- Five Finds of the Fortnight
- Convince, compromise or collaborate?
Convince, compromise or collaborate?
Exploring three different approaches to conflict resolution
Many of us tend to think that conflict requires one person to convince the other of their point of view—or for one or both people to make a compromise.
What does “convince” really mean?
When I go into a conversation with the intention to convince the other person, it means:
I am certain that my way or opinion is the ‘right’ point of view, or the only valid point of view
I am already focused on a specific outcome
…which means I am not likely to be open to understanding the other person’s perspective.
What does “compromise” indicate?
A compromise indicates that we want to make sure that there’s no winner and no loser in order to keep the balance in the relationship.
In any conflict involving two people, a compromise is likely when we don’t see a viable third option.
A compromise can seem like the middle path because neither of us gets what we want; but when we compromise it’s likely that neither of us gets what we need.
A different approach
Both convincing and compromising focus on what I think is the more superficial layer, the one that’s most visible when we are in conflict: What does each of us want?
Focusing on the level of want almost always means that we pick one out of the two options available to us on that level.
When we can go deeper into understanding what our preferences tell us about what we need, we can understand the situation more comprehensively; it also means that more options open up to us.
Once we’ve understood both sets of needs, we can find new strategies for meeting them: when we do this together, considering both sets of needs, we are collaborating.
When we take this approach, we’re considering both sets of needs and arriving at a solution both of us are willing to try out.
This may require some flexibility and creative thinking on our part.
The flexibility comes from both sets of needs being heard; when we trust that our needs are seen and considered, we are more willing to consider options beyond the most preferred one.
The creativity comes from knowing that for every need, there can be many different strategies to meet them.
When we collaborate, we’re asking two key questions:
What do our individual preferences tell us about our respective needs?
(We connect with each other to understand both perspectives)
Knowing what both sets of needs are, what would we like to do to meet them?
(We generate strategies to meet these needs)
Tip: If you’re hesitant or apprehensive about applying this in a conversation right away, try preparing for the conversation by reflecting on these two questions, and notice if it makes a difference to how you engage with the other person.
NVC 365: An NVC tip everyday, in 60 sec or less
In the last edition, I’d told you about my new series on Youtube: NVC 365, which brings you one piece of NVC learning, insight or tip in 60 seconds or less.
This series currently has 16 videos, and is updated with a new video everyday.
If you’re new to NVC, these videos will give you ways to start applying the principles of NVC; and if you’re familiar with NVC, they may offer you a reminder, fresh perspective or inspiration in your practice.
PS. Have a question you’d like me to address in this series? Hit reply and share it with me!
Quote of the week
A workshop with teachers at Suchitra Academy, Hyderabad
Last fortnight, I did a series of workshops for Suchitra Academy, Hyderabad.
Over a week, I trained 220 people from their teaching and admin staff in the basics of Nonviolent Communication.
Here’s a small snippet of this workshop and participants’ experiences:
Would you like to see a similar workshop in your team or organization? Reply to this email to begin the conversation!
Coming soon: A weekday evening NVC practice group
Thank you for your responses to my poll on the weekday evening group to study and practice NVC. I’m working on the details and will come back to you with more information soon.