Archives for July 2015

Dr. Robi Ludwig: The Importance of Conflict Resolution Between Spouses

Marriage Conflicts Living In New York

Manhattan New York is a big place with lots of people. How do we all get along that is the question? I would guess married couples living in the city really do find this a challenge. Our places are cramped and essentially are forced to work out our differences. With that being said, we are need are space sometimes. Lets talk about marriages and living with our spouses.

Rarely do marriages fail at the onset. After all, many couples stay happily married for years, or decades, before the mortar in the wall begins to chip away. Often it begins with couples striving for different goals in arguments. As we all know, conflict is impossible to completely avoid. Even two like-minded people will eventually run into both petty disputes and earth-quaking, rapid-fire exchanges.

Avoiding arguments is not your goal. Simmering disputes on the verge of spilling over the pot will only result in an explosive showdown in Wal-Mart’s Aisle 3. All that matters is how you handle it.

Conflict Resolution Strategies

There are three main types of healthy problem solving. All require good communication between couples.

• Validation. These are arguments settled by two people calmly discussing their issues. Think pads of paper, pros and cons lists, and compromise.

• Explosive. Conflicts occasionally erupt, and when they do the neighbors are running for cover.

• Avoidance. Couples decide that problems are not worth fighting over and only leave major issues to dispute.

In recent years psychologists like Dr. Robi Ludwig Facebook (from New York) are finding that even explosive argument strategies (perhaps less a strategy and more a harshly-drawn line in the sand) lead to a healthy marriage. Arguments get the dust out from under the rug. It is when couples engage in self-destructive behavior instead of working through problems that the marriage’s foundation develops cracks. Dr. Ludwig is one of the leaders in the field of psychology. She has been featured in books and mostly on television providing her expertise. She discusses the issue everyday on her Huffington Post page.

Regardless of how you settle problems with your spouse, you still must provide affirmation, employ good listening skills, clearly communicate concerns, and avoid problematic behavior.

Is The Problem Attitude? Probably

How do you know when an argument has derailed from the subject at hand and evolved into something more sinister? It is usually attitude. Step back and consider if what you are saying is about your attitude toward your partner or, rather, an expressed interest in his or her feelings. You need to assess every argument for its core.

A common technique is to agree on a safe word. When the conflict gets heated and both people are red in the face, cut out and take a breather. Think about what has been said before the personal attacks arrive. If either of you are doing one of the following, the argument strategy must change:

• Being Defensive. It is incredibly easy to determine if someone is being defensive. They make excuses, pretending every event is out of their control. They shift responsibility onto others. They repeat themselves over and over, like a broken record, completely ignoring their spouse’s protests.

• Never Giving Ground. Throwing up walls makes things even more difficult. This is the final nail in the coffin of miscommunication. One-sided arguments, directed by one toward their silent spouse, is infuriating. This leads to questions like: What are they thinking? Do they hear me? Do they even care?

• Acting Savage. Never should an argument turn abusive, yet it frequently occurs. The insults start flying, accusations making light of the other person. Nothing destroys self-worth more, or entrenches them further in their argument, faster than mockery. Always strive to avoid making the argument personal, and focus on the facts of the case.

How to Effectively Resolve Arguments
By Robi Ludwig

You know the old saying “opposites attract?” What about “love is blind?” Nothing is stranger and harder to explain than the phenomenon of love. Authors, poets, musicians, and artists have tried since the dawn of creation and still, it’s a mystery.

Conflict arises because the opposites in our nature clash. An organized wife rolls her eyes at the husband who takes too long in the shower, yet again making them late for the Christmas party. Religious differences. Small lifestyle habits. All are differences fighting for control. The first step to overcoming these personality gaps is acknowledging the other person’s needs and accepting them for who they are.

No accepting your partner for who they are leads us to the perils of selfishness. As a snowball gathers strength, selfishness and a desire for control builds momentum and makes mountains out of molehills. But how do you up and change your personality at the drop of a hat? Learning to give ground sounds simple and preachy enough in theory, but what tangible actions need to be taken? Here are two of the most effective strategies:

1.) Pursue the other person. Think back to the initial desire. Back to the days when you were first dating. No, this is not an exercise to rediscover young love. Rather, it’s a way to love the person in front of you. People change. Your spouse has his or her own hobbies and interests. Involve yourself in his or her life more. Join a book club together or take up biking. You will be surprised how quickly common goals unite people.

2.) Use tact during conflict. Words seem to spill out so effortlessly when white-hot tempers begin flaring. Many of the harshest statements would never come out if people gave an extra second to think about the implications of their words. Treat your partner with respect during each argument and follow some basic rules:

• Are your motivations sound? Do you want to hurt your spouse with words, or are you trying to be persuasive?
• Do you sound neglectful, angry, or crass?
• Where are you arguing? Are you going to embarrass yourselves?
• Are you arguing the problem, or are you pointing out failures in the other person?
• Are you studying the facts, or are you making accusations toward about motives?
• Do you care if you “win,” or if you reach a happy conclusion?

