Too often we in our limited experience, readiness to be offended, and miniscule misinterpretation of matters erect barriers between us.
It is time the barriers come down and disintegrate!
Here are 10 ways to transcend barriers that divide and elegantly master dispute resolution.
1. Never judge something prematurely.
Judging something prematurely and hastily is deadly. A wise person will navigate cautiously, walk circumspectly, and listen attentively.
2. Be quick to hear and slow to speak.
Affirm the person while not committing to their conclusion. Listen wholeheartedly, but keep an open mind. Be more apt to listen rather than to offer your views, which could cause the speaker to be silenced and withhold vital information. God gave us two ears and one mouth. The ears were made to always be open, but our mouths have the ability to be shut. When you keep your mouth shut and ears open, you learn more.
3. Ask a lot of questions.
Graciously ask questions. Play dumb if you have to. Avoid appearing as if you are interrogating a person. Simply seek the facts and ask questions a number of different ways to flush out additional facts.
4. Seek differing opinions.
Opposing opinions are enlightening regardless of your views and whether you agree, or disagree. Elicit differing opinions and insight. The more angles and ways you can look at an issue, the more profound and detailed you shall truly see it for what it is. The reverse is true if you arrogantly assume you know everything and presumptuously move ahead hastily.
5. Be inclusive, honoring everyone.
Honor every person in a disagreement. Though people may behave and speak dishonorably, every human being deserves a degree of dignity and personal respect. As you give such respect, you afford them the opportunity to maintain and keep it.
6. Let every disgruntled party be heard.
People want to be heard and if you deny them this opportunity, their anger and hostility will cause them to seek other ways of being heard. It is far better to kindly and patiently listen early on before the problem escalates and emotions get out of hand.
7. Reiterate what you are hearing each party say.
Though you may grasp what the parties are saying, verbally reiterate it out loud so everyone can be on the same page. Nobody knows what precisely you are thinking until you vocalize and express your thoughts. Be forthright and candid concerning what you are hearing and understanding. Don't make any conclusions at first, just articulate that which you are hearing.
Oprah does a fine job of this on her talk show. If that visual helps you, just be Oprah for a few minutes and tell people what you are hearing them saying.
8. Ask for desirable outcomes among the parties.
Ask the parties what it is they want to come out with after the discussion. Allow the parties to state their desirable outcomes and expectations.
9. Inquire as to where compromises can occur.
Ask each party where they are willing to compromise and meet each other half-way in order to obtain their desirable outcome. Some may be polarized and unwilling to yield. That is perfectly fine. Others however to your surprise might make great concessions to peaceably reconcile and arrive at a win-win situation.
You never know until you ask. Furthermore it is far easier to simply ask such a question and let the parties resolve their own dispute. Trying to negotiate a settlement between parties can be exhausting. Let them wear each other down and make their own compromises and concessions.
10. Build on strength and the power of agreement.
Ask the parties what they agree upon and build upon that. The power of agreement is your place of power. Perhaps the end result is something you can agree upon. Though political parties rarely agree on policy, they all usually agree on being motivated by upholding the good of the country. Before diving into the dirty details of disagreement, continually come back and revisit the points of agreement. As you continually reunite the parties by revisiting that which they agree upon, hearts will warm and solutions shall surface to transform.
Bringing down barriers is not as hard as we think. It just requires active and wholehearted listening, asking the right questions, and honoring one another's desirable outcomes.
Paul Davis is a worldwide minister, peacemaker, change master, mediator, and life purpose coach (relational & professional).
Paul is the author of several books including Breakthrough for a Broken Heart; Adultery: 101 Reasons Not to Cheat; Are You Ready for True Love; Stop Lusting & Start Living; Waves of God; Supernatural Fire; Poems that Propel the Planet; and God vs. Religion.
Paul's compassion for people & passion to travel has taken him to over 50 countries of the world where he has had a tremendous impact. Paul has served in many war-torn, impoverished and tsunami stricken regions of the earth. His Dream-Maker Inc. is building dreams, breaking limitations & reconciling nations.
Paul's Breakthrough Seminars inspire, revive, awaken, impregnate with purpose, impart the fire of desire, catapult people into a new level of self-awareness, facilitate destiny discovery and dream fulfillment.
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