virgin islands scene

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.
-- Ivy Baker Priest
 

 

Friday, May 23, 2003

Beyond disagreement

When you disagree with someone, the way out of that disagreement is not to strengthen it by holding firmly to your own side. The most valuable and productive way out is to resolve the situation by finding common ground. That does not mean giving in. It does not mean forcing the other person to give in to you. Instead, it means being as open, honest and direct as possible. It means acting with a genuine desire to arrive at the best solution for everyone involved.

To every extent possible, forget about the disagreement itself and look for what the situation is trying to tell you. Imagine yourself in the place of the other person, and look at things from that perspective.

Nothing of value is produced by arguing. Look instead for ways to cooperate, to understand and to make yourself more clearly understood.

When you’re concerned only with what works for you, and only with what affects you, then you’re never going to receive any cooperation. Yet when you concern yourself with what’s best for all involved, that’s when you start to get somewhere.

— Ralph Marston

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