When couples deal with marital conflict, they must make a choice.They can opt power and seek to win. Or they can opt for love and seek to reach accord.


Recently at a private dinner party, I was introduced to Marcia Schreiner, a middle aged lady from USA who was holidaying in Sri Lanka. An after dinner chats with her revealed that Marcia is a professional Marriage Counselor with a Master’s Degree in Marriage Counseling and over 20 years clinical experience. We talked about her experience in dealing with marriage conflicts and this piece is based on her disclosures.

Every married couple knows, marriage provides fertile ground for conflict. Simply by sharing space and time, husbands and wives limit one an other’s freedom in a score of ways, every day. How well the marriage works depends to a great degree on how well the couple learns to handle the conflicts arising from these limitations. Some couples fall into the trap of dealing with disagreements on a win-or-lose basis. They do not realize that the idea of “winning” a marital conflict is an illusion that one person’s ”victory” inevitably turns into a loss for both.


How can a person discover whether he or she seeks to win rather than to resolve marital conflicts? Marcia says, if you use extreme or irrational tactics to gain your point, or if you are willing to hurt your spouse to win or if you exploit compromise to avoid losing an argument, then you are one of those people.

There are also other techniques for maneuvering to win. One is demanding a payoff for past favors. I’ve typed all your reports. The least you can do is this.” Another is to claim to be tolerant about mistakes your partner has made and then demand to win. “I’ve put up with a lot from you lately. You surely aren’t going to fight about this.” Still another is to hoard old emotional hurts, carefully nurturing them and producing them at a climactic moment. `That’s the same lousy trick you pulled three months ago. Only this time you are not getting away with it.”


Why do some husbands and wives feel they must fight to win? What are the subtle motivations that lie behind the need to be a winner? Marcia says, sometimes “‘winning” is necessary to maintain a partner’s self-esteem. People who are essentially insecure often struggle to create a false image – both to impress outsiders and subconsciously, to deceive themselves. For such people, to yield on any issue is to threaten the counterfeit personality they have created.

Marcia speaks about a person named jack Morgan who was a quiet, self- effacing government employee married to a lively woman who generally managed to have things her way. Morgan compensated for his feelings of inferiority by insisting that he was sensitive to her moods. “She walks in the door and I know what she’s thinking,” he said. Often, he would suddenly ask, “What’s the matter?” This never failed M irritate her. She’d say, ‘Nothing.” He’d say, “Of course there is. I can tell you’re angry.”

By this time, she was furious, and her husband would point out how sight he was. He had won – but lost. Marcia says, certain issues – unimportant in themselves – might have great symbolic significance for a partner.

There was a couple who feuded for a month over a few dollars. She had wanted to send a letter to their son at camp by DHL; he insisted that it should go by airmail. Later, it was revealed that the husband who created a scene over extra postage was telling his wife that heaves angry and hurt that she seemed to pay more attention to their child than she did to him.


Obviously, some conflicts are inevitable in any marriage. So how can couples approach their disagreements constructively, seeking to resolve rather than win them?

Marcia gives some helpful steps:

  1. Keep in mind that marriage is a cooperative enterprise, note competitive one. The goal is not to settle which of you is right or wrong. The goal is to reach a solution both of you can live with a compromise that will make life together more pleasant.
  2. Learn the art of effective and honest compromise. That means, both parties are more or less satisfied with the end result, and, when each person must reasonably stick to it rather than seek delay or modification. Even if it is not ideal, a compromise that works is better than the most brilliant solution that one partner is likely to sabotage.
  3. Try humor as a way of mood change. A husband reports that his wife had a habit of writing little notes and reminders to him that she characteristically signs, “Loving wife.” “One night,” the man said, ‘we had a big argument. We went to bed still angry. The next morning, I found a note beside my coffee cup. It was a comment on our dispute, but was signed ‘Distant Relative: The joke didn’t solve anything, but it did open the way for us to start talking again.
  4. Avoid letting mild disagreements become full-scale conflicts. If you are arguing about where to go on a Saturday evening, keep the discussion on that specific point. Do not suddenly rake up serious differences about money, say, by accusing your spouse of being unwilling as usual” to spend little extra money on the evening’s amusement.
  5. Be careful about setting up or falling into power traps. Certain phrases-‘Give me an example” or ‘Prove it!” are rarely used by a person who knows he or she is losing an argument. Those are statements made by a person who is ready to move in for the kill. And, it often moves the argument away from its real point to what may be an irrelevant or petty side issue.

