CONFLICT RESOLUTION & RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT...

Appropriate Resolutions for life’s relationships.

       Too often, being honest is strategically forgotten in the heat of conflict. Honesty, Openness, and Transparency, the across-the-board honesty behind being HOT© , really speaks to applying an assertive approach when managing differences and maintaining functioning relationships. To think that we can fool ourselves into accepting distrust and manipulation as acceptable behaviours is to ignore reality or history. A wise man, and I don't remember who, once said that those who ‘distrust’ as a way of living are often also untrustworthy, and vice-versa. Here’s what it means to be HOT, or not.

 

Jessica’s story: a question of reality; hers.

                  Jessica's knew that someone had been at her computer while she was away on vacation; the hair she had taped to the bottom of her keyboard tray was gone. She even knew that it had been Carl, a colleague and recent addition to her team. After all, Carl wanted her job and dis-respected her for being old enough to be his Mother. Of course when she asked him about the computer he denied it. And as usual, she stewed for days before approaching her supervisor with her concerns; his response that she was being paranoid was followed up by his comments that "…the computers belonged to the organization and she had no proprietary right to exclusive use." She buried the issue resentfully but she'd get over it, she thought; after all, dis-honesty, closed minds, and cold hearts seemed to be the new culture.

 

Bill’s story: a question of expectations; and needs.

                  Bill's boss, Jeff, was a disaster when it came to relationships. Often, after Jeff had alienated someone important to the organization's future, Bill had to 'pick up the pieces' and increasingly, resented his role as Jeff's "nanny." For over two years Bill put up with Jeff's dishonest tendencies and prevarications until one day he could take it no longer. When he raised the issue with Jeff, however, the reaction Bill had envisioned and dreaded became the last straw. Jeff would not listen, denied Bill's assertions, and accused Bill of undermining his authority. It was the end of any meaningful relationship between them. Fortunately, the organization survived the void created when Bill terminated his contract shortly thereafter, and after Jeff left permanently by mutual agreement with his Board. If Bill had been honest about his feelings to Jeff, if Jeff had been more open to Bill's needs, do you think the interpersonal outcomes would have been different?

                  

       Both scenarios include behaviours which will be perceived as dis-honest, minds and hearts closed to options, and people who demonstrate an apparent need to control. And yet these are the conflict-generating monsters which lurk in many workplaces, families, and communities. If you value a relationship, push or ignore the HOT buttons at your own risk.

Text Box: HOT BUTTONS: When you're HOT … you're HOT!
	If you say you’re being honest, you also better walk the talk. 
Text Box: Honesty: Say what you mean and mean what you say. Walk the talk. Playing political games, perceived as manipulative, is rarely what most people believe it is to be “honest.”
Openness: Remain open to change or changing behaviour; be open to forgiveness. Take ownership of mistakes, mis-statements, or behaviour which may have been linked to intent, mistakenly. Again, 'games' are rarely perceived as openness. 
Transparency: Your intent must be clear without hiding the ’hard bits’. Triangulating, also labelled splitting, is the opposite of transparency and leads to perceptions that there are hidden agenda; this will be perceived as unknown or hidden threats.

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.