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Join us April 7-13th on our Brāv Continuing Education and Networking Cruise!

Brāv International Networking and
Continuing Education Cruise

*A deposit of $250 per person due September 23, 2018; if going solo, must pay double*

When: April 7 th 2019- April 13 th , 2019
Where: We will leave from beautiful Ft. Lauderdale
Florida, travel to Georgetown, Grand Cayman, then Puerto
Costa Maya, Mexico, followed by Cozumel, Mexico before
returning to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Why?: Because the Brāv International Networking and
Continuing Education Cruise is your opportunity to meet
your continuing education requirements and have the
opportunity to network with Conflict Management
Professionals from across the country.

Costs and Requirements
The costs of the trip are listed per person based on dual
occupancy.

All room categories are on a first come first
serve basis.

*Must have valid, current passport*

JOIN US HERE!

Drinking Packages are available on the ship.
The prices include the cruise, port fees, and taxes. They
also include the training package listed within the
description. Meals in the main dining room and at the
buffets are covered, as well as some meals at select
included restaurants on board. This price does not include
premium drinks, airfare, transfers or shore excursions. The
price also does not include travel insurance which is Highly
Recommended. 3

1 Passengers traveling alone and/or who would like three people in a room should contact the travel agent,
Weekend Wanderers, directly at 1 (814) 674-8918 to make arrangements.
2 Companion tickets can be purchased for persons who are traveling with a person taking the training but
do not wish to take the training themselves. They are priced at (SB) $950; (OVB) $850; (OV) $800; and (I)
$750. Priority for rooms is given to rooms where both parties are taking the training.
3 For Travel Insrance please contact Weekend Wanderers at 1 (814) 674-8918 or at
WeekendWanderers@Aol.com.

Training Packages
All Travelers (2)
 Introduction to Conflict Management (S)- This course is a primer to those who
are new to the field of Conflict Management or those who are veteran conflict
managers who wish to see what is new.
 Brāv International Events (C)- This course is a description of courses which are
offered by Brāv internationally, including our trips to Australia and Isreal/Europe.

Bronze Level Travelers (5)
 Online Conflict Management (C)- This course explains the growing field of
online conflict managements and how you can use OCM to grow your business.
 Using the Brāv Platform (A)- This course is a training on how to use the Brāv
platform in your business and how it can make your OCM practice more efficient.
 Becoming a Brāv One (A)- This course explains how you can join the Brāv OCM
family, even if you are not intending to be a mediator.

Silver Level Travelers (9)
 Cultural Awareness in Mediation (S)- This course goes through the process of
being culturally sensitive in culturally diverse mediation situations.
 International Mediation Process (C)- This course explains the intricacies of
international mediation for those who are entering into the field.
 Ethics in Mediation (S)- This course highlights the importance of ethics in the
field of conflict management, looking at the situations and solutions that arise
from conflict in the world.
 International Domestic Violence (A)- This course discusses how to deal with
domestic violence in situations where people are being abused by loved ones.

Brāv Level Travelers (13)
 The Mexico Trade Agreement (C)- This course looks at the new US/Mexico
Trade Agreement and possible conflicts arising from it.
 Human Rights In the Modern Era (S)- This course looks at how human rights can
be protected by OCM
 Addressing The Divisive Mind (S)- Mr. Zamor’s masterclass in how the mind works in
conflict.
 Current Event Class (C)- A class on an event between now and the cruise 4
Each Category includes the classes above. 5
4 Classes are subject to change and replacement by a class of equal or lesser value.
5 (S) Stanley Zamor, (A) Dr. Alli, (C) Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer
To peruse and pay, please CLICK HERE!

For Questions please contact info@Brav.org.

Rooms come with two beds*

Actual room may differ from picture*

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Mental Health Of A Child- Understanding What Is Childhood Trauma? Causes, Types, Effects, PTSD. Questions and How can Brāv be useful to your kid?

What is childhood trauma?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, childhood trauma is defined as: “The experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.”

Bad things happen in life as children grow up. Some are obvious, like a natural disaster that destroys a home, physical abuse or death of a parent. Others can also rock a child’s sense of safety and well-being, like community violence or substance abuse in a parent. Something as simple as being in a car accident or a child overhearing frequent, intense arguments between his or her parents can be traumatic for some children.
Learning how to understand, process and cope with difficulties – even tragedies – is a natural part of a child’s development process. But sometimes children get stuck. An experience, or repeated experiences, may leave a child with an overwhelming sense of fear and loss, making them feel that they have no safety or control over their lives. For some children, these feelings become so intense that they get in the way of their continued physical, emotional, social or intellectual development. This is childhood trauma.