Ultimately, the basic reason why winning that not work is that it reduces marriage to a power struggle. And when power becomes the prevailing force, love is diminished. When couples deal with marital conflict, they must make a choice: They can opt power and seek to win. Or they can opt for love and seek to reach accord.

Writter : Lionel Wijesiri
Source : Sunday Observer


Know Your Market to Succeed in Business

Everybody always says that knowing your market is everything. Saying it one thing, but understanding why it is so important will help you stay ahead of the pack. Your market includes your customers, your suppliers and your competitors – to name the three most critical factors. These three are pivotal characters that define the success of your business.

Obviously, your customers are the people buying from your business. A good place to start to evaluate your customer is by looking at your competitors. What are other people out there doing that d similar to your business? What are they doing well? What do your customers like and dislike about the competition?

All businesses face competition. Even if you’re the only restaurant in town you must compete with cinemas, bars and other businesses where your customers will spend their money instead of with you.


With increased use of the internet to buy goods and services and to find places to go, you are no longer merely competing with your immediate neighbors. Indeed, you could find yourself competing with businesses from other countries. Your competitor could be a new business offering a substitute or similar product that makes your own redundant.

Competition is not just another business that might take money away from you. It can be another product or service that’s being developed and which you ought to be selling or looking to license before somebody else takes it up. Knowing what your direct and indirect competitors are doing is an important part of running a successful business. But it is an area that many companies ignore. That, not a good idea in today’s difficult market conditions when your rivals could well be keeping their eyes on you and planning how to steal a share of your business. Competitor intelligence is something few firms do well in, whether big or small. People tend not to do it thoroughly.

Know 100 percent

By finding out about your competitors you will avoid running your business will know better what you are up against in your market, what treats you face, and you will reduce the risk of the unknown.

You will be better placed to define a competitive advantage for your business. You will know who your customers might switch to, why and how likely this might be. You will learn how good your products or service are compared to your rivals and opportunities where you could perhaps improve performance. You will be to design sales and marketing communication strategy which presents sharper, more effective messages. Most businesses already know who their main, direct competitors are. Often they have worked with them or encountered them at trade events, heard of them through customers or seen their ads in the market or media. You should build up a list of all the main names and addresses.


It is also useful to think laterally about whom else might be in competitors for your customers. Many products and services could be considered as ‘non-essential’ and so customers may be choosing to spend their discretionary income between two very different sectors – for example, householders choosing between a holidays and buying some new furniture for the home. A lot of valuable intelligence can be gathered without leaving your desk. First of all, you can visit their web site and see how and where they are positioned.

Many companies have a presence on community and social networking sites. If a company is stock market listed, you can get a lot of information on the company. The best source of information about your competitors is likely to be your customers. Talk to them about their perceptions of your business and others in the same area or sector. As consumers are increasing shopping around for a bargain, price is becoming a big issue and it’s vital to know what your competitors are offering in terms of discounts. Price is more of a justification for purchase than ever before competitor analysis can throw up some interesting findings. You may find that your competitors are not who you thought they were.

When you start looking at competitors, you often find who you think are your competitors are not actually your main competitors. For example, if you have a mobile phone shop on a local high street then you might think your main rival is the other independent phone shop up the road.

But actually you are both probably competing with big out-of-town retailers well as with online phone supplies. In fact, having more than one type of supplier in the same area can help to bring more business your way as consumers feel they can get enough choice in the same area. In fact, your competitors could be even more varied than you think. When consumers are making difficult choices about how to tighten their belts, you may be competing with totally different products or services for their spare cash. Staying ahead of the competition is not easy but there’s no point in burying your head in the sand. When it comes to your rivals, Knowledge is the power.

Source: Sunday Observer
Writer: Kishu Gomez

Make Your Holidays To Develop Yourself.


Make a process satisfying and meaningful.

The New Year is around the corner. You have got your mind around celebrations already. A well deserved break from work and hectic routine life is there to be enjoyed. Give yourself the best treat you can ever imagine. Enjoy all the emotional feelings that go with it. Life doesn’t end with year end celebrations. You will encounter more competition as an individual and find the environment to be tougher in the New Year and you must be prepared to face that challenge. So make your process of rejuvenation satisfying and meaningful.


It’s a good idea to take time off during your vacation to reflect on your knowledge, skills and competencies to understand and comprehend which areas do need further sharpening to be a more successful person going forward. A personal audit is a great way for you to identify your strengths and your development is useful for people on the career track, ambitious managers and would be entrepreneurs.

