When difficulties get you stuck — look at the other side!
When in a conflict situation, adopt an approach that seeks more information than you currently know. Instead of making assumptions, judgments and positions based on what you know, realize that there is much you do not know that could benefit you in this situation. Seek to see things from the other side.
Our view is never the whole of the situation. Here is an example. My neighbor and I rented a machine to aerate our lawns. He went first. I watched him make a couple adjustments, stand behind the machine to start the engine, and he was off. Later it was my turn. So I did exactly as I had seen him do, make sure the gas and choke were in position, stand behind and pull the starter rope. I pulled and pulled and pulled to no avail, the thing just wouldn’t start.
So I checked the gas tank. I looked at the side where the gas adjustments were. I looked at the back I fiddled, I pulled, I checked things over. I pulled and pulled and became exasperated. FINALLY, I gave up and went and got my neighbor.
He quickly pointed out to me that there was a BIG RED on/off switch on the front. No matter how hard I pulled on the rope, the engine was never going to start with the switch in the off position. WOW – I was standing behind the machine where you must be to start it, and had never looked at the front. Anyone looking at the other side would have easily seen the solution, but I never looked at the other side.
That is often why conflicts are not settled. People keep fighting for what they know to be reality… when they simply don’t know it all. Since there is key information that they are missing, their assumptions are incorrect.
Mediation helps both parties see what may be readily apparent if they simply step around to the other side and view the conflict from another perspective.
Many conflicts can be resolved more easily than we think by taking a look at the other side.