Resolving Disputes

  • When I was a professor at USC, I asked my music industry students to listen and compare music from each generation going back to the 1940’s until present and describe what the songs were saying.
  • For example, love songs in the 40’s were different than when rock and roll came along or when hip-hop arrived.
  • Then I asked them to pull the generations together and describe what each generation’s music had in common – many times they were getting to the same thing but in different and refreshed ways.
  • The process of looking for what things have in common helps train us to deal with difficult people.
  • We know the differences – what do we have in common. Keep looking until you find something.
  • Dealing with difficult people has less to do with over emphasizing areas of disagreement which are likely not to change and more to do with things where you can agree.
  • Justice Ginsburg didn’t at all agree with the politics of Justice Scalia and vice versa but that didn’t stop them from being friends where their mutual love of opera paved the way to maintain a warm relationship.