Unaddressed, trauma can have long term effects on the quality and length of a person’s life. But the good news is that there are things you can do make your child less susceptible to trauma, identify trauma reactions and get the support you need to help your child recover.
Some Leading Causes

CAUSES:

The most common causes of childhood trauma include:
Accidents
Bullying/cyberbullying
Chaos or dysfunction in the house (such as domestic violence, parent with a mental illness, substance abuse or incarcerated)
Death of a loved one
Emotional abuse or neglect
Physical abuse or neglect
Separation from a parent or caregiver
Sexual abuse
Stress caused by poverty
Sudden and/or serious medical condition
Violence (at home, at school, or in the surrounding community)
War/terrorism

How does trauma affect a child?

Traumatic events can affect children’s moods and their ability to regulate their emotions. … They may have developed coping skills to help them survive the repeated trauma that cause them to appear numb to emotions. Physical Development. Physical development may be affected by certain kinds of trauma.

Types of Trauma and Violence

Learn about the different kinds of traumatic events that can impact the behavioral health of individuals, families, and communities.

Traumatic events can include physical and sexual abuse, neglect, bullying, community-based violence, disaster, terrorism, and war.

SAMHSA’s TIP 57: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services – 2014 and SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Types of Traumatic Stress (link is external) webpage provide in-depth information about the many different kinds of trauma and violence.

Sexual Abuse or Assault:

Sexual abuse or assault includes unwanted or coercive sexual contact, exposure to age-inappropriate sexual material or environments, and sexual exploitation. The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”

Physical Abuse or Assault:

Physical abuse or assault is defined as the actual or attempted infliction of physical pain (with or without the use of an object or weapon), including the use of severe corporeal punishment. Federal law defines child abuse as any act, or failure to act, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation of a child.

Emotional Abuse or Psychological Maltreatment:

Emotional abuse and psychological maltreatment are considered acts of commission (other than physical or sexual abuse) against an individual. These kinds of acts, which include verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and excessive demands or expectations, may cause an individual to experience conduct, cognitive, affective, or other mental disturbances. These acts also include acts of omission against a minor such as emotional neglect or intentional social deprivation, which cause, or could cause, a child to experience conduct, cognitive, affective, or other mental disturbances.

Neglect:

Neglect is the most common form of abuse reported to child welfare authorities. However, it does not occur only with children. It can also happen when a primary caregiver fails to give an adult the care they need, even though the caregiver can afford to, or has the help to do so. Neglect also includes the failure to provide an individual with basic needs such as food, clothing, or shelter. It can also mean not providing medical or mental health treatment or prescribed medicines. Neglect also includes exposing someone to dangerous environments, abandoning a person, or expelling them from home.

Serious Accident, Illness, or Medical Procedure
Trauma can occur when a person experiences an unintentional injury or accident, a physical illness, or medical procedures that are extremely painful and/or life threatening.

Victim or Witness to Domestic Violence
According to DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women, domestic violence is defined as: “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.” Domestic violence includes violence and abuse by current or former intimate partners, parents, children, siblings, and other relatives.

For information on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) work with domestic violence, visit the Administration for Children and Families’ Family and Youth Services Bureau.

Victim or Witness to Community Violence:

Extreme violence in the community, including exposure to gang-related violence, interracial violence, police and citizen altercations, and other forms of destructive individual and group violence is a recognized form of trauma.

Historical Trauma:

Historical trauma is a form of trauma that impacts entire communities. It refers to the cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, as a result of group traumatic experiences, that is transmitted across generations within a community. Unresolved grief and anger often accompany this trauma and contribute to physical and behavioral health disorders. This type of trauma is often associated with racial and ethnic population groups in the United States who have suffered major intergenerational losses and assaults on their culture and well-being.

School Violence:

School violence is described as violence that occurs in a school setting and includes, but is not limited to, school shootings, bullying, interpersonal violence among classmates, and student suicide. Youth violence is a serious problem that can have lasting harmful effects on victims and their families, friends, and communities

Bullying:

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may experience serious, lasting problems. Trauma can be a consequence of bullying, which can lead to mental health issues, substance use, and suicide, particularly if there is a prior history of depression or delinquency.

