Join Fred Kofman for an in-depth discussion in this video Preparing for the conversation, part of Fred Kofman on Managing Conflict.
- So there's a couple things I'd like you to do. First is remember a time when someone escalated uncleanly. How did you feel? How did you want to relate to that person or not relate to that person afterwards? And then, think if there are any ways in which you are now escalating things in an unclean way. Are there any self-betrayals where you are going to a senior person and advocating for your perspective without first inviting the other person to come with you? And then think of any conflict you are having now and just ask yourself "What's your best alternative to a negotiated agreement?" Or a conflict you're going to have soon and say "What would I do if I can't agree with this person?" And don't walk into that other conversation until you answer this question.
Of course, you can always ask too, what is their best alternative to a negotiated agreement? Because if you want to negotiate successfully, you must offer the other person something better than what you think they could accomplish without you. Because whenever you're relating to another person, the other person is thinking "My level of happiness with you or without you." And if they ever realize that their level of happiness is higher without you than with you, then they leave.
So in any conflict, your job is to create happiness for them above what they could accomplish without you. That's the partner. As long as both people feel that "I'm happier with you than without you," the relationship is healthy. But if anybody starts believing that "I'm going to be happier without you than with you," that relationship is going to be in trouble.
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