Management Blog by Cinnie Noble
One of the reasons conflict sometimes evolves is because we aren’t aware of the reasons someone is upset with us. In these cases, by the time we are told about the situation by the person who feels aggrieved by something we said or did the dynamic between us has become increasingly tense. Our lack of knowing how we caused offence adds to our unsettled feelings. This sort of scenario also gives us a sense of helplessness.
Had we known about the other person’s perspective and experience about us things may not have gone on so far and become as difficult. That is, though we might not have liked what the other person told us, we may have been able to “nip things in the bud” and address matters earlier – before feelings escalated.
These are tough situations and it’s difficult at these times to make sense of why the other person didn’t let us know what we did or what we could have done differently. Perhaps they are afraid to share the problem as they see it; maybe they think things will change without saying anything; or they don’t want to risk offending us. These and other reasons may account for not sharing their views and needs, though not knowing does not provide us with the tools or strategies to know how to respond.
This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider a conflict situation in which you wished you had known earlier what was ailing the other person before things evolved.