In today’s age, it’s a matter of when not if you will be confronted with conflict. It’s inevitable. That is why Jay Payleitner’s new book, Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate is such a needed resource. Jay’s book will guide you through four factors you must not overlook, three mistakes you must not make, fourteen conflict-resolution skills you can quickly master, and thirteen easy-to-use tactics and tricks.
If you deal with people at all (and we all do), you have to grab a copy of Jay Payleitner’s Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate.
And be sure to scroll to the end of this post to find out how you can win one of three copies!
The Writer’s Desk with Jay Payleitner
Jay Payleitner is a nationally-known speaker and writes easy-to-read, hard-to-put-down, make-you-think books.
He has written 30 books and sold more than a half million copies. Prior to becoming a full-time author and speaker, Jay Payleitner served as a freelance radio producer for a wide range of international ministries including the Salvation Army, Prison Fellowship, Bible League, Voice of the Martyrs, and National Center for Fathering. For more than a decade, he produced Josh McDowell Radio, Jesus Freaks Radio, and Today’s Father.
Jay is a nationally-known speaker for Iron Sharpens Iron and the National Center for Fathering and has emceed men’s events, led marriage retreats, keynoted writers’ conferences, preached at weekend services, spoken at women’s lunches, and facilitated creative training sessions. He has been a guest multiple times on The Harvest Show, Moody Radio, 100 Huntley Street, and Focus on the Family.
Jay and his high school sweetheart, Rita, live in the Chicago area where they raised five great kids, loved on ten foster babies, and are cherishing grandparenthood. Visit Jay online at his website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Q&A with Jay Payleitner
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
JP: I make a darn good chicken soup and apple cobbler. Boring, right? Either of those could be the highlight of my month. I can do road trips and adventure, but hanging out at home with family is my sweet spot.
TG: Why did you write Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate: Conflict is Inevitable. Being a Jerk is Optional?
JP: I’ve written more than 25 books and given hundreds of talks and interviews — mostly on how to improve relationships. Frequently after talks or during interviews, questions come up regarding conflict. In their family. At work. Among friends. With strangers.
In these discussions, it became clear that most people – when in conflict – do things that make it worse! And the conflict escalates!
I thought this was something I could fix that would be my gift to humanity! Why? (1) I’ve endured and observed my share of conflicts. (2) I thought my ability to tell stories and deliver real-life takeaways could apply. (3) I thought I could sell a ton of books.
TG: Did you have any surprises or learning moments while writing this title?
JP: Yes! Conflict is not a negative. It’s a positive. (Or should be.) Most conflict can actually be an opportunity or gateway for positive change. EXAMPLES: Cuban Missile Crisis led to the hotline between the White House and Kremlin. Hitting bottom in marriage forges the relationship. Union negotiations make better cars and more profits. Two ballplayers vying to play shortstop will create lifelong friends. In the Bible, a woman caught in adultery about to be stoned led to Jesus drawing in the sand and gospel truths.
TG: What do you hope readers take away from your book?
JP: People in conflict — whether that conflict is long-term or unexpected – don’t typically think about picking up a book. They just grit their teeth and deal with it. Even if it’s eating their soul. They think conflict is just something they have to live with – and that’s no surprise. Conflict is everywhere! This book will help them look at conflict in a new way. To find hope. And even look forward to their next conflict, because they see a resolution and victory. This book is pre-emptive and preventative.
Also, most other books on resolving conflict focus on workplace issues. But it turns out the most frequent and challenging conflict happens among family, friends, neighbors, and in the community. We cover all that!
