Look beneath the surface to identify deeper issues
Our deepest disputes often seem to involve money: labor disputes over employee wages, family conflicts over assets, for example. Because money is a finite resource, these conflicts tend to be single-issue battles in which one party’s gain will inevitably be the other party’s loss. But disputes over money often involve much deeper causes of conflict, such as the feeling that one is being disrespected or overlooked.
The next time you find yourself arguing over the division of funds, suggest putting that conversation on hold. Then take time to explore each other’s deeper concerns. Listen closely to one another’s grievances, and try to come up with creative ways to address them. This conflict management strategy is likely to strengthen the relationship and add new interests to the table, expanding the pie of value to be divided in the process. Based on search of mutual interest confict may end up in cooperation and common goals.