Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Finding solutions without taking sides

In the realm of conflict resolution, the age-old notion of taking sides has been reconsidered as a potentially detrimental approach. Whether in personal relationships or professional settings, the consequences of firmly aligning oneself with one party over another have been highlighted as a hindrance to effective problem-solving. 

Experts in psychology and counseling emphasize the drawbacks of adopting a partisan stance during conflict resolution. According to insights from Psychology Today, this approach often leads to emotional investment, clouding objectivity, and impeding fairness in addressing issues. The repercussions of such an approach include a breakdown in communication and a compromised ability to perceive alternate perspectives, often thwarting the discovery of mutually beneficial solutions.

To counteract this, professionals suggest the implementation of the 50-50 rule. This rule, as advocated by Psychology Today, assigns equal responsibility to both parties involved in a conflict. By doing so, it shifts the focus from assigning blame to promoting shared accountability for finding resolutions that benefit all involved.

Additionally, the Harvard Business Review cautions against hastily rushing towards solutions without a comprehensive understanding of the problem at hand. This highlights the importance of discerning between relevant and irrelevant information, especially in complex situations. Failure to do so could result in faulty or inadequate resolutions.

When it comes to counseling, the ramifications of taking sides are particularly profound. Counselors must maintain neutrality to foster trust and respect between the conflicting parties. Psychology Today underscores the significance of understanding differing perspectives in conflict resolution, emphasizing that triangulation or favoring one person over another can significantly impair relationships.

Similarly, counseling a friend necessitates a delicate approach. Taking sides against an absent individual might exacerbate feelings of isolation and injustice. Instead, impartial listening and offering objective feedback based on a comprehensive understanding of both perspectives are advised. This approach ensures support without bias and enables individuals to make informed decisions without feeling coerced or unfairly influenced.

In essence, the shift from taking sides to adopting a neutral, balanced stance in conflict resolution and counseling endeavors stands as a pivotal step towards fostering constructive dialogue and reaching mutually agreeable solutions. The focus on shared responsibility, understanding diverse viewpoints, and offering objective guidance emerges as a cornerstone in navigating conflicts without compromising relationships or fairness.


 Johnson, David W. (2019, June 5). The importance of taking the perspective of others. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/constructive-controversy/201906/the-importance-taking-the-perspective-others

Marczyk, Jesse. (2015, January 20). SomÄ™ thoughts on side-taking. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pop-psych/201501/some-thoughts-side-taking

Markovitz, Daniel. (2020, November 27). How to avoid using to solutions when problem-solving. Harvard Business Review.

 Razzetti, Gustavo. (2018, November 15). Want to resolve conflicts? Stop Blaming Others. Psychology Today.

Waite, Claudette. (2017, June 14). Triangulation: Playing one person against another. New Point of View Counseling. https://newpointofviewcounseling.com/triangulation-playing-one-person-another/ 


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