BTW: These are the Four Factors that are central to the big idea in the book:
1. Decide what you really want
2. Know the risks
3. Empathize with your adversary
4. Expect the win
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
JP: (1) Clear my inbox as a warmup to the day. (2) If a publisher has a request I can clear from my to-do list in less than 15 minutes, just do it. Even if they’ve given me a two-week deadline. (3) Ideas sparked in the shower take precedent. Nothing interrupts me until I capture it on my keyboard. Sometimes in a towel. (4) 3:00 PM nap.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
JP: Let’s say three: (1) Insist on deadlines. If the publisher or editor doesn’t give you one, then make your own. And make them tight. (2) Treat it as a business, even if it’s ministry. (3) Kill your darlings.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
JP: Coffee. Lots of coffee. Diluted lemonade. Mixed nuts from Costco. After finishing a chapter, sometimes I reward myself by walking around, checking on the kids, and eating an apple. (Years ago, someone asked my son, Max—in kindergarten—what his daddy did for a living. Max said, “He eats apples.”)
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
JP: There’s no such thing as writer’s block. Just sit down and start working.
Sometimes that means hashing out an idea rolling around your head. Often that means editing the last thing you wrote. If nothing else, read some non-fiction about what you’re writing on. Not to steal someone else’s ideas, but to remind yourself there are all kinds of boneheaded and worthless opinions out there that needed to be straightened out. Hopefully, you stumble across a blog post that ticks you off. Your rebuttable may be your next chapter or paragraph. If you do come across a pertinent fact worth including in your own manuscript, make sure you give credit where credit is due.
If you’re writing fiction, try doing a bit of extracurricular research on one of the themes in your novel. Keep digging until you uncover an unusual insight about the time period, geography, culture, jargon, the profession of your main character, or some other factoid. Let that revelation help you turn the corner in your writing.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
JP: I need to be very happy with a sentence or paragraph before moving on to the next. I need to be very happy with a chapter before moving on to the next. Of course, when the entire first draft is complete, I set it aside for a few days and later spend another two days making a thousand small tweaks. Changing tenses. Replacing words. Formatting. Nothing major, but then I know the editor will be smiling.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
JP: SETTLING. Don’t send it unless it’s your best work, nicely polished. A good idea poorly executed will never make it passed the gatekeepers. On the other hand, maybe the most common mistake is HESITATION. If the idea shines through, it doesn’t have to be perfect. In other words, know when it’s time to send it in or send it out.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
JP: As soon as you get a contract for a book, polish the proposal and pitch your next book.
TG: What book(s) are you currently reading?
JP: I don’t read books. At least that’s the joke in my family. My wife and four of my kids are voracious readers. I read one or two fiction books per year. Maybe a bio. I will read all kinds of non-fiction books on creativity, humor, media, publishing, advertising, faith, devotionals, parenting, marriage. Mostly skimming, skipping chapters, not cover to cover. And I read two newspapers every day. Plus industry and lifestyle magazines. But you won’t find me curled up in a comfy chair reading the latest novel. There’s a good chance that cover to cover, front to back, every word, I have literally written more books in the last 15 years than I have read.
But to answer your question, I just read The Boys, biography of Ron Howard and his brother, Clint.
Watch my interview with Jay Payleitner on Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate
Enter for a chance to win one in three paperback copies of Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate.*
*Due to shipping costs, the giveaway for the physical copy is open to US mailing addresses only.
More about Don’t Take the Bait to Escalate
Turn conflict in your favor.
The Bible tells us that as far as it depends on us, we’re to be at peace with all people. But what happens when conflict is unavoidable?
Here’s some good news: There are sociologically sound ways to deescalate conflict and win negotiations without acting like a jerk.
Even better, you can actually emerge from conflicts with a stronger relationship with the person who was your adversary—whether it’s on the job, with your neighbor, in your marriage, or in a dark parking lot.
When it comes to your current (or next) conflict, remember that resolution starts with de-escalation. This book will show you:
• Four factors you must not overlook
• Three mistakes you must not make
• Fourteen conflict-resolution skills you can quickly master, and
• Thirteen easy-to-use tactics and tricks
When facing conflict, you don’t have to choose between running away and an ugly confrontation. This book offers you a winning game plan. You’ll handle conflicts with faith and confidence—and perhaps even a touch of eagerness. Loving your enemy starts here.