Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Conflict Resolution

I have long maintained that Email or chat is the very worst way to resolve a conflict. You get all the detriments of instant, face to face communication (can't take anything back, don't have time to think about your points) with all the detriments of the written word (can't see the person's inflection, your statements persist).

Now, I have some independent confirmation. I am still trying to find the actual Harvard Study, but it's nice to have more anecdotal evidence.

As well as some tragic real life experience.

My findings: Resolve your distances either in person, or at least by phone. Get out from behind the 1's and 0's, and remember it's not a machine you are in conflict with, but another human being.

Also, learn some of the techniques and tools the professionals use.


Dean Wilson said...

All I can say is: too true.

Then again, sometimes it's the only medium we have to commune with certain people (especially if we want to avoid insanely expensive phonecalls).

I think email, where you have more time to respond, is, in this case, a better bet, as it can help avoid saying something you don't mean (which, let's face it, you can still do with a phonecall or face-to-face). Email is, in this sense, the same as a letter.


Scott Rassbach said...

I think that it's the worst medium to use if we're dealing with emotional or personal issues. If we're dealing with information or instruction, yes, it's fine.

If we're dealing with personal or emotional issues, it's worth the phone call.

mt sinai said...

scott- I'm trying to find a way to get in touch with you, and this seems to be the only way I could find ya...