Usually, there's more than one way to convert disagreement into agreement. Choosing one can be tricky, though, because we so rarely appreciate all of what separates us or what distinguishes our views. Here's a collection of insights that might help find a path from disagreement to agreement.
- If I don't think I can explain it to a child, maybe I don't fully understand it.
- If it's urgent, go slow.
- Accountability and blame are two very different things.
- The problem is not the problem. The coping is the problem. — Virginia Satir
- Questions are usually just questions. Even when they're counter-arguments in disguise, they're still opportunities for giving great answers.
- When people I work with closely get into tangles, I'm probably involved in at least a minor way. Minor might still be significant.
- In tangles, everyone has a role. Being a spectator is a role.
- The person we all acknowledge as being involved in the trouble is only the person we're all willing to acknowledge. There are certainly others.
- We probably aren't the first people in the world to get into this particular fix.
- Our differences in this situation might contain echoes of our differences in another situation. Maybe one key to this situation lies in the other one. Unlocking this one might require more than one key.
- Although there are some people at work who are actually trying to harm others, they are so rare that I probably don't know anyone like that.
- The number of people who hold a particular belief isn't an indication of the correctness of that belief.
- When I say something I later regret, I'm usually repeating a previous error.
- For resolving differences, face-to-face is best. Phone-to-phone is next best. Voicemail is nuts. Anything involving a keyboard is totally nuts.
- Nobody has an accurate view of everything. I might be mistaken on this.
- There is almost always more than one way out.
- When I think there is only one way out, I probably haven't thought about it enough.
- When I Differences and disagreements
are the doorways to growththink I've thought about it enough, and I still don't have a way out, I'm probably just tired. I take a break and try again later.
- If I think I don't know what I want, maybe going for what I really want is too scary.
- I can consider what to do about an unpleasant possibility without accepting that unpleasant possibility as inevitable.
- I can't actually unsee what I've seen.
- I can see in new ways things I've already seen in old ways.
- I can see for the first time things I've never seen before.
- I can see something for the first time only once.
- I can't unlearn what I've learned, but I can learn what I haven't yet learned.
- When somebody else seems to be trying mightily to make things worse, maybe I don't fully grasp what he or she is trying to accomplish.
This collection is a work in progress. rbrenPIGzAjiBorpExyBtner@ChacjZiFtztIiNBZtFuooCanyon.comSend me yours. I'm always interested. Top Next Issue
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More articles on Conflict Management:
- Hurtful Clichés: I
- Much of our day-to-day conversation consists of harmless clichés: "How goes it?" or
"Nice to meet you." Some other clichés aren't harmless, but they're so common that
we use them without thinking. Maybe it's time for some thought.
- Lateral Micromanagement
- Lateral micromanagement is the unwelcome intrusion by one co-worker into the responsibilities of another.
Far more than run-of-the-mill bossiness, it's often a concerted attempt to gain organizational power
and rank, and it is toxic to teams.
- Meta-Debate at Work
- Workplace discussions sometimes take the form of informal debate, in which parties who initially have
different perspectives try to arrive at a shared perspective. Meta-debate is one way things can go wrong.
- Patterns of Conflict Escalation: I
- Toxic workplace conflicts often begin as simple disagreements. Many then evolve into intensely toxic
conflict following recognizable patterns.
- Toxic Conflict in Teams: Attacks
- In toxic conflict, people try to resolve their differences by eliminating each other's ability to provide
opposition. In the early stages of toxic conflict, the attacks often escape notice. Here's a catalog
of covert attack tactics.
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- When we attribute the behavior of members of groups to some cause, either personal or situational, we tend to make systematic errors. Those errors can be expensive and avoidable. Available here and by RSS on February 21.
- And on February 28: Narcissistic Behavior at Work: I
- Briefly, when people exhibit narcissistic behavior they're engaging in activity that systematically places their own interests and welfare ahead of the interests and welfare of anyone or anything else. It's behavior that threatens the welfare of the organization and everyone employed there. Available here and by RSS on February 28.
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
- Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.