Dealing with Emotion and Content

IDevice Icon Words to the Wise
"Discord hijacks rational thought and makes people take extreme stands. Think about an argument over Chinese versus Italian food for dinner. There are other choices; you're just too worked up to get to them.

That's why it's so critical to look beneath the positions to what somebody else's real interests are. One person could say, 'I just had Chinese'; the other doesn't want the carbs from pasta. Now you can calm down enough to find the solution that meets both of your needs -- steak, maybe.

When a relationship is suffering, it's important to think, 'What is this person's story? Abuse? Betrayal? Fear of intimacy?' Once you shift your focus away from yourself and toward the others involved, you've made room for compassion."

Eileen Borris-Dunchunstang, Ed.D, director of training at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy and author of "Finding Forgiveness"

Conflict Scenario


iDevice icon Your Turn

What do you think happens next in the Science Fair Scenario? What does Professor Armstrong say? How does the student's mother respond? What did Principal James do to manage this conflict?

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