Resolving Disputes When Logic Collides with Emotion (Part II)

Posted by Robyn E. McDonald on April 30, 2011  /   Posted in Business Options, Family Options

(Part II of a Three Part Series)

Read Part I Here

So, how do Logical (Facts & Figures) People and Emotional (Achy/Breaky) People work with each other personally or professionally? 

  • Remember that you both have different ways of looking at things, and neither is right or wrong – they’re just different. That alone will get you further down the path of resolution.
  • Pay attention to how the other side sees the issue. You don’t have to agree, but you do need to sincerely acknowledge it. Each party’s concerns/interests are his or hers; they’re not ridiculous or worthless. Respect them, though you may oppose them.

Cheat Sheet for the Facts & Figures (“F&F”) Person: 

  • Stop and listen to what the other person is saying. It’s hard, but try to actually hear what the other party is saying – pretend it’s a complicated, but intriguing algorithm. Try to repeat back to her what she said (which may be difficult – be patient!). Give the conversation a chance to progress before you jump into the crux of your logistics (actual figures). Let the other person know that you can understand and respect her point of view, even if you disagree with it. “Emotion based” people need to be heard and validated – it’s everything.
  • Let your proposal breathe. Remember, an Achy/Breaky (“A/B”) person has to feel like her comments have moved you, literally and figuratively. So, your ultimate position needs to “reflect” her emotions. No need for extremes here, just don’t figure out the entire problem on your own then throw out a “take it or leave it” position. Give her interests and concerns due consideration. Engage in dialogue; allow your numbers to be flexible in light of the A/B’s emotions-based counter proposals. If you process her reasoning with the same determination as you devised your proposal, you may be pleasantly surprised at the result.
  • Stop with the “I’ll call my lawyer‼” Give the situation a chance; listen, dialogue, validate the other side’s reasoning, if not her offer. If resolution is impossible, then tell her what your next move is – (especially since you have already calculated the win/loss ratio) – don’t waste threats. Threats intimidate an Achy/Breaky person (it’s personal, not just business), and ruin any chance to informally resolve the dispute. Threatening to go to court is a “be careful what you wish for” kind of problem – what you may get from a judge could be far worse than what you might have gotten by continuing informal dialogue. Clinging to your facts and figures may ultimately cost you much more money, time, and energy. Finally, when Achy/Breaky threatens to go to court, don’t recalibrate. Until she really does, you still have a chance to resolve the conflict. Remember, A/B’s deal in emotions – hitting the panic button is reflexive. Whatever emotion they are communicating is most likely a knee jerk reaction to the “logic” you have tossed onto the negotiating table. Inhale…Exhale…Repeat.

In the final section, we offer suggestions for the Achy/Breaky Person to positively engage in disputes with Facts & Figures People.

Contiue to Part III: Cheet Sheet for Achy/Breaky People

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