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Category: Conflict Doctor answers your questions

Conflict management and storytelling

Question posed: When should I use conflict management and when is it okay to behave ‘normally’ and let go of conflict competence to experience real emotion, like anger. Answer: I rarely encourage stark ‘either-or’ thinking such as this, and the two choices offered (to either be conflict competent or have real emotions) don’t contain every option:

Blind Spot analysis

Question posed: This question during a talk I gave. One man in the audience said a lot of getting along was being friendly and polite. Thus, he usually greeted everyone, even strangers in cities he visited, and they almost always returned his greeting. This, he said, proved that everyone can contribute to better relationships. Then, the man posed this question to me: when I travel, do I greet people, such as those standing waiting for the elevator with me. Answer: I replied that I also greet strangers but might not in the scenario… Read more Blind Spot analysis

Apologies have a role in conflict management

Question posed: is it seemly for a manager to apologize to someone he supervises? Answer: It happens, as an intervention proceeds, that parties in conflict learn more about the other parties’ perspectives. Often, the result is that someone wants to apologize for behaviour that seemed reasonable at the time. Learning from the discussion in the mediation what the impact of that behaviour was on the other people, can put that behaviour into a whole new light. Has that happened in this case?

Disappointed Expectations are a Source of Conflict

Question posed: In your experience as a Conflict Doctor, what is the most common cause of conflicts? Answer: My analysis of the leading cause of conflict is disappointed expectations. Some examples of what we desire that someone else doesn’t deliver are: what you want accomplished doesn’t get done someone you love fails to meet your needs the quality of work you want falls short of your standards children aren’t quiet when you need silence and so on….. Another interesting observation about disappointment over unfulfilled expectations; the person who disappointed, often did not know… Read more Disappointed Expectations are a Source of Conflict

Positive behavior models at work

Question posed: Sure, these are tough times in lots of different contexts. But some of my colleagues are letting their personal anxiety make them testy and hard to get along with at work, which makes me wonder if they want to be fired for bad behaviour. How do I cope with them? Answer: Yes, difficult colleagues create an atmosphere that’s hard to breathe. It sounds like you understand reactions to tough times vary, and some people act out their fears and anxieties. Your compassion for what they are experiencing is… Read more Positive behavior models at work