Thursday, September 13, 2012

Peel the Orange

How often do you react to a situation you perceive as conflict rather than consider it a two-sided conversation?  No one likes to compromise because it feels like a defeat when each person involved must relinguish something. Consider a flow of the three C’s – Conflict. Calm. Conversation. Creativity. Collaboration.

In order to achieve collaboration, a calm must precede conversation and negotiation. Consider a simple scenario. With one orange and two individuals, one wants a drink, the other wants to make orange cake. If they split the orange in half, they will not have a desired result.

Moving to the next level of thinking – creativity and compromise, they need to take time to consider what each person actually needs from the orange. One person needs the juice, the other needs the pulp and rind. If they compromise in this way, both will have something not considered before; not half of what’s needed.

The next time you find yourself in a conflict situation, consider the other C’s.

l. Move away from the heat and emotion of the conflict. Discuss a subject far removed; even the weather.

2. In calm conversation, discuss what each person needs. Take notes, do not talk, just listen to the other person’s viewpoint.

3. Take time away and write what you heard. Make two columns.  In the first write what you heard.   In the second, respond with your needs and views.

4. Consider how a third situation will move beyond compromise and into collaboration.

5. Return to conversation. Develop a metaphor to represent the idea of collaboration. How can you peel the orange?

This technique requires creativity, patience, time and thought.  You will benefit from the results and wisdom gained. 

Write about peeling the orange.

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