Natural or Manmade Disasters:
Trauma can result from a major accident or disaster that is an unintentional result of a manmade or natural event. Disasters can occur naturally (such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, mudslides, or drought) or be human-caused (such as mass shootings, chemical spills, or terrorist attacks).

Forced Displacement:

Forced displacement is a traumatic event that occurs when people face political persecution and are forced to relocate to a new home (as an immigrant or through political asylum) or become a refugee.

War, Terrorism, or Political Violence
Exposure to acts of war-, terrorism-, or political-related violence such as bombing, shooting, and looting can cause trauma in an individual.

Military Trauma:

Military trauma refers to both the impact of deployment and trauma-related stress on people who are deployed and their families. Significant numbers of returning service men and women experience mental and/or substance use disorders associated with military trauma and/or military sexual trauma.

Victim or Witness to Extreme Personal or Interpersonal Violence:

This type of trauma includes extreme violence by or between individuals including exposure to homicide, suicide, and other extreme events.

Traumatic Grief or Separation:

Traumatic grief and/or separation may include the death of a parent, primary caretaker, or sibling; abrupt and/or unexpected, accidental, or premature death or homicide of a close friend, family member, or other close relative; abrupt, unexplained and/or indefinite separation from a parent, primary caretaker, or sibling due to uncontrollable circumstances.

System-Induced Trauma and Retraumatization:

Many systems that are designed to help individuals and families can actually cause trauma. For example, in child welfare systems, abrupt removal from the home, foster placement, sibling separation, or multiple placements in a short amount of time can retraumatize children. In mental health systems, the use of seclusion and restraint on previously traumatized individuals can revive memories of trauma. Further, invasive medical procedures on a trauma victim can re-induce traumatic reactions.

What are the symptoms of trauma?
Emotional & psychological symptoms:

Shock, denial, or disbelief.
Confusion, difficulty concentrating.
Anger, irritability, mood swings.
Anxiety and fear.
Guilt, shame, self-blame.
Withdrawing from others.
Feeling sad or hopeless.
Feeling disconnected or numb.

What is PTSD in a child?

Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for at least one month following a traumatic event.

The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms: Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.

How Can Brãv Help Your Kid?

As for the information about Children’s Health Care City Center on the Huffington post,in the light out the Article we would like to extend our hand of support to your kid.

Brāv is an early-stage company focused on developing products that will curb destructive conflict.
We employ a human-centered design process to understand our users and build tools that are much needed.

Brāv trains anyone in conflict management who in turn manage the conflicts of others directly on our site www.brav.org

Brāv can provide the online counseling and fire sides as well.

Can you cure trauma?

As with most mental illnesses, no cure exists for PTSD, but the symptoms can be effectively managed to restore the affected individual to normal functioning. The best hope for treating PTSD is a combination of medication and therapy. So, Brāv can be used as a useful therapatic session for your child.

How does post traumatic stress disorder affect everyday life?
PTSD can be a debilitating disorder and its symptoms can have a negative impact on a number of different areas in a person’s life. In particular, the disorder can negatively affect an individual’s mental health, physical health, work, and relationships. So, we here try to make a positive impact in one’s mind by ensuring the support one gets from us to overcome the negatives.

If you decide to talk about depression with your child, you may be concerned about saying the “right” thing. However, just having an open and honest discussion with your child can provide her with much-needed support.

As far as the “saying the right thing” goes, we’re here to help you.

You want to make sure that your child understands what you are saying and is not confused or bored by the discussion.
Make sure that you are using words that your child can understand.

We Understand and take the following steps to make sure that they feel “Understood”.

Being Compassionate.

Empathize.

Good listeners.

Confidant.

Your child needs to know that you recognize and respect his feelings. Even if you do not quite understand his thoughts, avoid quipping, “What do you have to be depressed about?” or “Don’t be ridiculous.” Comments like these just cause a child to keep his feelings to himself or become defensive. We understand that.

We allow your child to talk openly and express his opinions and thoughts. Avoiding to interrupt or judge him. Knowing that he has someone he can confide in help to sort out his feelings.
Talking to your child about his depression can be a very important part of his recovery.

HELP YOUR CHILD.

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The First Step Act: What is FSA? Titles divided, Opinion, Suggestions, Helpful Participation Of Brāv

What Is The First Step Act?

The latest such effort to come to our attention is the ”FIRST STEP Act”, introduced by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) in the House, with a companion measure introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) in the Senate.

The First Step Act is not a magical elixir. It won’t solve every problem facing our criminal justice system. But it will immediately make a difference in the lives of as many as 4,000 inmates the day after it is signed into law.

