8-13 Chapter Summary & Bonus Activities

Now you’ve got some great new ways to identify conflict and discover common ground for understanding. You’ve seen how meta-outcomes can be used to help people recognize their common purpose. You’ve had a taste of how a well designed process for creativity can help further resolving conflict and building a common cause.

Chapter 8: Key Ideas

  • Having expectations or being on autopilot filters out information—which limits thinking and options.
  • The Well-Formed Outcome model (Chapter 2) can be used effectively alone, with a partner, or with a group.
  • Creativity is about multiplying choices. People can free up and more easily access their creative talents when they quiet inner dialogue, loosen up, and drop their filters.
  • Part of Walt Disney’s genius was to employ his inner Dreamer, his Realist, and his Critic separately and in sequence whenever he wanted to create something new. He’d use each of these mental roles in a positive, collaborative way. His strategy can be used alone or with a group.
  • People engaged in a conflict often feel stuck, and then their emotions take over, which puts them in a fight-or-flight mode.
  • Learning someone’s goal-behind-the-goal enables you to understand what’s really important and usually makes it easier to find common ground.
  • Once people in conflict can agree upon mutual goals or meta-outcomes, then they can work together to achieve those goals in a way that’s acceptable to both of them.
  • The same kind of sorting process and identification of goals-behind-the-goals can be used to help someone who’s experiencing an internal conflict. Once this person’s competing parts find common ground, the remaining steps of the Conflict Integration Process can be used to resolve the issue.
  • If a conflict has been going on for a while, the fight may have become personal—and the “gloves are off.” In these situations, it helps to ask each party, “If I were to ask the other person what’s most difficult about interacting or working with you, what do you think they’d say?” Next we’d build on their answer by asking, “Okay, if that’s true, then what would that make them want to do?” Then, of course, we’d ask these same questions of the other party. These inquiries enable them to see and depersonalize behaviors that they’ve been judging.
  • Although negotiation is a game where someone wants to and will win, some aspects of the Conflict Integration Process are still useful—such as: centering yourself, using rapport skills to get people talking, zooming out, noticing nonverbal behaviors and language patterns, and learning about the goals-behind-the-goals.
  • Effective preparation for any negotiation includes considering all possible outcomes– including “no deal”—so feelings of desperation are not driving behaviors and decisions.
  • In most business negotiations, there are at least four sets of interests involved—the other person’s and yours, as well as their company’s and your company’s.
  • The four assets at play in most negotiations are time, money, energy, and emotion. If someone’s not in a hurry to agree on and implement a solution, they may be able to leverage time to their advantage.
  • In any negotiation, it’s critical to have access to all the information related to the issues—and to understand who, on the other side of the table, has the authority to make a decision.
  • When dealing with difficult people, it’s important to help them feel heard and felt by asking questions, letting them blow off steam, naming the emotion—then moving them from being stuck to considering possibilities.
  • If someone is upset with another person, a very unexpected and effective way to approach them is to say, “I’ve been thinking about the expectations I’ve had of you—and I think I owe you an apology. The more I think about our situation, I imagine you must feel like I don’t take you into consideration . . .” This helps the other person feel felt, doesn’t add any new demands, and frees them up to go back to being their best self.

So now for a little more integration of these new practices and understandings, here are a few more practice opportunities…

Bonus Activities

  • Experiment with using the Well-Formed Outcome model with at least one other person for a common goal. Afterward, consider how this process and results differed from the approach you would have usually experienced.
  • Identify at least three occasions when you’ve been especially creative; then, anchor the feelings associated with that state so you can easily access this part of yourself.
  • Observe people that you feel are creative and ask them about their process. Experiment with what you learn so you can become even more creative.
  • For more examples on creative approaches, read Robert Dilts’ Strategies of Genius.
  • If you’re in a brainstorming session that’s producing negative interplay, recommend the Disney Creative Strategy as an alternative process to come up with new viable ideas. Here is a really nice visual description of the process: https://online.visual-paradigm.com/knowledge/disney-creative-strategy/what-is-disney-creative-strategy/
  • Set your intention to notice conflicts and how people behave when what they want isn’t the same as what the other person wants.
  • Play with questions you could ask to loosen things up and help people move from stuck to considering possibilities.
  • When find yourself in conflict – either with someone or within yourself – explore the goals-behind-the-goals.

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