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The “Flip Side” in Conflict

Conflict
Management Blog
by Cinnie Noble

It is common that we get so caught up in our conflicts that we only see our side. We stick to our perspective and become increasingly entrenched in our position if the other person refutes us. Our defensiveness grows and it becomes harder to consider where the other person is coming from. That is, we don’t see “the flip side”.

The origin of this phrase goes back to the days when music was put on records (remember those?). Each record had one side that had the main recording (hit song) and then there was always another song on the back, which often was completely different than the front song. This song on the back became known as the ‘flip side’.

This phrase then caught on to refer to the fact that arguments usually have more than one side. We, of course, know that, but considering this phrase, this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog asks you to consider a dispute when answering this series of questions to consider its flip side.

  • What conflict situation comes to mind – one in which you have been or are entrenched?
  • About what do you feel most strongly regarding this situation?
  • What makes that especially important to you?
  • How are you contributing to the conflict?
  • What’s the flip side? That is, how would the other person describe what happened?
  • About what does the other person feel most strongly?
  • What might make that especially important to the other person?
  • How might the other person say you are contributing to the conflict?
  • What about the “flip side” do you not understand? What about your side may the other person not understand?
  • What difference does it make to you to consider the “flip side”?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?
                        author

Cinnie Noble

Cinnie Noble is a certified coach (PCC) and mediator and a former lawyer specializing in conflict management coaching. She is the author of two coaching books: Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model and Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You. MORE >

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