The following  survey is designed to support you as you reflect on tensions in an important interpersonal relationship in your life. The main purpose of this exercise is to start transforming these tensions into opportunities for learning and constructive change as a solo exercise - with, for and by yourself. I invite you to think about this process as a journey of discovery, seeing with "fresh eyes."

To start this solo exploration for self reflection and insight, take a moment to center yourself and consider: WHAT is deeply important to you in this issue with another? WHY?

You are then invited to imagine the other side's perspectives. This probably won't be so easy. It is hard enough to take other's perspective in general; it is much more so when we are in tension with them. Seeking to understand another's perspective -  is a very good thing. It deepens and broadens the way we experience life. It is one of the "gifts" of difference. Taking another's perspective, however, doesn't necessarily mean giving up your own or  agreeing with them.

Consider - with your mind and heart - WHAT is going on for them? WHY does it matter so much to them? 

Next you will be guided to frame the issues in new and generative ways. Is it primarily a dispute you can settle? Is it mostly a problem you might solve? Is it a conflict you might learn and grow from?

This analytical process might be all you need to do to help you to go forward and creatively engage the issues yourself; within your own attitudes; in your choices about your interactions with this other. Conflict often binds us; this exercise can can free you and provide you with some insight about the situation and foresight about how to move next (e.g. gaining new perspectives, imagining a new encounter, having a conversation, getting some distance, etc).

Or, you might ask for help. After completing this exercise, you might choose to share your reflections (which you will receive immediately in your email), with a personal ally or professional third party who could serve to support you - e.g. as a personal coach or as a mediator - to engage your differences constructively. I strongly advise you do so if during your analysis you determine that this is primarily an "Identity-Based Conflict" for either or both of you.


I suggest you print out your data and spend time reviewing your Whys and your thoughts about theirs. Are they similar? Different? What do you sense about this? Please write if you would like to schedule a free 30-45 minute debrief with me at: jrothman@ariagroup.com. 

Good luck creatively engaging differences.

Jay Rothman
Conductor
The ARIA Group
www.ariagroup.com
jrothman@ariagroup.com

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* 1. In order to receive a copy of your survey responses, please enter your email below

Part One: WHAT is going on for you?

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* 2. With whom are you having an issue that you would like to explore here?

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* 3. Briefly describe the main issues that are troubling you (What has happened? What is bothering you? How long has it been going on? etc.)

DIAGNOSIS: Questions to determine if it is primarily a Resource, Goal or Identity-Based Issue in this relationship:

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* 4. Is it Primarily a Resource-Based Dispute?

  Yes (2) Somewhat (1) No  (0)
Is this dispute about competition over scarce resources (e.g. time or money, material goods or services)?
Do you find yourself in arguments over who gets what and when?
If necessary resources were unlimited or better shared, would the dispute go away?
Can you pinpoint specific resources that the dispute is about?

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* 5. Is it Primarily a Goal-Based Problem?

  Yes (2) Somewhat (1) No  (0)
Do you seem to have incompatible goals with the other side?
Do you and the other side seem to have different preferred futures?
Have you found it hard to communicate your priorities to this person?
If you achieved your goals or objectives, would it mean the other party would not?

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* 6. Is it Primarily an Identity-Based Conflict?

  Yes (2) Somewhat (1)  No (0)
Is this conflict deeply emotional to you?
Do you feel very angry or frustrated about this conflict?
Is this conflict deeply rooted in your past hurts or grievances?
Do you feel this conflict is mainly the other side's fault?

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* 7. Below, move the order so the category with the most yes responses is first (you can add the numbers to assist this assessment), the second most is next, etc. Please remember your highest ranking as you will refer to it below.

WHY does it matter to you?

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* 8. Select three of the words below that you think best describe what is at stake for YOURSELF. What do you feel is threatened or frustrated in the relationship/over the issue with this person? Ask yourself, WHAT is bothering ME about my relationship with this person?

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* 9. Describe your issue again; this time include the three words you selected above in your description.

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* 10. Have you tried to address this issue?

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* 11. Did it help?

Part Two: From other side's perspective...

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* 12. Before you continue, take a moment to catch your breath. Perhaps take a short break and take a walk or have a cup of tea. Now, try your best to take the other side's perspective about this issue with you. Put yourself in their shoes and try to describe the issue(s) that you think they have with you.

WHAT is going on for them? Is this a Dispute, Problem or Conflict for them?

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* 13. Is it Primarily a Resource-Based Dispute?

  Yes (2) Somewhat (1) No (0)
Is this dispute about competition over scarce resources (e.g. time or money, material goods or services)?
Is this person having disagreements over who gets what and when?
If necessary resources were unlimited or better shared, would the dispute go away?
Can this person pinpoint specific resources at stake?

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* 14. Is it Primarily an Objective or Goal-Based Problem?

  Yes (2) Somewhat (1) No (0)
Does this person seem to have incompatible goals with you?
Does this person and you seem to have different preferred futures?
Has this person found it hard to communicate their priorities to you?
If this person achieved their goals or objectives, would it mean you would not?

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* 15. Is it Primarily a Identity-Based Conflict?

  Yes (2) Somewhat (1)  No (0)
Is this conflict deeply emotional to this person?
Does this person feel very angry or frustrated about this conflict?
Is this conflict deeply rooted in this person's past hurts or grievances?
Does this person feel this conflict is mainly your fault?

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* 16. Below, move the order so the category with the most yes responses is first, the second most is next, etc. (add the numbers of your responses to assist you in scoring; e.g. 2 Yes=4, .

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* 17. Select three of the words below that you think best describe what is at stake for this person. What do you feel is threatened or frustrated in their  relationship with you? Ask yourself, WHAT is bothering this person about this issue with me?

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* 18. This time, from what you think may be their perspective, describe the Dispute, Problem or Conflict (using the three descriptive words you selected above) that you think they are having with you.

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* 19. Has this person tried to address this issue?

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* 20. If so, how?

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