We are a better America when we embrace our empathetic tendencies.
We are a better America when we see prison sentences as a last resort, to be used only when we know for a fact it is the best way to generate safe outcomes.

Some people have argued that one of the elements of the bill, the rule that moves people closer to home, can threaten public safety. But copious evidence proves that being incarcerated or housed closer to home results in safer outcomes.

Some also worry that the Act will further reinforce Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ harsh approach to crime and punishment. But it’s unclear how legislation that uses unconditional language about mandated reform somehow would make the lives of prisoners worse or his power greater.
Sessions will not remain Attorney General forever, and with criminal justice reform gathering supporters on both sides of the aisle, the likelihood can only grow that in the future we will have a true reformer in the position.
I suspect the real fear is that Jeff Sessions will use some of the provisions of the Act in ways that are racially disparate, while at the same time sentencing continues to over-punish people of color. This is a weighty concern, and we should fight every day to address racial disparities in sentencing and remain incredibly vigilant.

But this is not a new concern, nor is it something the First Step can make worse.

Some also object to the use of risk assessment tools to inform sentencing decisions, arguing they can be used in a biased way.

TITLES:

To understand better, here are the four separate titles:

STEP Act:
Title I — Recidivism Reduction
Title II — Bureau of Prisons Secure Firearms Storage
Title III — Restraints on Pregnant Prisoners Prohibited
Title IV — Miscellaneous Criminal Justice
Titles II and III are of little moment to this examination. Titles I and IV, however, are.
Title I. Takes on various aspects of existing federal incarceration practices and policies with the idea of substantially altering them. For instance, the bill would provide significant benefits to federal prisoners who participate in various “evidence-based recidivism reduction programs” that are intended to minimize the risk that prisoners will reoffend upon release. It does so by requiring that such programs be examined and further defined by the attorney general, in consultation with the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the director of the Office of Probation and Pretrial Services, and the directors of the National Institutes of Justice and Corrections.
Chief among the benefits that accrue from participation in the resulting programs is that prisoners would earn “good time” toward sentence reductions — 10 days for every 30 days of sentence, and an additional five days for every 30 if they are assessed twice in a row as “not having increased” their recidivism risk. In other words, prisoners could potentially cut their sentencing time in half through these programs. Many observers might see it as a low bar to cut sentences in half simply because prisoners don’t become more incentivized to reoffend, but that is a general statement not applicable to removable aliens, as explained below.
Prisoners would also earn free telephone and videoconferencing privileges (30 minutes per day; 510 minutes per month) via participation in the recidivism reduction programs.
The kinds of programs envisioned under recidivism reduction, include in part the following:
Social learning and communication, interpersonal, anti-bullying, rejection response, and other life skills;
Family relationship building;
Structured parent-child interaction and parenting skills;
Classes on morals or ethics;
Academic classes;
Cognitive behavioral treatment;
Mentoring;
Vocational training;
Faith-based classes or services;
Civic engagement and reintegrative community services; and
Prison jobs.
Title IV. Under the catch-all “Miscellaneous” provisions, establishes two new mandates.
First, there is a presumptive standard (subject to certain caveats such as prisoner classification and facility availability) that federal prisoners should be incarcerated at penal facilities no farther than 500 miles from their “primary residence”.
Second, Title IV also provides that ”The Bureau of Prisons shall, to the extent practicable, place prisoners with lower risk levels and lower needs on home confinement for the maximum amount of time permitted.” (Emphasis added.)
Immigration Enforcement Concerns Raised by the Bill.

OPINION:

