Archive for the ‘Conflict’ Category

Mediation: Something in the Middle

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

For people to reach their solutions, something needs to be different. And Now for Something Completely Different. One of the biggest differences you can make in a dispute is simply to get a mediator involved.

Having a someone else there definitely makes things different. Having a third person there who’s not invested in the dispute and who doesn’t have a dog in the fight or a stake in the result can sometimes make all the difference in the world.

Just the fact that somebody else is there is sometimes all it takes. Sometimes it takes more. (more…)

And Now for Something Completely Different

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

People come to me with their disputes usually when they’re at wit’s end.

They’ve been trying to fix it themselves, and whatever it is they were doing isn’t working. If it ever worked before, it isn’t working anymore now.

They know the definition of crazy: doing the same thing and expecting a different result. They know things need to be different to reach a different result. They get that. If they want a different result, something’s got to change.

And they know the solution. They already know exactly what it’s going to take. Something needs to change, and that something is the other person. (more…)

Believing in Competition or Collaboration

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Bill Bradfield reminds us to find the team of professional advisors we can rely on, because no one does it alone.  (I’ve Got Your Six!)  Not even solopreuners.  We’ve got to find people to collaborate with to do whatever it is we do.

I love the irony that it is the experience of competition in the marketplace – provocatively imagined as combat in this article – that awakens the need to find our collaborative team. Why is that? (more…)

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s … a Condo?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I’ve been thinking about condominiums.  Or more precisely, about the people in condominiums.

What is a condominium anyway?  Or more precisely, who is a condominium?  What is this human system, this group of people? (more…)

Funny Thought

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

We all know that people have different ways of looking at the world. But especially when we are in conflict with another person, it’s hard to remember that they might actually think differently.


Real People, Real Disagreements (cont’d.)

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Awhile back I asked people in a survey about how they describe what’s happening when they’re in real disagreements. For those of you reading this because you took it, thank you so much!

If you haven’t taken it, I’ll leave it up for awhile. Here’s the link:

The results are in the post below. But first, why a survey? Why ask people how they think about their disagreements?

Because lawyers talk funny. Everyone knows that. But lawyer-talk is part of the popular culture through TV and literature, so we sort of understand them.

Dispute resolution professionals talk even funnier. And the general public doesn’t have much exposure to these people. They sound just plain weird. As Steve Martin once said about the French, “it’s like they have a different word for everything!”

I did this survey to reground myself in the language of real people, as they really are, when they are in the middle of real disputes.

I really, really need to understand and to speak the language of real people in a way that is real to them when I’m marketing my services. I’m not there to see how my words are working and how people react to them. I can’t see it when they read my website and wince. I need the kind of information this survey provides to be able to describe what I do, how I do it, and when I might be able to help.

So – to the heart of it – what did we learn? Keep reading or click here

Real People, Real Disagreements

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Here are the results of a survey I took of real people talking about their real disagreements.

I asked you to think back on a serious event, which you would have called a Disagreement (50.0%), Conflict (48.2%), or Difference of Opinion (48.2%), Strained Relationship (41.1%), Confrontation (39.3%), Issue (37.5) or Dispute (33.9%). What was happening with you during that time is you felt Frustrated (80.7%), Annoyed (50.9%), Angry (42.1%), Unhappy (42.1%), Upset (40.4%), and Unfairly treated (38.6%).

What you wanted to have happen was A solution (54.4%), A resolution (49.1%), An agreement (47.4%), Resolution (47.40%), A sustainable solution (45.6%) and To be understood (45.6%). What you didn’t want is Money (3.5%), To cause the other grief (1.8%), A public statement (1.8%), Attorneys’ fees (1.8%), Recompense (0.0%), To ignore it (0.0%), or To sue (0.0%).

What you wanted from an outside person were Suggestions (59.3%), Solutions (53.7%), Assistance (53.7%), Advice (51.9%), Support (51.9%), and Recommendations (51.9%). You didn’t want the outside person to sue the other person (1.9%), To avenge you (1.9%), to threaten the other person (0.0%), to cause the other person pain (0.0%), to cause the other person expense (0.0%).

Considering how you felt at those times, you felt better about these ideas: Being understood (4.34 out of 5), Resolution (4.31), Being heard (4.29), Results (4.24), Solution (4.24), Agreement (4.23), Being acknowledged (4.20), Thank you (4.18), Productive (4.11), Result (4.10), and Cooperation (4.08). You felt worse about these ideas: Adversarial (1.76 out of 5), Leave it (1.76), Drop it (1.68), Ultimatum (1.67), Patronize (1.46), Give up (1.45), and Lawsuit (1.38).

Facing that kind of situation now you’d be more likely to involve a Mediator (3.83 out of 5), Mentor (3.74), Conflict Resolution Specialist (3.72), Dispute Resolution Professional (3.58), or Facilitator (3.53). You’d be least inclined to involve an Attorney (2.56 out of 5), Therapist (2.47), Referee (2.41), Pacifier (2.36), Judge (2.35), or Umpire (2.05).

The contexts of the situations you were thinking about were Workplace/workgroup (61.2%), Family matters (34.7%), Professional Services (26.5%), Neighborhood/Community (22.4%), Real Estate/Property (22.4%).

Demographics. 78% of you were 40+ years of age, mostly female (52.1%). You often work with other people (77.1%), are homeowners (66.7%), are parents (54.2%), are employees (50%) or are employed by someone else (43.8%).

What do you think? Surprised? There were certainly parts that surprised me – so I’m really glad I had your help. Thanks again!