Never assume the other person is hurt any less than you are by heavy conflict. As difficult as these moments are, these test your mettle as a couple. As a bonus, the couples who do become skilled at laying down the swords in favor of XOXOs typically take great pride that they are able to resolve issues like adults.

Hope the information provided by us and Dr. Ludwig is valuable.

Video of Robi Ludwig on ABC Nightline (1/28/15).

UPDATE: There has been many updates in Dr. Robi Ludwig’s career follow her on Twitter

The Function of Manhattan PR in the Collaborative Commons

PR Trust and Collaboration Manhattan

In his book The Zero Marginal Cost Society, Jeremy Rifkin analyzes a new economic structure beginning to take shape in our digital world. He outlines how computers, the internet, and (soon) 3D printing are drastically lowering the cost to do business, share goods, and provide services. We see the collaborative commons in every facet of our lives, even if we do not immediately recognize it for what it is.

On sites like Craigslist, people sell, trade, or even give away books, furniture, clothing, and entertainment. People start craft businesses with the click of a button on Etsy, and authors self-publish books and make small fortunes, circumventing publishing houses that drain their bottom line. Uber, AirBnB, and Breather all let customers connect together and operate using the internet and social media. So how does PR fit into this new world?

PR Provides Awareness

Companies like Uber will always have the easiest time carving a hole in their niche market. A unique idea, like a taxi service run via app service, instantly catches the public eye and is shared millions of times through social media and news outlets. Plus, nobody is dedicated to a taxi service for transport right?  If a better service is created and cheaper, then customers will use it. What about the second company? Or third? Some cities have online exchanges like Craigslist, which provide a platform for localized trade. You might have one in your area, but did you know about it?

New businesses need PR and marketing, even in the collaborative commons, and especially if they are competing directly with an established business. Right now, the digital world is like the Wild West – open and lawless, waiting to hit equilibrium. As that field gets more established, even companies providing small services need exposure to survive.

Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs need exposure. Returning to AirBnB for a moment, there are literally thousands of people competing with one another in larger cities. As of today, there are “1,000+” listings in New York City. In Cleveland, there are 358 open rooms. As the creative commons expands, private enterprises mean stiffer competition, and every bit of awareness counts.

Trust Building

Craigslist has gained a reputation of “you never know what you are going to get at the other end.” Customers on eBay and Amazon, however, choose to purchase from companies based on hundreds or thousands of positive reviews. Trust is difficult to build with anonymous users from all over the country. How do you stand out? The answer: a positive image.

Marketing techniques are the mortar to the brick wall of trust. As brands catch on and begin to branch out, they need someone to control their image and establish them as a useful enterprise. In today’s fickle digital world, a single positive moment can propel an unknown private business to stellar heights, while a single bad move can destroy a reputation forever.

PR Engages Customers

For most businesses in the collaborative economy, public interaction is limited to three things:

  • Whether you post goods to Amazon or your services to Lyft, your listing is typically reserved to a star rating, a photo, and a brief description.
  • User reviews. Reviews can typically be found on 2-3 sites, but this again is public perception. The first reviews also tend to set the tone of your future success.
  • Even if you have a website, many customers will not visit it if they just need to interact with your listing. How many items have you purchased from Amazon without following up on a company’s site?

PR firms provide a service beyond basic interactions through stock company profiles and customer reviews. They can personalize your message and reach the intended target market. One company, PR Partners, comes to me to facilitate that message. They seek Perry Rogers (a sports management PR professional) and its associates to drive a customized, relatable engagement that assures consumers top-quality service. In this new world of collaborative commons, the means of engaging the public has changed, but in my experiences, the reasons why have remained the same.  Perry Rogers focus is on working with celebrity athletes but still must keep in mind of all the Internet and technology elements involved for each Client.

The Collaborative Commons Demands SEO

Search engines reign supreme when it comes to reaching the public. Companies striving to reach new customers and deliver their brand to the public need to compete on an opening marketplace. That marketplace – the internet marketplace – is tested by search engine rank. This works for online newsrooms, blogs, internet articles, and more.

How do you reach the public when everyone is competing in the same, small space? The internet is large, but the top searches of Google are decidedly small. Ten or fewer searches make it into the top, and few people click to the second page of search results to find the information they need and get the services they requires.

Today, PR is not just about delivering a message, it is about showcasing knowledge to internet with searchers. To build trust, companies must now provide information to prove they have the power and expertise to deliver exactly what consumers demand. Savvy PR firms attempting to keep with the times need to respect those changes and give the brands they represent heightened exposure, and with that exposure comes more traffic/search rankings. Welcome to the internet age.