Technique 1.93 Information Chain (conflict management)


When a relationship is not working, the dysfunction is almost always based upon developing inaccurate assumptions about each other's motivation. These assumptions, usually mistaken, can interfere when attempting to improve the relationship. Thus the need to understand the nature of the assumptions and then how assumptions impacted the relationship. For example, in a deteriorating relationship, the dynamics interaction could look something like this

your colleague acts your colleague experiences negative feelings about you (unknown to you)
the actions impact you   your colleague forms a belief about your motives (unknown to you)
you form a belief about your colleague's motives (only known to you)   impacts your colleague in some way
you experience negative feelings towards your colleague you respond to your colleague

NB Neither of you have full access to all the relevant information. This hinders the ability to resolve your differences and restore the quality of the relationship.

A possible way to handle

The Problem The Remedy
Need a person to be clear about their own motives and purposes. Both have assumptions, usually mistaken,  about each other's motives and purpose Each person needs to clarify their own motives; realising that they are only assumptions and could be mistaken
Each person treats his or her assumptions as factual and acts towards the other assuming the assumptions are true Need to express and check assumptions before acting on them; with assumptions about each other's motives being explored carefully and thoroughly
Sometimes each person's actions confirm the other person's assumptions, ie mutual self-fulfilling prophecy By pooling their information, they can use it to understand how the situation developed; then collaboratively they work out how to rebuild their relationship

Sometime using an independent person as a facilitator or mediator can help. This person can guide the 2 people through a process where they acknowledge mistaken assumptions; share perceptions so that they have a better understanding of the dynamics; then work on rebuilding their relationship. It is understood that this may require some 'trial and error' to discover the best way to repair the relationship.

(source: Bob Dick, 2021b -


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