire.

Once you begin to assert yourself, you will find that you begin to feel better about yourself, have more self-confidence, that you get more of what you want out of life, and that others will respect you more.

Be prepared that not everyone will be supportive of your changes in thinking and behavior. Some people that you interact with, such as family members or your significant other, may even demonstrate some negativity about these changes. This could be because change is difficult for them to accept, they are comfortable with what is familiar to them, they benefited from your passive people-pleasing behaviours, or they fear losing you through change. However, you can’t give up who you are to please other people or to keep certain people in your life. Take one day at a time, focus on the positive and be the best that you can be.

To clarify the variations of responses and styles of communication/behaviour, review the following descriptions.

  1. Passive:Always giving in to what others want. Don’t want to make waves. Don’t express your thoughts or feeling. Afraid to say no. Discounting your own wants and needs.
  2. Aggressive:Being demanding, hostile, or rude. Insensitive to the rights of others. Intimidates others into doing what they want. Is disrespectful.
  3. Passive-aggressive:You tell people what they want to hear, which avoids conflict. However, you really feel angry inside, and you don’t follow through on the expectations or requests, which makes the other person feel frustrated, angry, confused or resentful.
  4. Manipulative:Attempt to get what you want by making others feel guilty. Tend to play the victim or the martyr in order to get other people to take responsibility for taking care of your needs.
  5. Assertive:Directly stating honestly and appropriately what your thoughts, feelings, needs or wants are. You take responsibility for yourself and are respectful toward others. You are an effective listener and problem solver.

The Steps of Positive Assertiveness

  1. Prepare for a neutral conversationby first diffusing your emotions and by waiting until the other person is likely to be least reactive and most receptive.
  2. Deliver your messageas briefly and directly as possible, without being sarcastic, condescending or judgmental. Contribute to making the interaction a positive one..
  3. Be respectful.Allow enough time for the other person to respond without pressure.
  4. Reflectively listen.If the person becomes defensive, reflect to them what you hear them saying, and validate their feelings.
  5. Reassert your message.Stay focused on the original issue; do not be derailed.
  6. Reuse this process using a lot of reflective listening to decrease emotionality, debating or arguing. It takes two people to escalate things. Don’t participate.
  7. Focus on the solution without demanding that the person respond as you do. Because you brought it up, you have probably been thinking about it and resolved some aspects of the situation. Therefore it is important that you facilitate their participation in problem-solving the issue so that they don’t feel like they have been railroaded.

Personal Bill of Rights

  1. I have a right to ask for what I want.
  2. I have a right to say no to requests or demands that I cannot meet.
  3. I have a right to express all my feelings – positive and negative.
  4. I have a right to change my mind.
  5. I have a right to make mistakes and do not have to be perfect.
  6. I have a right to follow my own values and beliefs.
  7. I have the right to say no to anything if I feel that I am not ready, if it is unsafe, or if it conflicts with my values.
  8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
  9. I have the right not to be responsible for the actions, feelings, or behaviors of others.
  10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
  11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
  12. I have the right to be myself. To be unique.
  13. I have the right to express fear.
  14. I have the right to say “I don’t know.”
  15. I have the right to not give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
  16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
  17. I have the right to my own personal space and time.
  18. I have the right to be playful.
  19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
  20. I have the right to feel safe, and be in a non-abusive environment.
  21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
  22. I have the right to change and grow.
  23. I have the right to have my wants and needs respected by others.
  24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  25. I have the right to be happy.

Responding to Aggression

  1. Reflection:Reflect back on what the other person is saying to demonstrate that the message has been received. If you like, add information or self-disclosure.
  2. Repeated assertion:Instead of justifying personal feelings, opinions, or desires, repeat the original point. This requires ignoring issues that are not relevant or are meant to push buttons.
  3. Pointing out assumptions of the aggressor’s opinion or position:Do this and then wait for a response. Then state your own opinion or position.
  4. Use “I” statements:”I think,” “I feel,” etc. Also, talk specifically and not generally. “It makes me feel ______ when you do ______.”
  5. Ask questions:Questions are especially effective against non verbal aggression. Questions help the individual become more aware of non-warranted reactions and behaviors.
  6. Paradoxical statements:Making a statement that will make others realize that their aggressive statement could backfire on them.
  7. Time out:Stop, and pause. You can do this by excusing yourself in some way, such as ending a phone conversation. This is helpful when you need time to think about how you want to respond, such as refusing a request or demand.
  8. Repeat back:When you do not think that another individual is listening to you, ask a question such as, “What do you think I am asking for?”, or “What is your understanding of what I just said?”
  9. Feedback reversal:Clarify what you think is being said to you by restating what has been said, in your own words. For example, “Are you saying yes?”
  10. Clipping:If you feel like you are under attack, do not want the discussion to be prolonged, and do not feel like you want to defend your position, then answer directly: “yes” or “no.”
  11. The most effective negotiators bypass insults and treat them as accidents.They might use phrases like, “I might have phrased that differently, but I get your drift,” or “That’s not the first or last time I’ve heard something along those lines, but let’s get back to where we were making progress,” to steer a conversation headed for conflict back onto a more productive path.

Choose Your Battles

Difficult conversations take time and energy from your life that sometimes would be unwise to spend. Be sure you are only confronting situations that matter. It is easy to get caught up in the moment and think that an issue is vital to you, when it would be healthier for you to step back from the situation. Here are some signs such a conversation might be better left avoided and not pushed:

  1. There’s a low probability of winning without doing excessive damage.
  2. Upon reflection, winning isn’t as important as it originally seemed.
  3. There likely will be a time down the line when you can raise the issue again with a different person or in a different way.
  4. If the other party’s style is provocative whether speaking with you or others, it’s not worth taking personally
  5. You could win on the immediate issue, but lose big in terms of the relationship.