In a post from last year entitled, Belief Systems, I included what I call the Four Clarifying Questions. These are questions you can ask yourself whenever you are involved in an interpersonal conflict.
When I recently posted them on my Facebook page, we received a lot of response. And, it’s not necessary to read the entire article in order to be able to utilize these questions. Asking these of yourself can help you take an uncomfortable situation and turn it into a win for all concerned.
The four questions are:
- How is my personal belief system distorting the actual truth of the situation?
- How is his or her personal belief system distorting the actual truth of the situation?
- What questions can I ask this person that will clarify my understanding of their version of the truth (their Belief System)?
- What information can I give that will help them clarify their understanding of my version of the truth (my Belief System)?
As the saying goes, within conflict between two or more people, there are generally three truths; their truth, the other person’s truth, and the actual truth (those first two truths are actually beliefs).
These self-questions, which then lead to an exchange of information, allows us to better understand one another. This understanding generates respect and ultimately peace.
I received this photo from Amy Wells. It’s a laminated wallet size card with the 4 clarifying questions.
Amy wrote: “I recently removed it from my wallet because the questions pop into my head naturally now.”
Suggestion: Do as Amy did. Put these questions to memory, even rehearse potential situations and “see” how you would handle them. I’ll bet you you experience a huge (and much more effective) difference the next time.