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Most Conflict is Because of Misunderstanding

“Misunderstanding is the cause of 90% of all conflict,” Craig explains in this short video. Talking to a group of professionals who manage foreign exchange students, Craig discusses the importance of shared expectations and the high price of mismatched expectations.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Misunderstanding is the cause of 90% of all conflicts. So simply giving the parties a chance to understand each other is huge. This means outing what the assumptions are. It also means doing all that you can to prevent misunderstandings upfront.

Another way to say this is mismatched expectations. You folks are dealing all the time with mismatched expectations. Your host family thought it was going to be one way. Your student thought it was going to be another way. They had different expectations; now we have a conflict.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Expectations are planned resentments?” Right? They really can be. And so the best thing is to not have any expectations or to really lower expectations or be very clear upfront about what the expectations are.

When you come across a situation of mismatched expectations take the time to build understanding.

2 thoughts on “Most Conflict is Because of Misunderstanding

  1. I just came across your website and it’s fantastic! I am a certified alcohol and drug counselor who does a lot of groups and would LOVE more topics, ice breakers, exercises and other ways to keep my client engaged!

  2. I love that quote, “Expectations are planned resentments.” I can’t remember when or how I learned it, but perhaps it was from you!

    I keep dreaming of real conversations to bridge conflict. I can’t find a good way to open that door! My fallback is just to listen to people, not try to change their minds, and to find safe ways to rub elbows and see each other as fellow human beings who share a lot.

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