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Two wrongs don’t make a right

Christopher Bell Blomquist
© Conflict workshop Scotwork

Have you ever wanted to get even, or at least teach them a lesson, or just liked to push back a bit, or score some points by being sarcastic?

Well, you are not alone, most of us can relate to situations where we have had to deal with everything from arrogance to people being outright rude towards us.

Why does it stir up so many emotions and why do we in some cases accept it, and in other cases we decide to suddenly fight back?

What is it that lets our personal ego get triggered to such an extent that we decide to seize that special moment when we can lash back at our counterpart?

Emotions, ego, personalities, culture, competition, aggressiveness, gender, power balance, costs, history, behavior, suspicions, etcetera , etcetera.

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You name it, we can find conflicts due to a long row of reasons, but if you put that aside for a while, and if you have to to boil it down to one word, what would it be?

Well, in my case its often a question about trust, or the lack of trust, if you suspect someone is trying to outsmart you, then your behavior will mirror your expectations.

It can also be that people are used to get what they want by being as they are, history has taught them that that kind of behavior is successful when they want something.

it’s not uncommon that tough people, who are used to impose their will on others, don’t know how to solve issues in any other way, that’s why they stay so stubborn.

Staying professional in different relationships is your choice, but accepting bad behavior might not always be the best alternative if you ask me, so what can you do?

Well first of all, don’t try to get even, don’t try to fight fire with fire, decide what you are going to focus on, what is your goal in the relationship you have?

If it’s a business relationship or maybe within your family or an external relationship, what are your expectations and why is it important to settle the matter between you?

We all have different relationships, in some cases we can choose to end it, but in some cases that is not an option, for different reasons.

Don’t be afraid of conflicts, they are a healthy part of many relationships, especially if there is trust between you, conflicts can be as simple as just having different opinions.

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The next time you have to decide anything due to a conflict, it can be for example:

If a supplier is asking you to accept a price increase due to the pandemic.

If an important client is ordering more, while they are showing signs of not being able to pay for it, and they are giving you a hard time for not delivering.

If you are put under pressure for not being able to deliver, or that something has previously gone wrong.

If they expect you to drop your price just because you are offering something to them.

It might be that they have put into precedence of being harsh on everyone, as it has been successful for them in pervious interactions.
Whatever the reason, don’t just give in, make sure there is an consequence to every move they are trying to make you accept.

If you do not react to it or at least show them how unrealistic their demands are, then you are just training them into how to treat you, over and over again.

If you buckle under pressure, they will keep on pressuring you, if you make them pay for any concessions on your side, then you are training your clients future behavior towards you.

So the next time you are in a conflict with a client, I suggest to consider the following behavior from your side.

Make sure you structure their expectations, by making sure they understand that you will listen to them and try to understand their point of view.

But, and there is a big but, you have to emphasize that your listening and trying to understand is not in any way an acceptance of what they are asking for from you.

Structure the procedure by explaining that you will not make any decision in the same meeting and that you will make a considered realistic counterproposal to settle the issues in a separate meeting at a later date.

If you find their claim to be righteous or if you find their claim to be unrealistic, make sure you count it in an equally realistic way or in an equally unrealistic way.

Never ever just give in or give anything away for free, it will only breed greed and set precedence for continuous bad behavior, due to that you are training them to ask for more.

Remember, tough people do not always see themselves as tough, they can in many cases be trying to be specific, or they are under such pressure they are coming across as rude.

They are in some cases trying to improve their arguments by intimidation or force, usually by threatening with different consequences if you do not comply.

In other cases, they are harsh due to that they are afraid to commit to anything due to pervious engagements and experiences.

Not all dogs that are barking at you are dangerous, sometimes it’s just for show and if you get the urge to hit back, don't do it, lets have a talk instead, or why not join one of our courses, it might open up some other alternatives that you can choose from. 

If you would like to discuss it a bit more, or to see if I can help you in any way to improve a relationship of yours, let’s have talk and take it from there.

Stay safe

Christopher Bell Blomquist
Managing director Scotwork Sweden
BellBlomquist Consulting.

Christopher Bell Blomquist
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