Conflicts often arise when people have unmet needs. People will do everything in their power to get their needs met. They often start the search to have their needs met with a “whisper.” The whisper can take many forms depending on the person. When the whisper is not heard, they often raise the volume until they begin to “yell.” Like the whisper, the yell can take many forms.
- Outgoing, task-oriented, dominant people may whisper by tapping their foot or finger. They may yell by demanding results and respect.
- Outgoing, people-oriented, inspiring people may whisper by joking or laughing. They may yell by becoming sarcastic and emotional.
- Reserved, people-oriented, supportive people may whisper by becoming silent and looking away. They may yell by withdrawing and avoiding contact.
- Reserved, task-oriented, cautious people may whisper by asking questions and appealing to rules or procedures. They may yell by criticizing and condemning.
The expression of the search may be different for different people, the reason is the same: unmet needs. In any conversation, and especially in a conflict conversation, pay attention to the whisper, and do everything in your power to meet the other person’s needs. Do this, and you reduce the chance that they will begin to “yell.”
Is there anyone in your life that is whispering to you about their needs?
I owe the thought behind this post to Jeanine Fitzgerald. Jeanine is one of the most amazing people I know. She is a fantastic educator. This week, she sat in on a training session that I co-facilitated. During the session, she shared the thought captured in the title of this post.
If you want to know how to become a better parent, educator, or business leader; I strongly recommend that you read her book: The Dance of Interaction.