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Showing posts from March, 2014

Rules of Engagement in Conflict--Rule #4

One night when there was nothing else on television, I decided to look for a movie on Netflix.  I stumbled across one of those straight-to-DVD flicks that featured a couple who were dating but were seriously considering marriage.  They'd been together a long time and seemed to know each other's qwerks pretty well.  They were a young couple.  The woman was a single mom whose son the boyfriend accepted as his own.  He was the proverbial "good guy" who was able to stomach a demanding, disrespectful girlfriend because of his great love for her.  Ironically, she suggested they go to couples' therapy before they decided to get married because she believed they needed to resolve a few issues first.  One of the biggest issues was her--and that filthy mouth of hers.  She spat so many expletives in a single sentence that you would've thought she viewed the love of her life as a worthless, mangy dog she'd prefer to have put down.  She was demeaning, loud, confr…

Rules of Engagement in Conflict--Rule #3

Rules of Engagement in Conflict--Rule #2

Rules of Engagement in Conflict--Rule #1

Since conflict between people, even nations, is inevitable, we have to find ways to disagree in a respectful way.  Couples, coworkers, managers and direct reports, church folk, siblings, parents and kids, government officials, businesses and customers:  listen up!  Mutual respect is the key to having a meaningful dialogue when emotions are on the rise.  Remembering that the person or people on the other side of the debate have a brain and opinions too is imperative to keeping your emotions in check.  When we argue with people, it's because we feel that our views are the right ones.  Thus, saying to the other side, "You're wrong" in some way.
     Of course, I realize arguments aren't quite that simple.  They're fueled by wounded feelings, betrayal, and other ways we feel mishandled.  But at the core of every disagreement is simply that:  We don't agree.  And that's okay.  Really, it is.  News flash:  You can disagree with other people.  It's…