When it comes to prison reform, a little something is better than a lot of nothing.
That is why the bipartisan First Step Act, passed recently by the House, deserves to be approved by the Senate and signed into law.
Progressives are sharply divided on the measure, mostly because of what it doesn’t do. The bill — sponsored by Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Doug Collins, R-Ga., and strongly pushed by President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner — does nothing to address the main problem, which is that this nation sends far too many people to prison and keeps them locked up far too long.
Truly meaningful change would involve sentencing reform, for which there is some bipartisan support in Congress but not enough to get such legislation through both chambers. It is hard to imagine that Trump, who tries so hard to project a tougher-than-thou image, would sign a bill significantly reducing sentences. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who believes in throwing away the key, would have a conniption fit.
The First Step Act ignores the “front end” of the problem — sentencing — and focuses exclusively on the “back end.” It would provide $50 million a year for five years in new funding for education and rehabilitation programs in federal prisons, encourage inmates to participate in those programs by giving them credits for early release, and allow some prisoners to serve the balance of their sentences in halfway houses or home confinement.
Proponents estimate the bill would allow up to 4,000 inmates to be released from prison immediately. This is a small fraction of the total federal prison population of nearly 184,000. But try to explain that disparity to those 4,000 men and women and their families.
The bill also requires that inmates be housed at prisons within 500 miles of their homes, that inmates not be shackled during childbirth and recovery and that sanitary products be provided to female prisoners.
The House vote on the First Step Act was 360-59, with Democrats sharply divided. Some of the most progressive members of the Democratic caucus supported the bill and some voted against it. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund lobbied against the bill; the National Urban League urged approval.
There is reason to question whether the bill’s benefits will be as great as supporters claim, and of course there is reason to prefer more comprehensive legislation that also deals with sentencing. But I see no justification, in this case, for opposing incremental progress — especially since real progress is nowhere in sight.
It is true that we will never begin to reform our shameful system of mass incarceration and warehousing until we address sentences. We send to prison far too many men and women whose nonviolent or minor crimes should be handled without incarceration. African-American and Hispanic men are unfairly targeted by sentencing rules and biased police practices. While in prison, inmates get essentially no preparation for rebuilding their lives upon release. Far too often, they revert to crime and wind up back in prison.
Opponents of the First Step Act argue that passing this limited measure would relieve pressure on Congress and the administration to address the issues at the heart of the prison problem.
My question is: What pressure?
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wants to push sentencing reform legislation through the Senate, and I hope he succeeds. But how is anyone going to get such a bill through the House, with its much more conservative GOP majority? How is anyone going to get Sessions on board? Or convince Trump to sign it?
If Democrats take control of the House in November, they will be able to revisit the issue anytime they want , but they will have real clout to go along with their passion.

Nothing in the current bill precludes bolder, more comprehensive action when the votes, and the president’s pen, are lined up and ready..

Suggestions For Reforms:

The ultimate prison reform is to keep people out of prison in the first place. This is where state-level reforms can make a difference.

If there is to be any meaningful change in prison populations nationally, the states must step up.

Here are 3 effective reforms they should consider.

First, make it easier for people to get a job. Criminology is imprecise, but research and anecdotal evidence suggest a great way to keep people out of the criminal justice system is to let them work. The stabilizing influence of a job and a steady income cannot be overstated, so removing needless barriers to employment such as occupational licensing requirements should be a priority for states. At a minimum, they should make sure that licensing laws don’t contain “good moral character clauses,” which can automatically disqualify anyone with any type of criminal record from ever getting licensed.

Second, states should focus on enforcement. Even when most adults have a job, crime will occur, and that’s where good policing policy comes in. Michigan, with its dubious distinction of being home to some of the most dangerous cities in America, had remarkable success in reducing violent and property crime in these places through the Secure Cities Partnership, which brought together state and local law enforcement. An effective combination of hot spot patrolling (focusing policing resources on high-crime areas) and community policing (building police-community ties) saw crime rates dip as much as 40 percent in some areas. And fewer crimes translate to fewer prisoners.

Third, use problem-solving courts more frequently. These legal innovations afford judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and offenders the flexibility to address factors in a person’s life that may be contributing to criminal behavior. Drug courts, sobriety courts, mental health courts, veterans’ courts and other specialty dockets connect offenders to treatment, counseling and other services, and enforce accountability through the use of short, frequent jail sentences.

These courts also are important for prosecutors, who traditionally have been equipped with only the hammer of formal prosecution and may feel pressure to rack up convictions to help secure reelection. Problem-solving courts give them another tool, helping them bolster public safety sustainably by addressing underlying issues unique to their communities — something that may become increasingly important as the opioid crisis develops.

From a policy perspective, the FIRST STEP Act would be just that: a good first step.

Helpful Participation Of Brav:

Brāv is an early-stage company focused on developing products that will curb destructive conflict.
We employ a human-centered design process to understand our users and build tools that are much needed.

Brāv trains anyone in conflict management who in turn manage the conflicts of others directly on our site www.brav.org

Brāv can help with their conflicts even taking place within family.

Brāv can provide the online counseling and fire sides as well, discussion group once they are released.

Participating in discussion threads would help them with coping and job skills, which in turn will help them reenter society as citizens more capable of productive reentry.

