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. rbrenmhXARWRMUvVyOdHlner@ChacxgDmtwOKrxnripPCoCanyon.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? rbrenmhXARWRMUvVyOdHlner@ChacxgDmtwOKrxnripPCoCanyon.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:
- False Consensus
- Most of us believe that our own opinions are widely shared. We overestimate the breadth of consensus
about controversial issues. This is the phenomenon of false consensus. It creates trouble in the workplace,
but that trouble is often avoidable.
- Preventing the Hurt of Hurtful Dismissiveness
- When we use the hurtfully dismissive remarks of others to make ourselves feel bad, there are techniques
for recovering relatively quickly. But we can also learn to respond to these remarks altogether differently.
When we do that, recovery is unnecessary.
- Compulsive Talkers at Work: Peers I
- Our exploration of approaches for dealing with compulsive talkers now continues, with Part I of a set
of suggestions for what to do when a peer interferes with your work by talking compulsively.
- Patterns of Conflict Escalation: II
- When simple workplace disagreements evolve into workplace warfare, they often do so following recognizable
patterns. If we can recognize the patterns early, we can intervene to prevent serious damage to relationships.
Here's Part II of a catalog of some of those patterns.
- The Knowledge One-Upmanship Game
- The Knowledge One-Upmanship Game is a pattern of group behavior in the form of a contest to determine
which player knows the most arcane fact. It can seem like innocent fun, but it can disrupt a team's
ability to collaborate.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming July 24: The Stupidity Attribution Error
- In workplace debates, we sometimes conclude erroneously that only stupidity can explain why our debate partners fail to grasp the elegance or importance of our arguments. There are many other possibilities. Available here and by RSS on July 24.
- And on July 31: More Things I've Learned Along the Way: IV
- When I have an important insight, or when I'm taught a lesson, I write it down. Here's Part IV from my personal collection. Available here and by RSS on July 31.
I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenmhXARWRMUvVyOdHlner@ChacxgDmtwOKrxnripPCoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, 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 Race to the South Pole: Lessons in Leadership
- On 14 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. But to organizational leaders, business analysts, project
sponsors, and project managers, the story is fascinating. We'll use the history of this event to explore
lessons in leadership and its application to organizational efforts. A fascinating and refreshing look
at leadership from the vantage point of history. Read
more about this program. Here's a date for this program:
- Baldwin-Wallace University, 275 Eastland Road, Berea, Ohio
44017: November 7,
Kerzner Lecture Series/International Project Management Day, sponsored by Baldwin Wallace University and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Project Management Institute.
- Baldwin-Wallace University, 275 Eastland Road, Berea, Ohio 44017: November 7, Kerzner Lecture Series/International Project Management Day, sponsored by Baldwin Wallace University and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Register now.
- 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.