Who Are You Fighting With Right Now?

  • December 7, 2023
  • 2 min read

So, who are you in a fight with right now? Obviously, everybody has disputes with people—it could be a coworker, spouse, friend, relative, neighbor, or anyone you have a dispute with. When that happens, what do you do about it?

Small Disputes: Seeking Advice and Perspective
Consider an example seen in the newspaper’s “Dear Abby” column. Someone complains and seeks advice. Take, for instance, a scenario where a date instructed parking anywhere, leading to towing, and now they’re asking the other person to pay the fee. Regardless of which side you agree with, every story has multiple angles and hidden details.

Collaboration over confrontation
Having direct communication skills is crucial when dealing with disputes. It’s not about seeking validation from external sources, like an advice column. Merely having people side with you or the other person doesn’t solve the conflict. What’s essential is to strive for collaboration rather than aiming to win someone over to your side.

Bridging the Gap: Finding Common Ground
Instead of reinforcing each side with more supporters, the focus should be on bridging the gap between conflicting parties. Both sides already exist; adding more people to support them only strengthens their resolve. Mediation comes into play here, seeking common ground without making either side stronger.

Mediation as a Neutral Ground
Mediation involves a neutral third party, whether a friend or professional mediator, who doesn’t take sides but works to eliminate animosity. Neutral mediators facilitate understanding, acknowledging each party’s valid points while also identifying gaps or blind spots.

Using Mediation as a Conflict Resolution Tool
Utilize mediation as a tool to prevent minor disputes from escalating into major issues. Mediators help navigate the emotional aspects of conflicts, facilitating resolutions without resorting to Dear Abby columns, courts, or major interventions. Most conflicts are emotional, and mediation effectively addresses these, leaving tangible issues to be resolved more easily.

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