As a professional coach dealing with life, business, careers & relationships, a great deal of my time is spent dealing with relationships. And this can range from partners, family members, work colleagues, your boss etc.etc.
The main issues I come across are down to poor communication, not listening to what has been actually said and only interpreting what you think or want to hear, has been said. Which as we all know can be totally different, and again if you only hear what you want to hear and generalise, distort or delete all the rest of the communication then you start to have real problems, developing!
Then if that is not bad enough, the individuals concerned actually believe they are right and you are wrong and what I call the blame game raises its ugly head, which is not a pretty sight and can only lead to disaster in the long run.
So how do you deal the blame game scenario? Firstly you have to get both parties together and set guidelines that are not negotiable and that they have to agree to stick to! Which quite simple, the only rule they have to both keep is that they are not allowed to use blame within their argument / side of the story!
They have to stick to the facts and no assumptions can be used within their argument / story.
Then you have to get both parties to relive the debate but from the other persons point of view, and state if the roles were reversed, how would they feel and how would they react in the same situation. After all we all have to take responsibility for our own actions and how we make others feel, when we are communicating with them.
After this exercise you also them to reflect on what they think could have gone wrong along the way. And explain their findings to the other person and vice versa, break down the barriers, keep the lines of communication open and at all costs stay away from the blame game, it is of no value whatsoever.
Only in a calm friendly environment, with the removal of blame and anger, can you begin to identify what the real issues are and how do with deal with them and make sure they do not continue in the future.
Misunderstanding something or not responding in a particular way, should not become a blame issue, find out first, provide feedback and check if their understanding of the situation is the same. Because you could request or deliver a message or command to ten different people and the odds are that they would relay back ten slightly different versions of your original message.
Summary always remove the blame from your arguments, debates or discussions. Keep to the facts, never make assumptions about what you think may have happened. And finally always try to empathise with someone and find the best way to communicate them that works.
Then who knows, you could become friends or even lovers!!!