When you disagree with suggestions about how to fix something, how do you typically respond? Are you open to considering what the person is trying to accomplish and working to help resolve the issue? Or are you judging the person, the problem, and the solution?
From COVID to health care to guns, certainly lots of opinions exist. It seems more and more common for people to become entrenched in their positions and adopt an ”all or nothing” or “my way or the highway” attitude.
While the real interests may be health and safety, folks often disagree about how to balance between freedom and responsibility in meeting those needs. During the disagreement, and while arguing about ways to address the issues, the real concerns for people often get lost.
When someone shares an idea, one may choose to consider it, support it or judge it. Considering an idea helps move the conversation forward. The latter tends to close off the conversation with phrases such as, “yes, we should absolutely do that (and more)” or “no, we should not do that, and need to cut back further.”
If someone spends time creating ideas to resolve an issue, it leaves more time to find a solution. It limits judging the people involved. What if the person’s idea is just a starting point?
Problem-solvers usually look at many solutions and consider the possible outcomes from an idea. They also keep generating other ideas until the best alternative can be found.
More than one solution may exist for any given problem, yet through careful analysis, one can determine which one(s) best meet the current needs.
This position-taking also happens in families, businesses, or organizations. People sometimes lose sight of what really matters and do not create ideas for conflict resolution. A mediator or conflict coach can help navigate those conversations.
What ideas do you have? How will you work with the people around you to address issues? Are you willing to consider and create more than two ideas to resolve conflict?