Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 17, Issue 3;   January 18, 2017: On Differences and Disagreements

On Differences and Disagreements

by

When we disagree, it helps to remember that our differences often seem more marked than they really are. Here are some hints for finding a path back to agreement.
Many different viewpoints make for many different choices

Many different viewpoints make for many different choices

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 growth
    think 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. rbrenrLjUINLAYKBEGYdbner@ChackcKbhuvCVhYSgLJNoCanyon.comSend me yours. I'm always interested. Go to top Top  Next issue: How to Get Out of Firefighting Mode: I  Next Issue

101 Tips for Managing Conflict 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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See also Conflict Management and Emotions at Work for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

Children playing a computer gameComing July 18: High Falutin' Goofy Talk: III
Workplace speech and writing sometimes strays into the land of pretentious but overused business phrases, which I like to call high falutin' goofy talk. We use these phrases with perhaps less thought than they deserve, because they can be trite or can evoke indecorous images. Here's Part III of a collection of phrases and images to avoid. Available here and by RSS on July 18.
Office equipment — or is it office toys?And on July 25: Exploiting Functional Fixedness: II
A cognitive bias called functional fixedness causes difficulty in recognizing new uses for familiar things. It also makes for difficulty in recognizing devious uses of everyday behaviors. Here's Part II of a catalog of deviousness based on functional fixedness. Available here and by RSS on July 25.

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On 14The Race to the Pole: An Application of Agile Development December 1911, four men led by Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole. Thirty-five days later, Robert F. Scott and four others followed. Amundsen had won the race to the pole. Amundsen's party returned to base on 26 January 1912. Scott's party perished. As historical drama, why this happened is interesting enough. Lessons abound. Among the more important lessons are those that demonstrate the power of the agile approach to project management and product development. Read more about this program. Here's a date for this program:

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