How to Get Stuff Done Despite Our Differences

As much as 90% of all inter-personal conflicts never reach an agreement, but it doesn’t have to be this way

Jim Farina
6 min readApr 29, 2022


Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash

Over ninety percent of fights end in a standoff. I can’t abide conflict for very long. I’m one of those who will retreat rather than stand my ground if I see no progress being made. If people are firmly convicted in their position, it’s a waste of time and energy.

Both parties in a conflict usually believe they are correct, and the other person is wrong. If we cannot see the opposing point of view, we’ll always take disagreement as an attack. We will never find a resolution. It’s true for world leaders and playground squabbles between children. Unresolved conflict is destructive in our relationships, workplace, and world politics.

Learn conflict resolution strategies while you’re young

Children are well-practiced in the art of fighting. It’s especially true if you’ve grown up with siblings. According to the book, I Don’t Agree by author Michael Brown, few arguments between siblings reach a resolution.

Research has shown that only twelve percent of arguments between siblings reach a resolution. The rest are left to flare up at a later time. Argumentative children become argumentative adults. The good news is this cycle can be broken, especially if you start young.

The best tactic for a parent to resolve conflict is to wait until tempers have calmed down and then call everyone to the table for some problem-solving discussion. Listen to all points of view and then brainstorm how to compromise. What if the parents don’t model similar strategies themselves in the face of conflict? Well, then you may have a big problem.

Be aware of your body language and how others interpret it

If you’re like me, or most people for that matter, you greet new acquaintances or colleagues with a big smile and maybe hold eye contact for a time. Though it might seem friendly, sometimes a smile can be interpreted as a threat.

Dr. Brett Grellier pointed out to the author, who works with him in a soup kitchen, that he stops…



Jim Farina

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