Matadors do not fight the bull

As part of the yearly review- we redid some Great Courses in our Reading Group.

Effective communication skills
PROFESSOR DALTON KEHOE gives a very nice step wise way of dealing with different situations

The first such course we reviewed was Effective Communications by Professor Dalton Kehoe of York University Toronto. One can learn many things from this course, which can be applied in personal and professional settings.


Here we review Lecture-19- compassionate confrontation


Compassionate Confrontation


In the lecture, scenarios of a warring couple, union-management disagreements, office irritations are analyzed.

Lecture 19 Art of Effective Communication 1
First meeting- they have a to- and -fro – lobbing -attack and defense mechanism, which ends with a service ace-below the belt,followed by the slamming door exit


Lecture 19 Art of Efffective Communication 2
Second time- Wife controls herself , takes out the Emotional charge and helps take the issue to a different level of understanding…each states their position , without the negative emotional charge

Couple…She-thinks she is a married single mother, a widow

He thinks he is working himself to death..remembers his father who died at this age


Union..the management thinks it is the “damn” union’s fault

The union think the management is overbearing, and does not listen

The mediator states the position-without the emotional charge..just the content.


Reframed-Concerned about the Union’s role-Major

1 matador
Matador does not fight the bull..lets the bull pass by source wikipedia

Modeling- Not allow negative emotional attacks

Concerns and contributing causes-not with the emotional charge


Office irritations..the co-worker is untidy, and there is complaint to supervisor

The supervisor refuses to take sides..tells you are concerned with cleanliness



The lecture tells about valuing the other towards a  better relationship


  • A commitment to understanding each other..
  • Make things better for both parties
  • Respect-value each other even in disagreement


Professor Kehoe does acknowledge that any couple or group with a high level of disagreement may take several sittings of a structured dialogue, before they can get to any agreement of the nature of the problem, and hence the solution.


Guidelines before starting the structured dialogue


  • Let us not leave until the time is up
  • Let us try not to interrupt or attack each other.



Steps of Structured Dialogue


1-Make a mutualizing acknowledgement

2-Say one sentence describing your view of the problem, then stop

3-Ask a question to get them to talk

4-Listen actively for understanding

5-Provide understanding feedback

6-Asks questions to clarify or confirm your understanding

7-Ask-“Do you mind if I tell you my side of the story?”

8-Ask for their feedback on your words

9-Repeat as needed

10-Solve the problem.


DISCUSSION..Persons following the course, will definitely benefit in their understanding of their life situations both in work and personal relations. In the general social setting we did a review of two scenarios in Libyan society-regarding the processes of structured dialogue.


In Scenario 1- the collapse of banking in Libya leading to lack of proper transfer.


The management believes that they are doing their utmost. The foreign workers say they have to answer to their families , what they are doing in a dangerous country like Libya if they cannot transfer their money.


The dynamics is altered by different players pressurizing the concerned parties, so it was not as straightforward as a couple having a disagreement or an office dispute in which one worker complains to the supervisor that her co-worker is untidy, or even a Union-Management discussion in a country where banking-security are taken for granted.


Management position- We cannot sign in dollars as banks are closed

Employee position– Why should we as individuals face the brunt of the falling dinar




Analyze any situation of disagreement situation from the angle of Joint personality of the group (to make things better for each other).  As Dr.Phil McGraw, says in his book –Family First- if there are four persons in a group-family, there are five personalities- One of each individual and then – a group personality.

What is the Group or joint personality of your group




Family First-


Family First -Dr Phil


Self Matters


Self Matters - Dr.Phil



Effective Communications

Management Effective Communications- Dalton Kehoe








4 thoughts on “Matadors do not fight the bull”

    1. Try downloading the whole course-and see the 24 lectures, make a workbook out of them, and try to have an accountability partner -in personal and professional life – with whom you will work through the course…I re-do this course every year- or even every six months..and see the lessons learnt page from real life

      Liked by 1 person

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