April 5, 2018
April 5, 2018

Figure It Out

My clients argue and I tell them to stick to the issue. The problem is that often the reason there is an argument is not only that it grows in intensity and size, but also because they do not know how to solve the issue.

The issue I will use for this example is: "You forgot to take out the garbage as you promised."
If the person states, "I did not have time. I was late for work." That is taken as an excuse rather than a reason to factor into how one solves the problem.

Now the issue needs to be subdivided into smaller components such as: time management, scheduling, and planning. For example, I take my garbage out and put it at the curb the morning before pickup so that I will not forget in the evening. Before doing that I write down in my appointment book a note that reminds me to put the garbage out. If the morning is not available to me, I put a note for me to do it in the evening after my work day is completed. Most people today have telephones, or ipods in which they can put in notes along with a beeper set at the time for them to perform whatever duty that is extraneous to their day.

The only item left to do is the resolve to pay attention to the alert system which you have created and then follow through with the action which completes the task.

Notice the breakdown of how the problem is solved: Creating time management (issue: garbage needs to be put out) by having a schedule either in an appointment book or on your technology which incorporates the planning procedure.

Instead individuals get caught up in the Blame game: "You don't love me." "You are lazy," "You never do what I ask." "You always break your promises." etc etc. These judgments deflect from the issue so that the situation is never solved.

Moreover, the past is brought up about how many times a request was not attended to. This causes an aggressive confrontation that the partner must defend him or herself leading to angry arguments and massive hurt feelings.

Find a solution to the issue. Brainstorm, but keep to the issue so that it can be solved. If any of the other items have truth in fact, then work on each item separately.

Behavior Feeling Effect messages are non-judgmental and stay with the present actions, not the past. State the Behavior: issue or verbal utterance you are disturbed about. (You did not take out the garbage.) Then state how you Feel about it. (I am annoyed.) Not, "You make me annoyed." No one can make you do anything unless they put you in chains or put a gun to your head. Then state the Effect: "The garbage smells bad." "The garbage left in the house can attract rats." "I have more than I can accomplish and have to add taking the garbage out as an extra chore and I have a bad back." All of these are example of how to use the Behavior Feeling Effect messages effectively.

Then the response is left up to listener. If there is no reponse, then request a discussion on how to solve the issue. Let the listener know that you are not requesting an apology, but a permanent solution.