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The Happy Solution
Resolving conflicts is easier than you think.
Happy Tuesday, and welcome to my JOURNALS.
Before we get started on the topic - I've got a couple of announcements to make first.
Diwali is coming 🪔
This Sunday, November 12th, 2023, I will be celebrating Diwali with my loved ones. For those who celebrate Diwali, I wish you a happy and prosperous Diwali in advance. As I will be busy with family events this weekend:
There will be no "Technical Literacy - Part 3" post this coming Sunday. Instead, it will be published the Sunday after that, on November 19th, 2023.
On this auspicious occasion, I am offering a 10% discount for an annual subscription to "Winning Strategy."
If you are interested, you can take advantage of this offer by visiting “Diwali Offer.”
The offer will expire on November 14, 2023.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please don't hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to today’s topic.
Resolving conflicts is easier than you think!
I was flipping through the pages of my Journal from 2017, and I came across a conversation I had with one of my very close friends.
He and I both went to college together. I was visiting him in London, UK, and we were discussing family and kids. All of a sudden, he got up, called his son and asked him to take the trash out. To his surprise, his son replied, “I am not doing that, Dad.”
Now, under normal circumstances, most normal dads would feel offended. But not my friend. How he handled the situation unlocked the massively confusing topic of “Conflicts.”
I called it “The Happy Solution.”
Think of it as fixing a problem in a straightforward, though non-obvious, way.
When you have an issue with someone - like with your boss, sibling, friend, or partner - a clever solution makes sure both of you get what you really need.
In any relationship, including work ones, problems arise when someone isn't getting what they want. But remember, there are two sides to every story. Each person sees the problem from their own angle.
For example, you want a raise, but your boss might see it as a budget-related problem.
Here's the thing: people often clash when they see the “same” thing but view it differently.
Now, how do we solve these situations so there’s a “happy” ending?
Here’s a simple approach.
Usually, in a disagreement, each person just says what they want.
Like, one might say,
"I want you to do X,"
and the other,
"I don't want ever to do X."
The real problem isn't the X.
X is the “what”.
The real problem is the “why”.
Instead of just arguing until one person, usually the less powerful one, gives in, try asking, “Why?”.
The “Why” is actually a gift to mankind.
So when you experience “conflict,” then instead of rejecting the person outright, say, “I hear you want me to do X. Can you tell me more about why?”
This “why” reveals the “need.”
Every demand or refusal is about meeting a deeper need.
When you want someone to do X, it's because it fulfills a need for you. And when someone refuses, they have their own need that's not being met.
Arguments usually just focus on the X, like:
"You'll do X!"
"No, I won't!"
But arguing doesn't help us understand each other’s needs.
It just leads to demands, escalation, and threats. Winning an argument might feel good, but it harms the relationships.
Actual conflict resolution digs into the 'why.' That’s where the magic happens.
So, when you ask your child to take out the trash, and they say, “Never ask me to do that again,” you ask, “Why?”
“Because last week, when I did that, a dog chased me and almost bit me!”
When I heard that, I felt sorry for the kid. Kudos to my friend who had the patience to ask the right question.
That’s a legitimate need of that kid for safety.
Just like kids, most adults never disclose the reason behind their ask until they are asked the “Why”.
Asking the first “Why” opens the door to creative solutions like:
“Would you feel safe if I went to get the mail while you took out the trash?”
“What if I took out the trash, and instead, you load the dishwasher, which I usually do?”
“What if you took out the trash in the daytime so that if there is a dog, you can see it before it comes near you?”
“What if you took out the trash in the daytime while I’m working in the garden so that if there’s a problem, I can help you?
My friend’s kid took the 1st option.
In a direct confrontation over X, the most typical outcome is a win/lose situation.
The only thing in dispute is who will lose on this one. In a classic confrontation, the other person is the enemy.
In the land of Effective Conflict Resolution, the focus is on collaborating to find dozens of potential win-win scenarios.
The premise is that surely one of those solutions will work. Let’s generate and sift through as many solutions as we need until we find one that works for both of us.
This is “The Happy Solution”.
🧐 Thought - Quick Secret to Success
If small changes can lead to significant outcomes, why is it that achieving success feels so difficult?
The answer boils down to a single word: DISCIPLINE.
What is Discipline?
In simple words, discipline is nothing but a collection of good habits.
Not many people collect good habits when times are good. Even fewer in times of stress.
Anyone can do something once. Not everyone can do it consistently.
Think about it: anyone can eat healthy for one meal, but doing it for a whole week? That's rare. Same with working out. Hitting the gym now and then is one thing, but several times a week? That's another level. And sure, getting to bed on time for a night is doable, but making it a week-long habit? That's tough.
Setting yourself up for success sounds straightforward, but it's anything but easy. The real challenge? Sticking to those everyday tasks for a really long time, even when you're not seeing immediate results.
When people say you need to love the process, this is what they mean.
Can you keep going even when it gets tough?
When others give up?
When you have to wait for your efforts to really add up?
When you don't see instant results?
Laying the groundwork for success is simple. Keeping at it every single day? That's where it gets hard.
Extraordinary results come from ordinary people with uncommon discipline.
📑 New Report Shows Skills-Based Hiring Is On The Rise
“An emerging trend points towards a reliance on skills-based hiring, and a departure from traditional résumés, based on new research. Over 70% of survey respondents stated that skills-based hiring is more effective than relying on résumés, according to a report published by Test Gorilla - representing a more effective, efficient and cost-effective way to hire candidates. The report relied on data collected across four continents, utilizing over 3,000 responses, split evenly between employers and employees. For folks looking for jobs, 86% said that the opportunity to showcase role-relevant skills would increase their likelihood of securing a “dream job”. Currently, 73% of companies already using skills-based hiring in some form, with 27% of companies adopting some form of skills-based hiring over the last 12 months.”
What’s the future of resumes, then?
-Read on Forbes
My Favourite Things This Week
📚 Book - “Can’t Hurt Me”
I re-read "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins, and I have to say, it inspired me again. It's a true testament to the power of human resilience and determination. As I was reading and listening to the audiobook, I found myself getting really emotional and motivated all over again. Goggins' journey of transforming his life against all odds is more than just a story - it's a lesson in pushing beyond what we think we're capable of. I think this book is a real treasure, and it's perfect for anyone who's looking for a true story that will inspire and challenge them.
Netflix - “Lost in Space”
This one brought back memories of my childhood once again. I loved watching "ET" as a kid, and this show gave me the same feeling. It's about a child who forms a special connection with a robot that ultimately helps protect humanity from other robots programmed to destroy us.
🥗 Food - “Nothing”
Last week, I experienced a tingling sensation in my throat. Turned out my speculation was spot on. I was sick the whole week last week and so didn’t enjoy anything in food.
Quote of the Week
“It won’t always go your way, so you can’t get trapped in this idea that just because you’ve imagined a possibility for yourself that you somehow deserve it. Your entitled mind is dead weight. Cut it loose. Don’t focus on what you think you deserve. Take aim on what you are willing to earn!”
― David Goggins, Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
Most watched YouTube video last week
Last Week’s Posts
🙏 Thank You!
If you liked the first post of the “My Journals” series please give it a thumbs up.
Wish you a successful career journey ahead.
Until next week 👋
“I share things I wish I knew in the starting years of my career in the corporate world."
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