Once you know this all it is no longer so difficult, because when a conflict is likely, to look inside and see that you are in danger of being carried away by your link to one of the human defects or ignoring the imperative of the positive Gulden rule. What is certain is that it takes practice and honesty. Equally certain is that if you are abel to do this, your problems are not over, but you can handle them much better and then you will know that escalation is not necessary at all.
A caveat is that you might have a tendency to go to the other person to explain how all this works. Such a is the guarantee that it all will go wrong. Your adversary is to not waiting for you to hear that you have seen the light. He will experience such an explanation as confirmation of his belief that you still want to get your way, or as confirmation of any other negative beliefs he holds towards you. It is not your responsibility to change another, or to persuade him.
A second pitfall is to think that your adversary has the same conflict as you, that is, that he is linked in the same way as you to the same element of human flaws. This is seldom the case.
A third pitfall is that you think that if you change and you are able to give a better reaction, he also by definition will do that. This is often an illusion or at least wil be very time consuming.
Indeed, if you apply this knowledge you may deal better with the sensitivities of the other person because you will know what those are. But any guarantee that your problems will be solved can not be given. That is not bad because, if you really solve your own internal conflict, the apparent conflict with your adversary and your view of himself will look very different.
When you have a conflict, the way to gain insight into the own internal conflict, it is easiest to search for what you think of the other party. Because you look through a lens that is cut by your own internal conflict, is that what you find necessarily giving the key to your own conflict. And what you think of the other party is almost certainly your own conflict. If you feel cheated you will call the other parte a cheater. That is, the element of fraud plays a role in your mind. It does not mean you’re a cheater, but that cheating in one way or another is emotionally important to you, otherwise you obviously would not respond. It may be that you have ever have felt terribly cheated, or you know deep inside that you are not completely honest in all conditions. You do not have to wonder why exactly this specially surfaces in these circumstances, it is there and that’s it. And as long as you also have not resolved this feeling you’re not able to see the other party in a different way, through a different lens than that of deceit. This must be resolved before you can meet the other freely in any way without getting the emotion of feeling cheated. This is true for all human flaws that give rise to emotions and that in this way affect the lens through which you look and hence the behaviour you can show or exhibit. Apart from the fact that you can not hide it – you can not hide these feelings – they leak, if it were, from all your pores, even if you try it, this is a form of dishonesty and deceit that by your adversary is keenly recognized, even though he does not know or understand its mechanism.
This also plays an important role in negotiations and in mediation. A party to the negotiations or mediation who feels cheated and will say this, and this is almost more important, show it in the meta-communication. This is done in small parts of utterances, such as exclamations, tone and voice, or meta-communication, such as gestures or facial expressions. It takes some skill and practice to discover, but once this is mastered, it’s easy. My observation is that in mediation a client tends to say what he really feels, sometimes in a more hidden way, to say up to three times in one session. If he has not been heard, or has that feeling, he will retract and go “drumming on the facts,” as I call it, that is, he will keep on telling stubbornly about how the situation really is in his view, and what is wrong with everything and everyone, of course except himself.
The difficulty in negotiations is that, when you know this mechanism, you cannot explain this to the other party, because without fail he will project this entirely as your pedantry, which is understandable. The only thing that you can do is either openly trying to tell what happened when you started to understand how these processes unfold themselves, or find a conciliator or mediator. Therefore, it is very important, when a client threatens to file a complaint, that a professional who understands these mechanisms, that is to say also knows himself, will take timely action toward mediation or conciliation. A mediator is an outsider to the conflict and is able to present a mirror to the parties of their own actions. If the mediator can take the lead and one or both parties can see that their world is not congruent, and why that is, the understanding can break through that the own view is utterly subjective and therefore almost certainly just an illusion. This also shows that the principle of narrative mediation is absolutely correct. Parties have different non-congruent stories and they have to build a consensual domain in which their new stories overlap. My theory shows how the different stories were made and where to start to make it possible for them to change the stories. This is the case in all kinds of conflicts and thus also in the conflict between the professional and his client.