I recommend setting aside some time this season to do it as a planned exercise to be effective. Go back over your most complete resumes with a fine tooth comb and unearth all the knowledge, skills, and competencies you possess. Many people go blank when you ask them about their skills. Sometimes it is easier to work backwards from what you have done to work out what you are good at. This is where a job analysis can help. An alternative strategy is just to sit yourself down and make a list of what you know you are good at. This will come easier to some than to others.

Simply start writing. You already know at least some of the things you are good at. You’ll find there are some skills you feel very confident with and others where you think you can do them ‘a bit’. Don’t be shy – this is not an exercise where you can be bashful. Be proud to list what you know you do well. You will come up with some skills without any prompting, but there will be many more.

Review whether your ‘top’ skills are the ones you want to use the most. Make a note of any skills you really enjoy using but know you need to develop further.


Auditing skills

A personal skills audit of what you have done outside of work can he very revealing and help you to value the skills you have gained from all areas of your life. You may find that there are skills you have developed here that you just don’t give yourself credit for. For example be the coach for a local volley ball team – using skills like leadership, motivation, encouragement, and training. If you really enjoy this, but do not hold a management or team leadership role at work, this might suggest that this could be a new direction for you in your career. And you already have many  of the skills you need.

The ultimate value in learning how to perform a personal or business skills audit is in the opportunities you now give yourself by recognizing what you have achieved already. Your confidence will receive a boost when you see just what you are capable of performing such an audit also helps you identify growth areas that might be holding back your business or career.

By matching your skills bundle with a problem you identify in your business or in the marketplace, you give yourself a much greater chance of attracting the achievements and respect that you truly deserve. Stepping back to really appreciate the full range of skills that you already have will guide you towards identifying those you may need in the future.

Career change

If you are contemplating a career change, then you need to build up a detailed understanding of your strengths and talents. If you are clear on this, then you can assess career ideas with your skills and strengths in mind.

Work which allows you to do what you are good at will be more fulfilling for you and your employer is likely to be happier with the results you produce too. If you don’t get to use your favorite skills much, maybe that is what is prompting you to look for a change. Career change success depends on you making a reasonable match between your skills and the demands of the job you switch to.

Hopefully, after you have done the personal skills audit you will begin to see how an awareness of your skills affects the way you approach your career change. Knowledge without skills is of no use – its skills that convert knowledge into value. Even at the height of celebrations, you will still have space for this assessment. If you use that space and do it right, you can have better celebrations by end of 2018,


Source : Sunday Observer
Writer : Kishu Gomez


Finding a job, whether you’re starting your career or transitioning from one field to another, is unquestionably among the most daunting, time consuming, and stressful of undertakings. Marketing is the lifeblood that runs through the veins of all successful organizations. Without marketing, no matter how good the product or service, the organization will fail.
How does this apply to you? In today’s job-hunting environment, the most successful job seekers are those who understand the value of marketing and apply to themselves those principles that companies have used for years to successfully sell their products.
Most people hate acting as their own direct marketer, but that is what searching for a new job is all about. Those who are successful ‘create their own luck’. It starts with marketing the best product that you have…Y0U!
Research and find out which industries are hot right now and identify good companies within those industries. Network constantly and aggressively, but with focus. Direct your networking to where there are real opportunities that have the best fit. If you’re going to find that ideal job in that ideal industry and ideal company, you will have to do a phenomenal job of self-promotion.


Understand Marketing

You will need to sell yourself to the organizations that you wish will hire you. Think about the opportunities, problems and goals of these preferred industries and companies, on the one hand, and your ability to help solve the problems and achieve the goals, on the other.
Develop your resume so that it dramatically and effectively communicates your credentials, knowledge, skills, experience and philosophy as key ingredients for helping preferred employers achieve the things that are most important to them. Define your brand value who are you? Who do you think you are? Who do others think you are? Who do you want others to think you are? If the answers to those questions are different from question to question, you have some work to do.
They should be congruent so that you could reduce internal conflict and dissonance and arrive at a consistent message and image that is crystal clear. It should be authentic to yourself and the people who matter the most. Dig deep in to yourself to extract your core abilities, technical and soft sides of you as a whole.
Create and develop marketing collateral that communicates how awesome you are based on past deliverables, accomplishments and interest. By investing time and money in developing your personal brand and using personalized marketing collateral, you will differentiate yourself from your job searching competitors and become more desirable to employers.



