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Conflict Competence

Can you be kind, positive and gracious, and have conflict or need to share difficult feedback? Dealing with conflict in a constructive fashion is a form of kindness — to the parties involved, to the team, and to the organization. But, research shows that 95% of the workforce (that means each one of us) avoid difficult conversations. And…every avoided conversation costs 8 hours of productivity. Yikes, how do we do better? Conflict Competence is a skill to be developed. A growth mindset means believing you can improve your abilities. If you feel you “aren’t good” at difficult, honest, direct conversations – try again, you will get better at it. Talk to someone you admire in this regard.  And, empower your team to do the same.

We all struggle with conflict, but the path to becoming conflict competent is to first adopt the right mindset, learn the skills and practice. With the right support system, a company can shift from a costly culture of avoidance to a prosperous culture of quick course-correction.

Leslie Phillips
CEO

 

Conflict Competence

Can you be kind, positive and gracious, and have conflict or need to share difficult feedback? Dealing with conflict in a constructive fashion is a form of kindness — to the parties involved, to the team, and to the organization. But, research shows that 95% of the workforce (that means each one of us) avoid difficult conversations. And…every avoided conversation costs 8 hours of productivity. Yikes, how do we do better? Conflict Competence is a skill to be developed. A growth mindset means believing you can improve your abilities. If you feel you “aren’t good” at difficult, honest, direct conversations – try again, you will get better at it. Talk to someone you admire in this regard.  And, empower your team to do the same.

We all struggle with conflict, but the path to becoming conflict competent is to first adopt the right mindset, learn the skills and practice. With the right support system, a company can shift from a costly culture of avoidance to a prosperous culture of quick course-correction.

Leslie Phillips
CEO

 

Buttered Chicken

Serves 4

1 1/2 c butter divided into three 1/2 c portions
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 c yellow onion, medium diced
1/2 T ea fresh garlic & ginger, minced
1/2 T garam masala
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 c heavy cream
3/4 c tomato sauce
s&p

Procedure

1. Brown chicken in first 1/2 c butter in large skillet over med-high heat. Set aside.
2. Sauté onion in second 1/2 c butter for 3 min.
3. Stir in garlic, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, & cayenne. Cook 1 min.
4. Add tomato sauce. Bring to simmer, let cook 5 min.
5. Add cream & browned chicken, with juices, simmer for 10-15 min over low heat.
6. Stir in last 1/2 c butter, s&p to taste.
7. Serve garnished with lime & cilantro, alongside rice & naan.

Brand Intelligence

We talk a lot about “brand” at MG. Lately, we’ve put even more focus on what that means because it’s way more than chef dude or interesting composed salads or signs on kraft paper. Yes, those are things we hope people recognize us for, but it’s way more. This article – What does your corporate brand stand for – reinforces why this is so important. Our brand is what we stand for and how others perceive we are doing with that (our reputation!). It’s critical that a company know their “brand core”:  what do we promise and how do we express that?

We have ten core values, but they are all summed up in our overarching goal:  to make a difference every day. From how we appreciate people to how we love food and our planet…this will never go out of style.

Leslie Phillips
CEO

Pink Lady

Makes 8 drinks

1/2 c cranberry juice
1/2 c fresh lime juice
3 c ginger ale or sparkling water, chilled
8 thin strips of lime peel

Procedure

1. cranberry juice & lime juice, chill.
2. Divide cranberry lime mixture between 8 stemmed glasses, top with ginger ale or sparkling water.
3. Garnish with lime peel.

Note: for adult beverage, can substitute 2 c of vodka & 1 c cointreau or triple sec for the ginger ale

Pink Lady

Makes 8 drinks

1/2 c cranberry juice
1/2 c fresh lime juice
3 c ginger ale or sparkling water, chilled
8 thin strips of lime peel

Procedure

1. cranberry juice & lime juice, chill.
2. Divide cranberry lime mixture between 8 stemmed glasses, top with ginger ale or sparkling water.
3. Garnish with lime peel.

Note: for adult beverage, can substitute 2 c of vodka & 1 c cointreau or triple sec for the ginger ale

Be Curious

As the holidays approach, friends begin to share pictures of their young children with Santa. These pictures are often touching and humorous, all at the same time. Their faces. Some scared, some excited, some curious. Children are curious. They ask a lot of questions like, “how does Santa fly around the world delivering all those presents with just a sleigh pulled by 8 reindeer?”

“Questions ‘ignite curiosity” (see my last post). And this article echoes that point.
When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are wrong) and to stereotyping people.

The research maintains that if you start your day asking yourself, what is one topic I am curious about today vs. what is one thing I’ll complete today…you will be more innovative. So go ahead, be curious. Challenge YOUR status quo and invite your team to do the same.

Leslie Phillips, ESQ
CEO

Pimento Cheese Biscuits

Makes Approx. 24, 2″ biscuits

2 c AP flour
1 t sugar
1 T baking powder
8 T cold butter, cubed
3/4 c milk
1/3 c pimentos, drained, diced
1 1/2 C sharp cheddar, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
3. Cut in butter until pea size.
4. Add pimentos & cheese.
5. Make a well, slowly add milk.
6. Knead dough with fingers, add more milk if needed.
7. Roll & cut desired size.
8. Bake 8-12 minutes, until golden.
9. Brush with melted butter, serve warm.

Mock Chocolate Truffles

Serves 6

Cookies:
8 oz oreos
2 T rum
1 3/4 c Confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 c orange juice
6 oz chocolate chips, melted
1 c pecans, finely chopped

Glaze:
1 c confectioners sugar
2 T rum, more or less

1. Crush cookies into fine crumbs
2. Blend sugar, liquids, melted chocolate
3. Stir in cookie crumbs & pecans
4. Chill dough until stiff, about 1 hr
5. Form into 1″ balls & chill
6. Dip into glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa

What’s Your Question?

We are taught at a very young age that having the right answers is really, really important. Since 1984, Alex Trebek (of Jeopardy!) has entertained millions of viewers who love hearing him ask questions for which there is a right answer. But life and work? Not so much. Both are full of….gray. Possible solutions, different approaches, and very little pure right or wrong.

So then, how do we let loose of having to have the answers? We ask questions.
Questions “ignite curiosity, which comes before solutions…The rehashing of old ideas produces stability at first and stagnation in the end.”
Use questions to share ideas and values. Questions like: what makes this important to you, what would you like to do about that, how can I help you?

Yes, leaders help solve problems. But more importantly, leaders explore possibilities.

Leslie Phillips, ESQ
CEO

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