Solving problems with compassion is the Humanist way

The number one thing I teach that gets the most push-back is compassion.People just don't want to be nice to people they don't like. But compassion really is the key to better interpersonal relationships and therefore better problem solving.

Most of the problems we encounter involve other people. We need other people's help. Or other people are in our way - or actively working against us. Whatever the problem is - it involves another person.

Being nice and compassionate helps you solve your problem in 2 main ways.

1) Thinking compassionately about the individual you are in conflict helps you think more critically and realistically about the problem and how to resolve it. Most people are self centered, which means - most people are not intentionally hurting you. They are just trying to help themselves.

2)  Knowing this, allows you to not turn what isn't a conflict - into a conflict. Instead, you can chose your reactions to what is going on - to increase the cooperation and decrease resistance. And this is most easiest done when you aren't treating other people like threats, but as potential allies. And to do that, it helps to think of people compassionately.

To help you learn these skills, I have an online course - Living Made Simpler, it takes you through humanist morality, the use and application of compassion, critical thinking and how to use these skills to cope more effectively.

Basically - how can you use Humanism to be more effective, have better relationships and feel more fulfilled?  Yeah - compassion.

Here is the link to the course:

Social Entrepreneur combating bullying and harassment

My goal – is to stop bullying.  I teach how to train a bully to stop using behavioral techniques known as operant conditioning. Basically – the science of how you train someone to leave you alone.  I have a website dedicated to this topic and the sharing of this information:

I founded an online learning company – called Humanist Learning Systems to help promote this social agenda.

Regarding why I started Humanist Learning Systems.  Here is the problem. To stop bullying, I need to teach parents – how to more effectively help their kids – by teaching the parents the science – so that they can support their kids through a bullying situation and help the child stop it successfully. 
I have 3 inter-related problems.

1) I am only 1 person. And I can’t possibly teach every parent in the country what I know – individually. I have to scale up to accomplish this.

2) Parents don’t know I can help them and so don’t know to look for me. This is both an advertising problem but also an awareness problem. Most people don’t know there is actually a science-based approach that can help them – so they don’t even know to look for the right kind of help. 

3) In order to dedicate myself to this project I have to get paid. This is a full time job of a project and I can’t dedicate myself to it unless I have the money to support myself. So I do have to get paid to do this work.

The opportunity:

I want to teach parents how to teach their kids to stop bullies.  Where are the parents? In the workplace. Being subjected to harassment training every 2 years that doesn’t actually teach them anything useful. Every 2 years, most adults in the country are taught – harassment is against the law. Don’t do it. But what if … this training taught them – if it happens to you – here is how you get it to stop. Using science.  If I could tweak the existing harassment training programs to include this important information – I could reach the very parents I want to reach on the scale I want.

The business:

Provide sexual harassment training – that includes the behavioral science information that people need and want. By doing so – I am not just getting paid to do a training. I am also providing parents with the information they need to help their kids.

 What has grown out of this is that I also provide training to entrepreneurs and individuals on how to deal with unwanted behavior like passive aggression, cranky customers and more.  All information adults want – but that also provides the information they need as parents to help their kids.

Hire me:

To take one of my courses or hire me to help your staff - check out the courses I offer at: 

I'm told I give really good advice.

Whether you are dealing with a difficult situation at work, or you want to reconcile with an estranged family member.  I can help you think more clearly and therefore more effectively about your problems so that you can solve them in a way you are going to feel really good about.

How do I do it? Applied humanist philosophy. Actively invoking your ethics as you decide what to do about any given situations, tends to yield good results. Seriously it does.

First, taking the time to think, interrupts your instinctual response so that you can choose your response.

Second, thinking about what a good response would be - first requires you to do some thinking about what a good or ideal outcome is.  Notice, this involves the word - good - which involves moral judgement.

Third, once you know what it is you ideally would like to have happen, you can be strategic about how you go about accomplishing that.  I spend a lot of time talking to people who have an outcome in mind and are doing the exact opposite thing to what they should be doing to get what they want.  It's crazy to me.  Take some time to think about the consequences of your actions so that you can have some idea of whether want you want to do will work or not.

Finally, I help give permission to people to strive to be a good person. It's really ok.  Your struggles are normal. Life is hard. Choosing to embody your values doesn't guarantee success, but spending some time  engaging in critical thinking and challenging your assumptions helps.

One way to think of Humanism is that it is the applied study of what it means to be a good human being.  Think of what a good person would do - and then do that.

The compliment to Humanist morality is critical thinking.  We humanists do both.  Compassion tell us what a good outcome is. Critical thinking helps us create a strategy to actually accomplish it.

Finally - the last component is responsibility. We know what the right thing to do it. We have a plan on how to accomplish it. But none of that matters if we don't take action.

Reason and compassion in action. That is what Humanism is. And it really does make life easier.

If you want to learn more about how to actually apply the humanist philosophy in your daily life- I have an online course to help:

How can you use technology to streamline a conflict resolution process?

I provide online training on how to stop unwanted behavior like bullying/harassment using behavioral science. This knowledge can also be applied to conflict management and I have several programs which address how to do that.

The question – can a tech solution to help streamline conflict resolution is an interesting one.  Because the answer is – it depends.  It depends on what exactly is happening.

Conflict isn’t simply a disagreement. It’s a disagreement that has devolved into a personal fight – at least on one side. Often on one side. It’s an unprofessional response to a professional disagreement.

Conflict can also be a symptom of bullying. Where the bully uses conflict to justify their behavior.  Bullying often masquerades as conflicts. 

With these 2 things in mind – there are a couple of things HR can do to use tech to help them.

1.    They can use tech to help provide training to the people “in conflict” to help them learn how to better and more professionally deal with it so it stops being a conflict and goes back to being a disagreement.  This does not take the place of counseling and coaching though. It’s more – complementary to counseling and coaching. The person coaching the individuals through the “conflict” can have them read things or take an online class as part of the counseling/coaching.

2.    The other way they can use tech is as a whistleblowing/reporting  system.  Because conflicts are manifested as inappropriate and unprofessional workplace behaviors, the goal is to get the unprofessional behavior to stop. Additionally, since what looks like conflict may actually be bullying, providing staff with a way to report incidences of unprofessional behavior will help HR a) know what is going on and b) provide a record of unwanted/unprofessional behavior which can be used to justify employment action is retraining fails, which it often will if the problem is bullying. Basically – a whistleblower/reporting system can help you figure out if what is happening – is actually bullying, when used correctly.

To learn more - take one or several of my courses at: 

I am an HRCI & SHRM approved provider. 

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