Helping the ones bullied-

New inmates violently extorted, assaulted, and “recruited” (the kindest way to put it) into gangs. Weak punished and strength defined solely by the willingness to engage in brutality.
Being in prison is a process of constantly having to watch your back (and your front). When trouble comes, it comes quickly and seems to inevitably sweep bystanders into the vortex.
Prisoners of the Federal Bureau of Prisons are judged entirely on records made up only by correctional officers and unit counselors which are inherently more subjective, less testable over time, and based on less outcomes-based data, than risk-assessment too. This gets them to be more depressed.

So, in addition to allowing inmates to more quickly reconnect with children and family members, Brāv can actually help them to build a productive life.

There’s always a way to redeem.
You need the right support and motivation to be on the track.

Continue reading The First Step Act: What is FSA? Titles divided, Opinion, Suggestions, Helpful Participation Of Brāv

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We spoke to CEO Steve of Badger Maps about his thoughts on conflict management in his field.

Steven Benson is the Founder and CEO of Badger Maps, the #1 route planner for field salespeople. After receiving his MBA from Stanford, Steve’s career has been in field sales with companies like IBM, Autonomy, and Google – becoming Google Enterprise’s Top Performing Salesperson in the World in 2009. In 2012 Steve founded Badger Maps to help field salespeople be more successful. He has also been selected as one of the Top 40 Most Inspiring Leaders in Sales Lead Management.

What is your day-to-day like?

My day-to-day activities usually involve meetings with my teams, calls or video chats with team members from our other offices in SLC and Spain, and focused time where I can work with no distractions.There are always a ton of things coming up every day and we have lots of projects going on at Badger. To stay on top of everything, I focus on getting the important things done – even when they’re not urgent. Unfortunately, there are also ‘urgent but not important’ things and ‘important and urgent’ things that constantly pop up

The way I carve off time to focus on getting the important things done is by working late at night when there aren’t any distractions. The other thing that has worked just as well for me is waking up early and working. In either case, the key is that the phone doesn’t ring, there are no meetings, and no one is grabbing me to take care of things that are urgent.

I also write down every night the most important things I want to do the next day, and then try to do those things before anything else. I like to put this as a recurring calendar entry because then anything I don’t do in a day can automatically roll over to the next day, and it blocks off a period of time for me to focus on those important things. There are a bunch of productivity apps that are great for this, too.

For me, it’s important to have half my day unscheduled. So many things come up that if I didn’t have unblocked time throughout the day, I wouldn’t be able to jump into the things that are really important to keeping the team moving efficiently.

What were your big challenges?

There have been a lot of challenges when starting and growing Badger Maps, but the toughest one was to build a great team. You need a team of great people to do great things, but it’s hard to hire people who have the expertise that you need to build a company. I’m sure this is more true in some industries than others, and it’s certainly true in our industry – software.

The challenges to building a great team starts with finding great co-founders. Bringing in great people, who are the right fit, with the right skills onto the team early on when you face insurmountable odds is one of the toughest parts of launching a business. After you lock in the core team, making your first few hires are critical in terms of shaping the culture and getting your future leaders in place. It takes way longer and it’s way harder to do well then I ever realized before I set out to do it.

Another challenge for me was, and still is, building a great culture and providing the best communication platforms while having a mobile workforce. It’s hard to create a sense of community with a dispersed workforce because people need to socialize in person to build trust and relationships. At Badger, we have offices across 3 continents but we do our best to have a cohesive culture.

How did you address them?

To foster a great culture and community at Badger, we have employees from different offices visit and work out of the other offices for extended periods of time. We are for example sending people from our Headquarters in San Francisco to our main office in Europe, in Spain for 1 to 3 months.

We encourage constant communication between the employees with tools like Slack and Google Hangouts but it’s still a challenge to constantly keep everyone involved and updated.

We also have a Foosball table in our office since it’s a great team building activity. We’ve found that when a team has a sport or an activity in common it’s invaluable and fosters a great and inclusive culture. It helps everyone get to know each other, deepens relationships, and gives people a way to blow off steam together. Foosball is a simple but surprisingly fun game, and anyone can play it as it cuts across gender, culture, and natural physical ability.

A team building event playing a popular sport like basketball has an uneven playing field. Even if one person is great at Foosball, and the other person has hardly played, it’s still fun, and the teams can be balanced in two on two pretty easily. The positive impact on team culture to have something that anyone can do together is hard to beat! All of the Badger offices have a Foosball table that people enjoy playing – often in a highly competitive manner. When people go to different offices, they all have this shared hobby in common.

