ascribing good motives

A few weekends back, I sat in on a training session called “managing change in 3 questions”. The session was about coping with conflict that comes from implementing change. The essence of keeping your cool? Keep ascribing good motives to the other person, even when you’re in the midst of conflict.

The three “questions” were:
– What am I afraid of?
– Because I feel that…
– What I really want is…
They’re meant to be used to understand what the other person is thinking as they cope with change.

By working through these three questions, it is easier to see that the other person isn’t an ogre trying to hurt you, they’re just trying ot present a point of view, and wanting to avoid being hurt themself.

Since attending the session, I’ve had a couple of opportunities to put this into practice: it makes a big difference in any conflict situation, not just the ones where you’re trying to implement change.

In a situation involving conflict, it’s good to have a strategy ahead of time for keeping your cool: otherwise you may end up saying or doing something that you will regret later.

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