Friday, March 5, 2010

Men, Conflict and Community—Focus on Relationship

My dearest Friends this is an article I went through few days back and I want all of you especially All Men to Read it.I hope it'll be helpful If you are having any Relationship Issues.

By BRIAN J. MISTLER
Two heads are better than one. Most of us understand that this maxim speaks to the importance of community. Together you and I can do more than either of us could do apart. Relationships help us achieve greater life satisfaction; build bigger, better things; and make more money. In the language of business, focusing on relationships adds value to the bottom line.
And most of the time we do value our relationships. But often we—I mean, especially we men—act as though we don’t value relationships. In fact, I frequently see men damaging and even destroying relationships they say they value and have certainly worked hard to create. Why? Usually because anger, pride and a belief that pushing back is the way to get what we want causes us to lose focus. The irony is that when we do this, we are often acting in a way that gives us less control and less of what we want.
It’s not a surprise. As men, we grow up idealizing the battle-hardened, zero-tolerance gun slingers who embody the archetype of the detached man doing what it takes to get what he wants. In the Wild West the quickest gun wins, and callin’ me a name is reason enough to shoot ya’. A few thousand movies and maybe a couple playground battles later, and we get it: If someone hits you, hit him back. Of course this often degrades into a broad teach-them-a-lesson mentality, and one that doesn’t apply just to hitting. It applies whenever our pride is threatened or our ego bruised.
Perhaps a tit-for-tat approach is the best way to handle substantive negotiations. If we’re dividing up the marbles, justice may be approximated when I give you another marble only when you give me one. If instead we’re talking about community building and our long-term individual and group interests, we do a heck of a lot better if we also focus on our relationships. And there’s no risk’ Things like compassion, appreciation, and forgiveness are not limited resources.
So as a man, how can I begin to focus more on relationships? To start, listen—listen unconditionally. If I seek first to understand you, I benefit whether or not you reciprocate by understanding me.
Next, be consistently respectful. If the other guy or gal is being unreasonable and antagonistic, I can still do my part by behaving in an honorable, constructive way. In this way, I hold on to the power I have to prevent our conflict from escalating out of control when there is miscommunication and overreactions. In their book Getting Together: Building Relationships as We Negotiate, Roger Fisher and Scott Brown of the Harvard Negotiation Project reach this same conclusion: Putting relationships at the center of our negotiation strategy is critical.
It turns out the Wild West was not tamed just by lone gunslingers—far from it. America was built building by building, town by town, through countless acts of cooperation.  The same is true for today’s communities. Same is true for today’s workplaces, universities and families.
To build a relationship long-term, we can’t make our relationship conditional on the outcome of each quibble. Sure, I’ll lose sometimes. Would I rather get what I want? Absolutely. And if the relationship consistently causes me more pain than it’s worth, you better believe I’ll find another relationship.
Until then, if I can keep my head in the game and focused on the relationship—even when my girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, partner, work colleagues, or family members do not behave the way I would like—I’ll ultimately have better relationships and get much more of what I want. While two heads are better than one, one is better than none.