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On Spin Cycle

Conflicts of Interest Blog by Vivian Scott

Here we go; round and round. That’s the sound of the all-too-familiar family whirlpool in which one person (usually the woman) asks that a chore get done and the other person (usually a man) seems agreeable but never quite gets it done. She starts tip-toeing around the subject, he avoids it, she gets louder, he acts like she’s a nag, and now they’re on spin cycle with no forward progress in sight.

The last gzillion months have been like that in my house over the washing machine. Apropos, don’t you think? It started with me mentioning that the unit works fine if you have a full load but if there are just a few items, it won’t drain and stops mid-cycle. My man, who can fix anything by the way, took a look at it and I could tell immediately this wasn’t going to end well. He didn’t repair it right away, though he did move a bunch of tools into the laundry room and stack them neatly on the counter—where they’ve stayed for, well, a gzillion months.

I used my mediator magic to keep the conversations positive, to ask for realistic deadlines, to seek out information that was standing in the way (e.g. user manuals, advice from experts, etc.) and still I was wringing out the new red t-shirt and my hand-wash-only unmentionables. Finally, I decided to face reality. Clearly, my Superman is not chomping at the bit to resolve this issue and, clearly, this issue isn’t something I’m willing to end our relationship over, so the appliance repairman is coming this afternoon. It’s time we end the cycle (pun intended).

                        author

Vivian Scott

Vivian Scott is a Professional Certified Mediator and the author of Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies.  She spent many years in the competitive and often stress-filled world of high tech marketing where she realized resolving conflict within the confines of office politics was paramount to success.  Through creative solutions… MORE >

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