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I posted the original version of this in May 2015.  It’s too true, and too funny, to not post again.  With a few updates…

So, are you in a dispute? Do you want to resolve it as badly as possible?

Here are 10 tips for you.

  1. Start out by saying something that you know the other person will find insulting, offensive, or just plain outrageous. If you forget to do this, walk out of the room, come back in, and say the insulting, offensive, or outrageous thing.
  2. Don’t pay any attention to what anyone else needs: not what your team members need, not what the organization needs, and definitely not the needs of your family, friends, and other people you love.
  3. Try to get the mediator on your side. Smile at the mediator. Flatter the mediator. Roll your eyes at everything the other person says, so the mediator will sneer at them, too.
  4. Bring a dagger or other bladed weapon to the discussion. Bonus points if it’s really sharp. Super bonus points if it’s double ended.
  5. Refuse to even try to see the other person’s perspective. If you find yourself realizing that the other person might have a valid point, commit even harder to your own point. Repeat as needed.
  6. Insult the other person. Call them unreasonable, a jerk, a punk, an ass, or worse. Extra credit for Shakespearean cleverness: “Stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese!”
  7. Break all of the conversational rules that you and the other person share. For example, if you’re both overlappers, stop contributing to the discussion. If you both speak indirectly, be as blunt as possible. If you both speak bluntly, be circumspect and passive-aggressive, Do it until you’re sick of it. Then do it some more.
  8. Declare that you’re finished. Stand up in a lordly way and stalk out of the room. Be sure you flourish your cape dramatically as you go.
  9. Punish the other person as much as you can. Ask for unreasonable, burdensome, and unnecessary clauses to your agreement.
  10. Ignore your values regarding fair treatment, compassion, communication, honorable behavior, morals, and ethics. Abandon all of your principles. Who needs them anyway?

Photo credit: © 2006 Dan Pupek, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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