What if we had a Fight Data Recorder that recorded the last 8 minutes of a conversation two people were having that led to a fight or dispute? We could investigate the cause of each dispute and, just like the airline industry, we could reduce the numbers and severity of them and thereby make conversation a much safer environment for resolving problems and issues.
Well I think I have invented one.
Firstly, I think that I have discovered the standard cause that runs through any and every dispute between two people.
- Person A does or says something that person B eventually fails to appreciate.
- Person B then eventually reacts to person A’s input.
- Person A then eventually fails to appreciate person B’s reaction.
- They now have a dispute or fight with no agreed process to resolve it.
Once this idea of appreciation has been proven to them and agreed to, the Fight Data Recorder has automatically been activated and they are ready for their next dispute.
Think of your last dispute between another person and see if I am right. Was there a failure on both sides to appreciate the other person’s contribution? I say “appreciate” their contribution, but not necessarily agree with the content or delivery. Appreciate being so important mainly because it is so much harder solving a problem in a vacuum, with zero input. So anything, for starters, is great for getting a better solution.
If this can be agreed to, that is, the value of appreciation above content and delivery, then they have the beginnings of a Fight Data Recorder. They would then be ready to have a conversation, knowing that when the next dispute or fight occurs they will be able to go back and identify the moment that both of them failed to appreciate the other’s contribution. ie. It took the two of them to create the dispute (of lack of appreciation).
Then all they have to do is put up their hands and apologise for their own part in the failure to uphold their agreement to appreciate the other’s contribution or alternatively suggest a change in the agreement if either felt there was a weakness in it and an improvement could be made.
Surely this is worth a try?
Any feedback much appreciated.
It’d be great if this was a ‘wearable’. The device becomes activated when two (yourself included) or more people start to speak.
Hi Antonia, Yeah I have thought about that but it is kind of creepy knowing that one is being recorded. Funny though, I find that my memory of context within a conversation has improved markedly since I have been aware of trying to appreciate someone’s contribution during a conversation. and when both are participating it is not hard to spot when we fail or stop appreciating the other’s contribution.
“yes, but….” might be an example of someone appreciating the other and then raising an opposed point. But as soon as the “yes” goes or “good point” etc then things can start ot go down hill from there. Having both people aware of this and agreeing to it can help to keep a certain quality and also going back later to retrieve the point of failure is not so difficult with a bit o practice. And makes good practice for the brain, in my view.