Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | October 9, 2014

John Mosher’s October Newsletter

Check out John Mosher’s October Newsletter. Lead article “Is Working Longer Really A Solution To A Stable Retirement?”  This is one I should have read about ten years ago!!!

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | August 11, 2014

John Mosher’s August Newsletter

John’s advice this month is when investing focus on process not performance.  Many times performance can be misleading due to some unexpected occurrence but the better you identify your goals and risks the better your process and results will be in the long run.  Plus lots of other great stuff in here as always.  Just click here.

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | June 27, 2014

Jodi Johnston’s Summer Newsletter

Just click here for Jodi’s summer newsletter.  Some great articles – helping women become better public speakers, an estate planning tool to help your grandchildren avoid student debt and more.

Plus some heads ups for Raymond James activities to get on your agenda:

Wednesday, September 10 at 8:30 am

What is Palliative Care? Presented by Suncoast Hospice

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 5:30 pm- 7:00 pm

Maximizing Social Security Benefits

Tampa Bay Heartwalk  onSaturday, November 15, 2014 at Raymond James Stadium

Festivities Begin – 8 A.M.  Walk Begins – 9 A.M.

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | June 2, 2014

Gerald Jacobs – What’s New In Real Estate May 2014

Short sales declining, inventory growing in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas. Read the full report here.

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | April 17, 2014

John Mosher’s April Newsletter

Click here for some great financial planning information.  Lead article… Five Common IRA Mistakes And How To Avoid Them.

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | March 20, 2014

Jodi Johnston’s Spring Newsletter

Jodi Johnston, Raymond James Financial offers these thoughts as we spring into Spring.  Click here for her informative newsletter.

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | February 10, 2014

Gerald Jacobs – What’s New In Real Estate

Gerald has his regional stats together for December 2013 as well as his assessment on what that portends…read it here.

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | February 4, 2014

Tools For Addressing Conflict

I don’t usually do this but I got a piece of email that grabbed my attention and I found it both timely and very well crafted – succinct, concise and very much on target.  The topic certainly plays in our increasingly busy lives so I thought I’d share it (and give credit to the source).  There are only three tools included but all are powerful making it easy to remember and apply and that’s a good thing.

I especially liked the tool on sharing assumptions.  How many times do disconnects and misunderstandings arise simply because of conflicting assumptions and our inability to read minds?

This hit me as I faced a situation in my military career where stating assumptions was key.  I was commanding a senior intelligence organization and the previous commander seemed to have his folks on edge and thus working from the passive side of the normal military passive-aggressive personality type.  I wanted them more aggressive.  So I ‘invented’ my theory of intelligence production based on my background in electronic warfare.  There was something we used called Chaff to confuse enemy radars.  This was normally aluminum in one form or another but the Soviets were developing a gaseous version that would stay in the atmosphere much longer.

So my advice was to use the CHAFF method of intelligence production – Complete, Honest, Accurate, Fair and Fast.  I told them they would hardly ever have perfect information so be thorough and accurate with what you have but don’t be afraid to make an assumption (based on solid operational principles) to draw a conclusion but insure you let you audience know what the assumption was and your logic process.  The other method of intelligence production I described as ‘guess and suppose’.  So what I asked of them was to drop CHAFF not pass GAS.  They got more aggressive and confident in their reporting.

In sum, what this article is all about is relationships and tools to build those relationships based on fairness, understanding and integrity. Always good advice.  Enjoy the article.

Tools for Addressing Conflict
We live in contentious times. Our elected officials, our communities, our neighbors, our workplaces are at odds! How do we get better at resolving conflict? What approaches work best for different situations? Here are some suggestions about how to find agreement in angry times.

1. Be the Convener.

Use your status, your influence, even your power to call the disputing parties to the table.  You may have no formal authority to convene but others may secretly welcome the opportunity to find common ground-they are just not afforded that opportunity very often.  There is magic in dialogue; so why doesn’t it happen more often?

Convening people who are mad at each other, or at you, is uncomfortable. Most of us like to control our situation and we lose that control when conflict is directly expressed.

We are also busy, constrained by the tyranny of the daily crisis. It takes time, a lot of time to build consensus. But the alternative is so much worse. We hunker down in our opposition to each other and the positions become inflexible and personal. Living in a cycle of anger and blame costs a fortune in anxiety, lost opportunities and litigation. Turning conflict into productive dialogue is hard and time-consuming…and it is absolutely necessary.

2. Recognize that People are Fundamentally Different.

This is such a simple truth but acknowledging it would make a huge difference in resolving disputes. I have long (and wrongly)  believed that if I just talked at someone long enough and said enough smart stuff they would eventually come to my way of thinking. What silliness!

Americans are a diverse people with fundamentally different moral foundations. Recent psychological studies show we have genetic predispositions for what we believe (which are influenced by our upbringing and surroundings as well); but whatever we believe, no amount of yelling at each other or listening to the yelling on cable news shows will change our beliefs. And this has always been so.

“Morality binds and blinds,” writes Dr. Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at the NYU School of Business. “It binds us into ideological teams that fight each other as though the fate of the world depended on our side winning each battle. It blinds us to the fact that each team is composed of good people who have something important to say.”

Haidt believes a mix of moral foundations creates healthy communities and given our inherent diversity, we should act with moral humility toward each other. Acknowledging that what others believe is as sacred to them as what we believe is to us is essential to getting past the gridlock.

3. Express Your Assumptions.

Assumptions are terrible obstacles to dialogue and consensus. Yet we make them all the time; it is the only way we can organize our thinking about the world around us and function at all efficiently. The problem is that we sometimes hold onto ideas that are simply wrong, and stay wrong until they are exposed to the scrutiny of others.

Here is a key to consensus-building; admit your own assumptions, ask others to admit theirs and hold them all up to the light of truth.  Dig past the hardened positions to the honest discussions of interests and (to use Roger Fisher’s phrase from Getting to Yes) “insist on using object criteria.”  Fisher writes, “It is far easier to deal with people when both of you are discussing objective standards for settling a problem instead of trying to force each other to back down.”

Here are just a few thoughts about how to get past today’s debilitating policy and personal gridlock. Know that for some there is no interest in finding common ground. But for the rest of us: recognize our differences. Question our own perfect knowledge. Articulate presumptions and then test them. And be humble.

Visit to learn more about the firm and our services or to request a speaker for your next event.

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | January 29, 2014

John Mosher’s January 2014 Newsletter

Check here for some great insight on financial planning.  Lead article “Who pays for Mom or Dad’s nursing home bill?”  Depends where you live….better find out! 

Posted by: Upper Tampa Bay Chamber | January 2, 2014

Gerald Jacobs – What’s New In Real Estate

Gerald comes out of the box with his insights on the 2014 Real Estate picture.  This includes winning lottery numbers, all you have to do is put them in the right order on the right day.  No problem, Gerald has some advice on how to do that…read here 

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