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A Time to Celebrate College Grads

College gradsEleven students received their degrees on December 20, 2012, from Broadview University-Orem. The graduation ceremony was held at the Sleepy Ridge Golf Course Club House. Receiving their MBAs were Margaret (Maggie) Jensen and Sheryl Smith. Jodi Lewis received her Associate of Applied Science in Accounting and Kent Mylroie received his in Business Administration. Two students received their associate degree in criminal justice: Jared Dunford and Terry Simpson. Associate degrees in medical assisting were awarded to Stophiann Johnson, Amber Stones and Emily Uzelac. Lindsey Norton received her associate in veterinary technology, and Adrianna Garza received her associate in paralegal studies.

The featured student speaker was Emily Uzelac and the keynote speaker was Mr. Todd King, a trainer and motivational speaker from VitalSmarts. Mr. King told the graduates that the gift of education is something they need to pass on to all those they come in contact with, as they serve the public in their respective fields. He also told them two things that have the potential to change their lives: The first was to be careful of the stories they tell.

When conflicts arise in their lives, the tendency is to pass judgment on the other person by telling a story. The story implies motives to the other person that may or may not be true. Instead of “demonizing” the other person, they can “humanize” them by asking themselves this question: “Why would a reasonable and rational person do that?” Everyone has a story and a reason for what they do. By humanizing them, it is easier to treat others with compassion and understanding even when they have acted in an offensive manner. 

The second skill is to “master” their stories. When resolving conflicts, start by simply relaying the facts without judgment, explain how it made them feel and then ask the other person to relay how they see the situation and how they feel. It all comes down to stories and self-talk. If they treat others in a nonjudgmental way, many conflicts will cease or be resolved.

VitalSmarts provides corporate training, optimizing organizational performance by specifically helping others resolve conflicts within their families and in work organizations. The founders of VitalSmarts are the authors of two best-selling books: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High and Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior.

Graduation ceremonies are the ending of a great education experience and a beginning of fabulous opportunities for Broadview University graduates. They have accomplished much and will go on to do great things in their chosen fields. Congratulations to our graduates!