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. rbrenGDwYpahsQwlskLePner@ChacRyieUPPgShfqAWILoCanyon.comSend me yours. I'm always interested. Top Next Issue
Are you fed up with tense, explosive meetings? Are you or a colleague the target of a bully? Destructive conflict can ruin organizations. But if we believe that all conflict is destructive, and that we can somehow eliminate conflict, or that conflict is an enemy of productivity, then we're in conflict with Conflict itself. Read 101 Tips for Managing Conflict to learn how to make peace with conflict and make it an organizational asset. Order Now!
Your comments are welcomeWould you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenDTSOFvMXQMiCRWOIner@ChactgUBJHjkXYPdPbaOoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.
About Point Lookout
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.
Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.
Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.
More articles on Conflict Management:
- Top Ten Signs of a Blaming Culture
- The quality of an organization's culture is the key to high performance. An organization with a blaming
culture can't perform at a high level, because its people can't take reasonable risks. How can you tell
whether you work in a blaming culture?
- Masked Messages
- Sometimes what we say to each other isn't what we really mean. We mask the messages, or we form them
into what are usually positive structures, to make them appear to be something less malicious than they
are. Here are some examples of masked messages.
- New Ideas: Experimentation
- In collaborative problem solving, teams sometimes perform experiments to help choose a solution. These
experiments sometimes lead to trouble. What are the troubles and how can we avoid them?
- Preventing Spontaneous Collapse of Agreements
- Agreements between people at work are often the basis of resolving conflict or political differences.
Sometimes agreements collapse spontaneously. When they do, the consequences can be costly. An understanding
of the mechanisms of spontaneous collapse of agreements can help us craft more stable agreements.
- Overtalking: I
- Overtalking is the practice of using one's own talking to prevent others from talking. It can lead to
hurt feelings and toxic conflict. Why does it happen and what can we do about it?
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming March 28: Four Overlooked Email Risks: II
- Email exchanges are notorious for exposing groups to battles that would never occur in face-to-face conversation. But email has other limitations, less-often discussed, that make managing dialog very difficult. Here's Part II of an exploration of some of those risks. Available here and by RSS on March 28.
- And on April 4: Narcissistic Behavior at Work: III
- People who behave narcissistically tend to regard themselves as special. They systematically place their own interests and welfare ahead of anyone or anything else. In this part of the series we consider how this claimed specialness affects the organization and its people. Available here and by RSS on April 4.
I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbreniBKxGwptbkkgpuSwner@ChacmAVkTrsyxbfiIRkYoCanyon.com or (617) 491-6289, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.
Get the ebook!
Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:
- Get 2001-2 in Geese Don't Land on Twigs (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get 2003-4 in Why Dogs Wag (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get 2005-6 in Loopy Things We Do (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get 2007-8 in Things We Believe That Maybe Aren't So True (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get 2009-10 in The Questions Not Asked (PDF, USD 11.95)
- Get all of the first twelve years (2001-2012) in The Collected Issues of Point Lookout (PDF, USD 28.99)
Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info
- 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.