What are some clear results since solving the problem?

We were able to create a different kind of culture at Badger that is more supportive and team oriented than a lot of Silicon Valley cultures. I hope and believe that we are creating a company with an environment where all types of people can thrive in and develop successful and fulfilling careers.

What do you see as exciting opportunities in the future?

 

I’m most excited about the opportunity to coach, lead, mentor and further grow my team at Badger. I’m having a ton of fun helping people be their best in their career, and there has been so much personal and professional growth at the company over the last few years. We have taught people how to do better at their job. But more important, we’ve worked to find the right fit for people in the organization and launched their careers in a way they will never forget. I’m looking forward to coaching even more in the future and growing the teams across our different offices.

What advice do you have for others in your shoes?

My advice is to build a culture and business that people are really excited to work at. It’s important to create an environment where everybody feels welcomed and appreciated, and is happy with their position and career development. Providing a great workplace will help you avoid internal conflicts and miscommunications, overcome challenges with recruiting and hiring and increase employee retention.

Culture is an important concept because it makes or breaks the success of an organization. It can make a company great to work for or it can make it a chore to show up for work. Culture is hard to put your finger on, but if all the people who work at a company seem to have something in common, function as one unit, and seem to all be on the same team, then they probably have a strong culture.

You can try to gloss over a crappy work environment with higher pay and perks, but ultimately, people leave their jobs because their manager is bad or because the company has a crappy culture that sucks the life out of them. But it’s hard to fake, you have to have an authentic, genuinely awesome place to work to attract and retain top talent, and grow your business.

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In response to a student’s question about the “norm” of judging others in contemporary society:

Judge Not-When anyone judges another to be unworthy, he places himself at the right hand of God. No man, be he a king, a doctor, an attorney, a peace officer, or any secular title which could be used here, has the right to place himself as better than another. Regardless of what faith or religion (or lack of), humans are universally different from one another, not better, and not worse.

Socioeconomic stratification is the result of many factors, but one is not an inherent quality of being. Contemporary man has the unfortunate habit of comparison, the most contemptible form of judging another, which leads to jealousy at many levels and coveting, one of the most egregious sins. The only valid comparison is to one’s self. “Am I better than yesterday? Can I strive to be better tomorrow? Does my comprehension of ‘better’ align with being as good and virtuous as humanly possible, knowing I am prone to human error in my actions?”

“Live not to the expectations of others, but to the attainment of the best ‘self’ possible based on where you were, where you are, and where you could hope to be, without violating the ‘being’ of another.”

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Parenting Question Asked Today

“Why is it when I talk to my parents about my life they make it about my sister, compare me to her, and hurt me so deeply?”

Buddy’s Point to Ponder:

One constant problem parents project to their children is the one you describe. Comparison creates controversy leading to conflict. Many points apply here. As a father of four who is also a great-grandfather already, I think some practical reason should work here.

One, there is NO better or worse, only different. Goodness knows my children ended up on all four points of the compass. I thank the good Lord for that reality daily.

Two, Choice Theory shows us we control only one person, ourselves. Parents are horrible at understanding that. They typically stack comparison on top of expectations (their expectations). You only answer to one person-yourself.

Three, parents constantly but subconsciously rate their parenting on their children’s accomplishments. Note to all parents. That is “Stupidity” personified. Worry about your world and your accomplishments. Love and support unconditionally, otherwise a concept called complimentary schismogenesis will creep into your world. This concept says the more you push someone one way, the harder they will go down a different path. Try exhibiting some curiosity about each child as an individual and support their choices. That is REAL parenting.

Tell them they are causing you this level of pain. Tell them you love them, but you are going to follow your heart, and they should support that and stop comparing, which is very disruptive to family dynamics in general. If all else fails, ignore them and seek activities that allow you to grow as a confident, self-directed person who embraces competing with only your self and your goals. Blessings on your journey, and all the luck.

For more on parenting dynamics, contact buddy at buddybravambassador@gmail.com for access to parenting dynamics classes.

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Blocks to Listening

It is common, when listening to someone else speak, to be formulating a reply whilst the other person is still talking. However, this means that we are not really listening to all that is being said.

Even good listeners are often guilty of critically evaluating what is being said before fully understanding the message that the speaker is trying to communicate. The result is that assumptions are made and conclusions reached about the speaker’s meaning, that might be inaccurate. This and other types of ineffective listening lead to misunderstandings and a breakdown in communication.

