Reference: Fisher, Roger and William Ury. Getting to Yes.
A citizen received a call from the town council chair. After that call, he came to the town council meeting and demanded that the council chair stop bullying and intimidating him. The chair had probably spoken to him about a major economic development report that the council had approved. The chair response was that his call wasn’t intimidating. Then he “double downed” and told the citizen should to file an ethics complaint. Can these two ever agree?
You sigh and say there is not much that can be done. Well Fisher and Ury who wrote Getting to Yes give us some ideas.
It’s clear that personalities are interfering with a solution. And we really need to know what the problem is rather than guessing. Find out what might be helpful to both. In small towns they will meet each other again.
What are possible options. We need to have someone intervene that’s for a sure, in formal parlance, a facilitator, but in this situation, it could simply be another citizen. it may be that the citizen simply needs an apology. Politicians aren’t very good at that. The political apology I’m sorry if you feel that way. That may be enough.
Let me give you another example, resolving a conflict in your staff meeting. I’ve been in two staff meeting where the solution was asking, what do you need? In a staff I worked with we often had disagreements about what kind of information to convey to the next level. The minutes of the meeting weren’t enough. I was chairing that day and asked what do you need to one peeved staff? He wanted to write a memo. Once stated I was fortunate enough to be able to say you got it. Thanks for listening, I hope you can get to Yes. I’m Carolyn Ball