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This quote refers to a common phenomenon for many of us when we are in conflict and the need to be right trumps the possibility of accepting another perspective. Considering alternative ideas as legitimate, backing down, being okay with acknowledging another resolution or way of approaching a matter, being wrong – these and other choices can be elusive when we get stuck in our own rightness. And often, asserting that stance – of having to be right – only serves to support a need to make the other person wrong. That is, it doesn’t facilitate collaborative communications, mutually acceptable resolutions, or a way to reconcile our differences.

It’s not that there’s one reason for asserting our view as the right one – and taking on the job of proving it so. It may be we are  so attached to our perspective that we cannot imagine or accept another outcome as viable. Or, perhaps we already have proof – reasons to believe in our view over the other person’s. Some other reasons that compel this approach may have to do with self-centredness and conceit, hating to be wrong, afraid of being wrong or giving in, disdain for the other person, lack of creativity, openness and flexibility to name a few.

If you have a tendency to assert your perspective rather than change your mind, consider a specific situation when you have done this as you answer the set of questions in this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog.

  • What is the situation about?
  • What is the view (solution, answer) you are asserting?
  • What makes that the right perspective (solution, answer)?
  • Why does the other person not agree with your perspective?
  • What does the other person assert as the solution or answer?
  • What makes their view wrong as far as you are concerned?
  • What makes their view right as far as they are concerned?
  • If you were to give up any part of what you are asserting what part would that be? How would that be for you? For the other person?
  • What part might the other person give up that would make a mutually acceptable  solution more likely (if you like that idea)?
  • What difference does it make to you whether or not you prove your view as the ‘right’ one?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflict management

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