Reaching a Resolution: Go For the Third Way
This week I'm sharing a nice exercise taken from the work chapter of my new book Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. I hope you will enjoy it, and that you'll find it to be a useful perspective in your working week and beyond.
(5 to 10 minutes)
One way of navigating conflict at work is to put aside, just for a moment, any ideas we may have about who is right and who is wrong. With these to one side, we can work towards developing a nonbiased understanding of the situation.
- Start by examining your own view point and the case you are putting forward.
- Then, in any way that seems appropriate, put yourself in the other person’s shoes, as though you were going to defend their side of the story. Arguing the other person’s side can take a bit of getting used to, especially if you are quite fixed in your own position. But do persevere, it’s well worth it!
- Next consider the impersonal third-person perspective. I like to think of that perspective as a really wise old grandparent who sees all sides of the story as though from above, who understands fully, doesn’t take sides and who offers objective, loving guidance to all involved. This grandparent doesn’t have a personal agenda so it’s easier for them to see the situation as a whole and how it might be resolved in a way that is in line with the greater good –as opposed to the personal good i.e.: what I want to have happened.
- Try to see the bigger picture of what has taken place and imagine howthat wise grandparent might advise you. After seeing things from all three perspectives, you might still fail to agree on things, but, in prioritising understanding over proving who is right or wrong, you could gain a fresh and balanced appreciation of the situation, which hopefully means it won’t happen again.
TIP: There may even be another perspective from which to view the situation . . . can you think of one?