Selling Yourself

Most interviewers remember more of what they have said during an interview than what the applicant has said. To get beyond this, and to set yourself apart from other, you should impress the interviewer with your own knowledge of the company and its industry. The best way to do this is by asking concise, focused questions that allow you to demonstrate that you’ve done significant research about the industry, about the company itself including its products, its market and its competitors.
Be willing take a step backward if it appears that you may have to accept a position at a lower level on the executive ladder than your previous one, don’t assume that you are losing opportunities to move forward. In a hot company, or a hot industry, you may move ahead faster than if you seek higher positions in companies or industries that ate contracting.
Unfortunately, not many employees consider this and as a result they miss golden opportunities to progress in career. You should network wherever you can and wherever you can meet people and collect market intelligence – its people who know where the opportunities are. There are lot more job opportunities than what is advertised.
Networking can occur in formal and informal venues and both interactions surface amazing opportunities. You might find your best advocate or employer in the most informal setting. Whatever you do, recognize that you must understand yourself, identify your interest, know how much you are worth, provide extraordinary value, establish your brand, and network strategically, so  that you will be able to secure the best fit job, best compensation and benefits package, and most fulfilling job experience.


Source: Sunday Observer
Writer: Kishu Gomes


Speed matters in everything; whether in terms of machine or human activity, speed differentiates between winning and losing. In essence, it could be a real competitive advantage when all other variable factors seem equal.
To be fast means to see trends and big opportunities before they become obvious to everyone; to make decisions on the spot and without delay; to execute quickly at every level; and to anticipate the need for change before the marketplace passes on a judgment that you just don’t get it as a business. Speed has its popular connotation but speed in business isn’t about being frazzled and out of breath. What frazzles us and wears us out are all the speed bumps that get put in our path while on a journey of business.
If your execution speed is lower than that of your known and unknown competitors, then you are in for a surprising defeat. Bad as it can be, the loss of sizable revenue opportunities may not be experienced until you have invested big time money and sweat into the game.
Perhaps if you are still at the early stage, always bear in mind that businesses are built not to be the innovative first fast mover, but to fill a void in the market place. Life, best opportunities are measured in time. And that time is not enough to accomplish all that you desire. So making the right choice is crucial for success.

Small organizations

In the fast paced world we live in today, speed is the ultimate customers turn on. Customer’s today are willing to pay for speed.  The old saying “time is money” is more true in the new world. Everyone is short of time. Customers hate delays, long queues, and out of stocks. Customers love finding what they want, making the purchase and getting hack to work fast. Speed is the one advantage that the big competition rand duplicate easily.
Most big companies are bureaucratic, functionalized, and self-absorbed with long approval processes and due diligence. They don’t listen, they are slow to change, and they kill momentum and initiative. The one barrier to entry that still stands is ‘execution’.
Everybody can get the same idea and lots of people can raise money but when it comes to implementing and executing lots of competitors are all thumbs. Ideas without speedy execution are worth nothing. If you think your idea is worth anything to anyone other than yourself: Try selling it.

Organizational Reflexes

A company can see an opportunity to innovate or capture new customers and market share, but by the time resources are allocated and people with the right skills are put in place, the opportunity is gone. The organization simply cannot get out of its own way. The pace of change takes its toll on an organization.
One way to think about organizational agility is much like the way the head of a supply chain organization thinks .out quality. Quality isn’t a matter of appointing someone to Week your products, because by then it, too late; rather, it’s matter of embedding scrutiny and commitment into every step of the process. An agile organization looks across multiple dimensions of talent, culture, organization structure and leadership, and embeds flexibility to ensure speed.
It adds up to a workforce that can move closer to the speed of ideas and opportunities. The exemplars also put a premium on rich collaboration which should not be confused with slow consensus building.
Truly effective collaboration involves the wide distribution and free flow of information; quick sharing of perspectives from across the organization, and rapid decision making that can, when needed, jump hierarchies in a single bound.


Source : Sunday Observer
Writer: Kishu Gomes



“The only emperor is the emperor of Ice Cream”- Wallace Stevens
When he felt there was no escape,
From the flame of shame at being gulled,
When he saw he’d, unbeknownst to himself, taken a blind alley
And had walked too far to turn back,
He decided to call it all a day,
Once and for all and made his escape
From the torturing hands of memory…
The writing had since been on the wall,
The four fates too intertwined for just one to break loose,
Without breaking the rest.
From the unforgiving glare of the venomous world,
Under the crushing weight of unpaid debt,
They were dying slowly.
That’s all.
Ice-cream laced with poison,
Only accelerated their departure..

Writer:  Jayashantha Jayawardhana
Source: Sunday Observer