Conflict Management Coaching Blog by Cinnie Noble
“Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.” (Henry Ford)
While Henry Ford’s quote might well apply to making cars and running a business, it also has application to our interpersonal disputes when one of the common things many of us do is find fault with the other person. Or, we find fault in ourselves. Fault-finding in either case is not a good use of our time and energy. Though, yes, we can learn from finding fault in ourselves – with how we handled a situation – if we use that learning to improve our conflict competency. This week’s blog touches on the tendency to blame in either case, and how we might consider finding a remedy instead.
Why do we find fault anyway? The reasons vary of course – depending on the situation and other person and a host of other factors that may be leaning against us when we are faced with a conflict or initiate one. The other person may have let us down about a matter; we may want to take the attention away from our own bad behaviour; we are experiencing hurt, or feeling offended, betrayed, disappointed; our expectations, hopes and needs have been thwarted; a project didn’t work; we have a high opinion of ourselves, and lack respect for the other person or their efforts; and so on. These and many other possible reasons may result in a tendency to go to blame as a way of reacting. This isn’t to say that we overlook situations when someone has (or we have) done something blame worthy. (There are lots of situations that are unforgiveable and finding fault is a necessity.) The point in this blog is to consider – in our interpersonal disputes – whether finding a remedy – rather than fault – is a better use of our time and energy.
I suggest you bring two situations to mind – one in which you found fault with someone else and one in which someone else found fault in you – as you respond to this set of Conflict Mastery Quest(ions).
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