accusation and wishes

A pearl of a sentence: 

 

 The "basic hardware" of a conflict – whether it is of a professional or private nature – includes those involved making accusations of each other. However, not least thanks to their very structure, accusations are not a suitable way to cause the other person to change his behaviour.

 

Accusations generally consist of:
 
 
 You-messages (assignment of blame)
 Generalisations (never, always, every time…)
 
    and are
 
 past-orientated
 problem-orientated
 negatively expressed
 
 
 

The reactions which can be expected to this kind of accusation might include:
   
  •  Counter-accusation, counter-attack
  •  Withdrawal
  •  Blocking
  •  Resignation
  •  Feelings of guilt
  •  Justification, assignment of blame, finding excuses 

 

     

     

None of these reactions can be expected to contribute to an end to the conflict. It is therefore important to make clear to oneself that:

If it is therefore possible to express this wish (rather than the accusation), the probability of a positive reaction increases significantly.

 

 

Formulate your wishes as:

 

 I-messages

 

 well-defined (what exactly should the other person do, when and how?)

 

 future-orientated

 

 solution-oriented 

   
      positive
 
 

Exercise – Turning Accusations into Wishes
 

Use the table on the next page to help you work on the following question.

 
1.  Think of situations from the recent past in which you were annoyed yet again by the behaviour of another person. Choose five people (from work or home).
(1st column: Name)
 
2.  What do you accuse this person of (in private or out loud)?
(2nd column: Accusation)
 
3.  Describe how the person reacted or would react to your accusation.
(3rd column: Reaction)
 
4.  Now use the criteria discussed to transform this accusation into a wish or expectation.
(4th column: Wish)
 
5.  Consider the extent to which the accusation you are making of the other person also applies to you. What is your own contribution?
(5th column: Own contribution)
 
In this, consider:
 
     How would you feel about expressing this wish in a calm, businesslike tone?

   How do you think your partner would react to it?

 

 

Situation:
A member of staff is often late in completing tasks assigned to him.
 
Accusation:
"You never finish in time!" Or "You always have problems with       deadlines!"
 
Wish:
"I would like you/I expect you to deliver your work on time in future or to inform me if it is not possible.”
 
Own contribution:
I put too much pressure on the staff because I don’t have enough people.
Or:
I cannot stick to deadlines myself.
 
 
 

Name
Accusation
Reaction
Wish
Own contribution
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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