One of the things that sometimes happens when we are embroiled in an interpersonal conflict is that we perceive the differences between us as a matter of right and wrong. That is, that we are right and the other person is wrong! That perspective may be the other person’s too, of course. In many cases, such attributions do not apply and mostly, they don’t serve us well. Yet, when there is a need to find fault, it seems many of us think in positional terms of black versus white and hold strongly to those oppositional views.
Insisting on being right and making others wrong is one way of managing conflict. However, the reality is this approach doesn’t advance resolution, reconcile the relationship, clear the air or achieve positive outcomes, there are other ways to proceed if we want to. This blog will include self-reflective questions for those who want an outcome that helps to make amends and is based more on thinking about the grey in between the starkness of black and white positions.
Please consider a dispute in which you and another person have disagreed or are currently disagreeing, and ask yourself these questions:
• What makes the other person’s viewpoint ‘wrong’?
• What is ‘right’ about it?
• What makes your viewpoint ‘wrong’ for him or her?
• What is ‘right’ about your perspective that he or she doesn’t seem to understand?
• What seems to be keeping him or her from understanding your perspective?
• What if anything may you both agree on?
• What is the main thing (do you think) that is keeping you two from accepting each other’s point of view (and even agreeing to disagree)?
• What do you think it would take for him or her to acknowledge the way(s) you are ‘right’?
• What do you think it would take for you to acknowledge the way(s) he or she is ‘right’?
• What approach may you take that is neither black nor white but a shade of grey, to help you make amends?
Try asking these questions when the next right/wrong battle comes up for you.Cinnie Nobel is the founder of CINERGY™ Coaching, a division of Noble Solutions Inc in Toronto, Canada. You can contact Cinnie at: 1-866-335-6466, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at: http://www.cinergycoaching.com/