Appropriate Resolutions for life’s relationships.


“J & K Resource Centre dispute” continued.

        Interestingly, White recently told me that the whole mess might have been prevented if she had joined Black to resolve the dispute between their office administrators. With a smile, she continued, "well, probably not."




       The list of potentially devastating business disputes is almost endless, but business contracts, malpractice, liability, outstanding debt, partnership dissolution, and intellectual property issues are all on the current “hit parade” of disputes ending up before judges or arbitrators. If you doubt that dispute resolution is a fast-developing growth industry, look under the “Lawyers” section of any city’s yellow pages directory.


         Whatever the details, the bottom line on business conflict is that when differences have not been resolved to everybody’s relative satisfaction, people will do whatever it takes to gain a “fair” remedy. According to the American Bar Association, 95 per cent of all business litigation settles prior to trial. So, why do people keep choosing the court option to settle differences when appropriate alternatives such as conflict coaching, mediation, and conciliation have proven to be so beneficial, expedient, and cost-effective?


         In the 25 years since Fisher and Ury first published their findings from the Harvard Negotiation Project in Getting To Yes, much has been learned about conflict, how it grows, and how to manage and resolve differences. As the sadistic captain of Road Prison Gang 36 said to Paul Newman in the 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, “What we got here is a failure to communicate.”


         Since all conflicts will be resolved, sooner or later, satisfactorily or not, the decision about avoiding, collaborating, or taking the war-like adversarial road to get what we want or need must be made daily. Next time you encounter challenges involving differences that seem to be moving towards conflict, hit the pause button and choose an appropriate resolution process. Consider how much winning or losing will cost you from the broadest possible perspective.


This article, The Huge Cost of Being Right, was first published in the January, 2008 edition of Douglas Magazine, Victoria's Business Magazine in Victoria, BC, Canada ( and is re-printed by permission. It will also appear online at and in their ebulletin on June 9, 2008 .

Text Box: Worth considering…

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  - GEORGE SANTAYANA 
Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.  - UNKNOWN
If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle.  - RITA MAE BROWN
Text Box: The Huge Cost of Being Right continued

Website table of contents  and Joseph Ravick …  links to what’s on this site and who I am.

ABOUT Conflict...  What conflicts look like…

DisputesWHAT DO DISPUTES LOOK LIKE,  and how do people react or respond when conflicts escalate into disputes? (the many faces of conflict),.

COMMUNICATION & CONFLICT  Definitions, terms, jargon

CONFLICT RESOLUTION TIPS AND GUIDELINES: Strategies and behaviours for you to apply when in conflict.

CONFLICT CHRONICLES: Original stories by Joseph Ravick with a common theme. The chronicles feature real-life conflicts describing the people, their relationships, and the outcomes which they experienced whether they liked it or not.