Summary – Conflict management

Previously I asked your opinion on how a simple imagination of seeing yourself from a third person view can help solve marital problem. And today I will try to explain that claim.

But first, can I ask? Do you able to picture looking at yourself from another point of view? I mean visually. Seeing yourself smiling while reading on the net, or humming your favorite song, It is a very enlightening feeling.

So what does this have to do with solving problem? Especially marital ones?

This is actually the basis of “Conflict Management” practised all around the world, seriously. I actually learn this during my years of studying. Not that they specifically teached you to start closing your eyes when a conflict arises and imagine. That one is all me :).

By conflict, I am referring to an argument between two person about a matter. One thing about argument or conflict is that everyone wants to be a winner and will not accept anything less. For example, arguing about how to do a job assigned. You may have your way and you think that would be the best way to approach it. Your colleaue however disagree. He think his method is by far better and you should agree with him.

Can you guess what will happen if the both of you are equally stubborn? Yes, the argument will last eternity.

This is how conflict management solve the problem.

1) Stop arguing
Literally, you must stop arguing to solve the problem. Both of you. It’s very hard to review the problem when all we do is defending our own view. Just sit down,

2) Attack the problem, not anything else.
Believe it or not, this is where all conflict starts. Yes, people can be so unproffesional sometimes.

It may first start like addressing the problem first, Let me give you an example. There is a machine in my mill (true example) that has been having problem. The bearing kept on breaking and this cost a lot of money, about $5000. And the manager obviously asked what happened.

The supervisor immediately blame the maintenance team, by saying that they did not do proper work when installing. The maintenance team however claim that the supervisor is tempering with the machine and spoil it.

What the supervisor and the foreman should do is to stop pointing fingers and look at how to solve the problem. If only they can see themselves from another point of view, they will see how silly the argument since that personal attack argument cannot have practical solution.

A practical solution would be that from now on, anytime the maintenance team work on the installation, an engineer and the supervisor will be present to help. Also measures will be taken to stop any tempering of the machine, like locks etc.

That goes the same with marital argument. Husband and wife arguing. Both are equally egoistic and will argue to the death just to defend that ego. Maybe the wife want a maid to help her with the housework. However the husband feels that the wife is just trying to order him around by making him do this and that, so instead of agreeing to find her a maid, he just ignore the request entirely.

The actual problem is not the husband’s ego. It is actually the fact that the housework is steadily increasing in number and the wife doesn’t have the time to work on those. In the end, the wife find herself a maid just to show the husband she’s right. And the husband obviously don’t like it. So the argument will continue on, despite the problem has already been solved.

Conclusion – Most of the time, when we argue, there is always a high possibility that the argument will turn to personal attack. This should never happen. A problem is a problem. It will never be solved by attacking other people.

The textbook method of conflict management is actually to take a step backward and view the problem as a wall located in between the two people arguing. The objective should always be to break the wall instead of hurting the two people.

———— Personal Note ————
I know, it is harder to do than to talk about it. People especially during argument will do their best to win. Still, I have to consistently guide my supervisor and foreman to work together as a team instead of trying to kill each other. :)

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  1. 08 Apr 08 4:08 pm

    Conflict Management is much easier if it is between husband / boy friend and wife / girl friend.

    As the guy, just shut the poke up, the conflict will subside after the flames died off.

    Do not feed the flame! 😀

  2. banji
    08 Apr 08 9:46 pm

    Deimos Tel`Arin – A good method – do not feed the flame, but still… there may be times when we have to defend our stand, hopefully there’s a strategy then :)

    any idea?

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