#74 How to Move Past Anger’s Payback Wish

How to Move Past Anger's Payback Wish (multiple doors)

Emotions have both meanings and action tendencies. Anger’s foremost meaning seems to be that another person or thing has caused harm and there should be a consequence. However, anger’s action tendency – the way it inclines us to carry out the consequence – can be problematic. One of anger’s central … Continue reading

#73 The Tapestry of Anger: A Review of Benefits and Cautions

The tapestry of Anger: Benefits and Liabilities (many traffic lights)

  Anger is both beneficial and necessary, and at the same time, a potentially dangerous liability. In this blog I write about some of its central benefits along with qualifying cautions. Anger is helpful as a: -Signal of wrong-doing -Means of defense -Message of deterrence -Energetic source of motivation   … Continue reading

#72 Take Responsibility: Four Ways to Get Out of the Blame Game

Four ways to escape the blame game

In conflict, people may acknowledge that they have contributed to difficulties, but then explain how the other party is more to blame. Parties usually have opposing arguments and are reluctant to take enough responsibility for their role in the conflict, and thus the total responsibility taken between the two is … Continue reading

#71 Taking More Responsibility for Conflict Leads to Greater Empowerment

Greater empowerment. Photo of man on sailboat

The road to greater empowerment in conflict resolution is different from what you might imagine. We are all familiar with the feeling of power that accompanies anger or being righteously offended. But, swellings of aggravation are delusional and a false sense of power. Through blame, these emotions assign responsibility to … Continue reading

#70 Apparent Sympathy

Apparent Sympathy

When listening to people in conflict you will sometimes hear them sound sympathetic to the other party. Someone who has been speaking negatively about the other party may, at times, ‘switch gears’ and sound like they are feeling considerate towards the other party. What is this apparent sympathy about? First, … Continue reading

#69 A Dialogue: Overcoming Mediation Resistance

dog-900215_960_720

The dialogue below is fictitious, but it is based on an experience I had as a mediator. It illustrates how mediation resistance can manifest, for example over encountering the other party The context is a court mediation program in which the mediator does not have the opportunity to conduct pre-mediation … Continue reading

#68 How to Respond to an Underlying Message

underlying message

A simple statement may carry with it a larger underlying message. If you take all simple statements literally, you will miss important elements of what the other person is communicating.     Trying to correctly infer the meaning of the underlying message is less important than noticing that there probably … Continue reading

#67 Creating Value in Negotiation

creating value: image of a phoenix

We negotiate because we want certain tangible interests satisfied. We may also need to talk through past events, or build a stronger working relationship. Additionally, there is another type of benefit to negotiation that can be a potential goldmine. It is the possibility of creating value that is not evident … Continue reading

#66 The Negotiator’s Dilemma

Negotiator's dilemma

In the previous two blogs I presented some of the ways that one could be taken advantage of in negotiation and how to respond to them. So far I have covered tricks, power grabs, exaggeration, and possible reneging on agreements. But there is another deeper and more profound problem that … Continue reading

#65 Lack Of Trust: A Threat To Collaborative Negotiation And How To Get Past It

This is the second in a series of blogs exploring factors that can threaten collaborative negotiation. The previous blog examined tricks and power grabs; this one looks at lack of trust. In Getting to Yes, Fisher and Ury suggest that one can proceed in negotiation independent of trust. Counter-intuitively, they … Continue reading