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?
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 →
As well as enthralling and enchanting, the Galapagos Islands are enlightening. Critters with complex social communities are abundant. It was fascinating to watch their dynamic interactions in species and among species.–… Read more Lesson on Conflict from the Galapagos Islands →
Question posed: My dear friend and I stopped talking to each other after a huge disagreement. As far as I’m concerned, the relationship is over like we’ve divorced, or I fired my friend. Yet, that fight and my ex-friend is all I seem to talk about when I see others who know us both,. What’s that about and how do I move on? Answer: Some people, and this apparently includes you, believe that conflict breaks relationships as if the relationship no longer exists. In fact, conflict ties the conflicting people in… Read more Conflict is a Relationship →
Question posed: My two siblings are in a conflict and asked me to chose a side, like casting a deciding vote. I said I’m neutral, which upset them both. I have an opinion on who’s correct, but don’t want to get involved. Should I tell them my decision? Answer: It must feel like whatever you chose to do, you lose. You’ve tried three options: to steer clear, be neutral, and offer an opinion, none of which they accepted. They won’t retreat from their one option of you choosing, which you’ve refused… Read more It Depends: Finding balance in conflict →
On Sunday, a group of 25 senior citizens gathered to watch a 1934 movie about a family torn apart by conflict over 15 years. In summary, the conflict was between a mother, M, and her daughter-in-law, S. The rift got deeper and uglier, until M’s 13 year old grandson reached out to her and brought her together with his mother, S, and father we’ll call Y. My role at the gathering was to facilitate the post-movie discussion. We began by asking who in the audience blamed M, who blamed S, who… Read more Transforming Conflict Attitudes →