Ten percent of conflict is due to a difference in opinion. Ninety percent is due to the wrong tone of voice. So what is the wrong tone of voice? Well, that depends on the history and wiring of both the sender and the recipient.
What was the intent of the sender? What is the response of the recipient? What triggered this response? During mediation I see, almost every time, that the message itself is not the total cause of the escalation in the dispute. Escalation occurs when one or both parties feel disrespected, threatened, belittled — the list goes on.
Working through a dispute most often requires unpeeling the onion through layers of miscommunication, innuendo and hidden meaning. What parties come into mediation stating as the problem or issue generally overlays their true dispute. The crux of the issue, many times, is lost in a barrage of accusations, one-up-manships and get evens.
A skilled mediator will spend the time necessary to sort through the “wrong tone of voice” issues so that the real difference(s) in opinion can be identified and analyzed by the parties. This process helps the parties understand their own triggers and to explore how they may have triggered the other party. Only at this point can they begin to address the real issue and areas where they disagree and where they can agree. A big part of mediation is teaching respectful communication.
Only at this point can they begin to address the real issue and areas where they disagree and where they can agree. A big part of mediation is teaching respectful communication.
What triggers you during a disagreement?
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