Brainpowered Tools to Disagree

Conflict grows perilous for those who lack brainpowered tools, yet disagreement’s add linchpins of growth for those equipped with sharp mental tactics. 

Watch warfare erupt in your circles and you’ll likely see 1 of 10 instigators:

1. Angry folks show few skills to tame their amygdala.

2. Stubborn people often lack mental ability to let it go.

3. Fearful people tend to obsess over harm they fear facing.

4. Bullies rewire mentally and mistreat others for their way.

5. Unpredictable people tend to explode under pressure.

6. Misguided folks daily satisfy personal needs ahead of all.

7. Insincere people often speak words they rarely mean.

8. Complainers avoid solutions yet frame problems cynically.

9. Lamenters dwell on regrets for what could have been.

10. Victims use fewer intelligences yet blame others for most miseries.

Each of these firecrackers for war, rewire the human brain for more fire with every use.

In similar ways, mental skills also rewire human brains to  target agreement in disagreeable settings. Not that practiced warriors are easily moved toward peaceful resolutions. Just the opposite.

Yet brainpowered skills will  move most people past the ruts that brains default to based on contentious behaviors or habits. It may amaze you to see how the human brain literally acts as a compelling force against change, to those without mental skills to reconfigure combative actions when conflict strikes. How so?

You’ll see skills highly tuned in President Obama‘s amazing ability to reflect peace in favor of fighting battles. For those who perform even tiny acts of peace, the brain rewires daily against war and for benefits that come from engaging respectful disagreements. Have you seen peacemakers at work?

It starts with tone that opens opportunities and ends with the kind of curiosity  and creativity that Einstein and others model so well, to inspire the rest of us. What’s Your peacemaking IQ when others disagree?

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  1. Ellen, I’d like to add one warfare tool some people use for manipulation and to destroy others… it is gossip.

    On the other side of that is not believing rumors till facts are checked and also encouraging others. Encouragement can help you get somewhere in life more than gossip ever could.

    What do you think?

    Robyn McMasters last blog post.."Can-Do" Default to Kickstart Brainpower

  2. eweber says:

    Wow — Robyn, how could I have overlooked this one! Gossip is the spear for warfare that sneaks up from behind. Gossip only gets as far as a warrior carries it – because peacemakers tend to let it die in the barracks. Have you noticed that too:-)

  3. I read a recent article in Scientific American Minds saying that gossip makes us “feel connected to others,” and that “gossip is one of the best tools that we have for comparing ourselves socially with others.”

    The article also points out that people are “hardwired to be fascinated by gossip.”

    My thought is that because of this, it may not be easy to be a peacemaker, but we need to be very mindful to handle gossip when it comes our way.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post.."Can-Do" Default to Kickstart Brainpower

  4. eweber says:

    That makes sense — since each gossiped statement rewires the brain for more of the same pattern. Yikes – run! So many problems come when we fail to see the webs one can weave into a human brain/soul!

  5. Mohib says:

    Excellent post but can’t agree with “Obama for peace” stuff anymore…

    He’s the who has sent several thousand more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan and wants us to fight and die there. We all know that he’s just “re-branding” the war.

    Mohibs last blog post..75 Amazing Ways to Maximize Your Brain Power

  6. eweber says:

    Thanks Mohib, the keys for great tone work well in the very situation you named, since wherever we spot a potential problem we see the best opportunity to name great solutions. That’s the amazing result of tone that rocks.

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  10. Ellen,

    That’s a terrific Top Ten list; it identifies each “type” that we all run into (including ourselves!). I like the related behaviors because that’s what we see. And, if it’s “us”, that’s what we can act on.

    This is the kind of thing that could be a poster in meeting rooms!

  11. eweber says:

    Hey Steve, How goes – what are you up to. We are launching our international Brain Institutes here one at a time. Secondary Faculty renewal institute is in Aug, Then Business leadership renewal will follow a few months later. Yesterday a wonderfully gifted leader in Buffalo created a blog about our launch at and inspired us all! You?

  12. Gary Patton says:

    Hi Ellen;

    WOW! What a fantastic collection of proven tips for successful leaders and we ‘wannabes’ in this powerful piece, my Friend.

    I love your use of the metaphor of us as warriors engaged in constant battle against seen and unseen enemies.

    Your piece reminded me of, and ties directly to, a an equally helpful & powerful Scripture from the Word of God. It’s at

    Robyn, thanks also for your helpful comment about the snares of gossip for non-peacemakers. You too prompted a tie to God’s Word at

    God bless you and all you love!


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