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. rbrenneIXhfNPmQUebUzPner@ChacKoEqeEfBAesbGjpwoCanyon.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!
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More articles on Conflict Management:
- Conflict Haiku
- When tempers flare, or tension fills the air, many of us contribute to the stew, often without realizing
that we do. Here are some haiku that describe some of the many stances we choose that can lead groups
into tangles, or let those tangles persist once they form.
- When You Can't Even Think About It
- Some problems are so difficult or scary that we can't even think about how to face them. Until we can
think, action is not a good idea. How can we engage our brains for the really scary problems?
- Logically Illogical
- Discussions in meetings and in written media can get long and complex. When a chain of reasoning gets
long enough, we sometimes make fundamental errors of logic, especially when we're under time pressure.
Here are just a few.
- Unwanted Hugs from Strangers
- Some of us have roles at work that expose us to unwanted hugs from people we don't know. After a while,
this experience can be far worse than merely annoying. How can we deal with unwanted hugs from strangers?
- Devious Political Tactics: More from the Field Manual
- Careful observation of workplace politics reveals an assortment of devious tactics that the ruthless
use to gain advantage. Here are some of their techniques, with suggestions for effective responses.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming October 17: Overt Belligerence in Meetings
- Some meetings lose their way in vain attempts to mollify a belligerent participant who simply will not be mollified. Here's one scenario that fits this pattern. Available here and by RSS on October 17.
- And on October 24: Conversation Irritants: I
- Conversations at work can be frustrating even when everyone tries to be polite, clear, and unambiguous. But some people actually try to be nasty, unclear, and ambiguous. Here's Part I of a small collection of their techniques. Available here and by RSS on October 24.
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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.