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The Other Person’s Shoes May Stink – But Try Them On

By: Thomas M. Blumenthal

There is a lot of anger and stress in the world today. We demonize everyone who doesn’t agree with us. Gridlock increases. Litigation increases. Anger and stress increase.

Most often the root cause of the anger and stress is an unwillingness to stop and look at what motivates the person you disagree with. Why do they think they are holier than thou and infallible? What is the reason they are taking the seemingly irrational position that drives you crazy?

You don’t have to agree with how your opponent thinks, but if you fail to understand how they think, it is highly unlikely you will be able to convince them to resolve your dispute in a way you can accept. Once you find yourself in litigation, or in a public dispute of any kind, once the gauntlet has been thrown, it is improbable that you will mutually resolve your dispute unless you give the other side the courtesy of asking how they got there. Allowing that their perception is real to them is the first step toward finding resolution. If you can identify the source of that perception that is so totally different from yours, in most, but not all, situations, you can begin to find where communication broke down and take steps towards at least acknowledging the breakdown. Frequently this acknowledgement, without blame, can open the floodgates of enlightenment. But if you never walk in the other person’s shoes for even a moment, you’ll never find your way out of the darkness.

At Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, we know that there is more than one way to solve a problem. We have litigators and negotiators and mediators, even arbitrators, to address all avenues of legal resolution. Contact us.


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