There are many things that get in the way of listening and you should be aware of these barriers, many of which are bad habits, in order to become a more effective listener.

Barriers and bad habits to effective listening can include:

 

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Mediation/Arbitration: An Alternative to Litigation: “Workplace Sexual Harassment, #MeToo & Finding A Resolution Process”

#METOO Trends and Highlights

Cyber Bullying Abusement Harassment Trolling

IN the past few months social media and every industry has been a flooded with allegations of sexual harassment. The silence has been broken, and the once considered “too powerful” and untouchable are being “handled” and striped of their positions/power. Sexual harassment is not industry specific, it is not new and the skeletons in the Walmart-size closets are busting out. Here are some statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and news polls:

  • 75% of all workplace harassment goes unreported.
  • 30% of individuals who were harassed spoke immediately to their supervisor, unionrepresentative, managers or the Human Resource department.
  • “…sexual harassment training is easily mocked – and often brushed off…”
  • According to the Washington Post “between 1997 and 2014 the US Treasury” paid 235awards and settlements worth approximately $15.2 million for workplace violations on Capitol Hill.No industry is safe from sexual predatory behavior. And the behavior has been allowed to permeate the business/entertainment/ culture. Even the EEOC states that yearly training is not enough and is usually only focused on avoiding legal liability. After doing many EEOC mediations which lead to reviewing thousands of employment manual pages, state and federal rules, regulations, and policies, I am comfortable to say that there remains to be A LOT of work done if we wish to change the sexual harassment culture.Finding a Resolution Process

    We know that victims are ignored and paid off; and litigation and hefty settlements have not prevented predatory behavior. So what is the answer, and what should be considered when seeking arbitration and mediation as alternatives? Honesty, I am not sure, but I am confident that the Victim-shaming, fear, and the industry-cultural norms that allowed sexual harassment to go unchecked and underreported need deeper and broader systemic solutions.

    The following are brief points when considering other resolution options:

    Arbitration, Akin to Litigation –

  • Engaged as per employment contract provision(s), due process paranoia is a challenge.
  • Awards are usually confidential.
  • Victims often relive the incident like at a trial.
  • No appeals process.Mediation – Pros & Cons (limited and not exhaustive)
    • Pro- Empowerment- Many victims want an opportunity to face their abuser and ask “Why?”
    • Pro: Confidentiality- Victims are often ashamed and do not want, to have to relive the event multiple times.
    • Pro: Time – Much faster than litigation and arbitration.
    • Con: Confidentiality – Mediation and the possible agreement, are confidential. Theabuser often gets a chance to silence the incident/victim and is not truly held accountable.
    • Con: To Settle – Should a victim compromise and settle with the abuser?Stanley Zamor is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit/Family/County Mediator & Primary Trainer and Qualified Arbitrator. Mr. Zamor serves on several federal and state mediation/arbitration rosters and has a private mediation and ADR consulting company. He regularly lectures on a variety of topics from ethics, cross-cultural issues, diversity, bullying, and Family/Business relationships.
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Improve Your Decision Making

Every day, individuals face situations where we are required to take decisions- big or small. Some of these decisions are categorised as important and urgent while others might be regular in nature. Regardless, we are needed to make the decisions and come to a conclusion. However, even if the said decision comes under the regular category is almost insignificant to us in our daily lives, a large group of us lack the ability to take the right choices or decisions, thus putting their professional life, family and relationships at stake.

Therefore, it is imperative for every one of us to be aware of the impact of all our decisions, even the smallest ones and seek help to improvise on it, if we know that we aren’t good at it or get a second opinion to just be sure. Few steps to improve your decision making are:

Step 1: Don’t Delay

Dedicate a sincere amount of time each day to work through your decision and take the same stand without getting manipulated.

Step 2: Shelve Ego & Emotion

Instead of searching for flaws and deficiencies in your own self, focus on the facts already available and work on them.

Step 3: Ask an Expert

A neutral third – party would help you to make decisions without any bias and will keep your objective as the primary thought.

Step 4: Question your Data

Seek trustworthy data without any deceit and keep questioning until you’re satisfied to skyrocket decision-making ability.

Step 5: Plan for Doomsday

The final step is to understand the underlying risks of the decisions you make. It is very critical to always be prepared for the worst case there could be.

A right decision at right time goes a long way in anyone’s life. We regret for not taking right decision when it was needed and when time lapses no remedial measure is available. Reach out to friends, family, experts because it is only you who can do things right for you. No one else can.