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My aunt from my mother's side has six children. Four of them are medical doctors by profession, of the other two one is in med school. In effect, five of my aunt's children will be medical doctors. However, the last born, who is in his final year of high school wants to take a different path from his five siblings. In this case, he has been labeled as the black sheep in my aunt's family and she even doesn't want to hear of it. The other reason why my aunt isn't encouraging my cousin's choice is that, the boy wants to become an art critic, and this my aunt has said isn't a career that can 'bring food to the table' to use her own words. In this case, my aunt isn't doing the boy any good by remaining adamant on the career path that he should take. With that in mind, this paper is a report on the results I obtained when I talked to my aunt after coming up with a plan to discuss my concern on the boys future, the well elaborated plan is analyzed from the initial process of getting to a common ground, followed by a brainstorming session to come up with some options and finally the final agreement to be arrived at for the mutual benefit of the two.
I knew that if we just went onto the table with my aunt holding positions, we ultimately could come up with no solution at all. So I had to make sure that to achieve results, there was need to use tact. In this case, I had to come up with a presentation based on a common interest that my aunt shared with the son, and a strong one for that matter. Since she wanted the best for the son; and that was success for the son. My aunt defined success in terms of economic well-being only. However, I was able to give her an extra insight of how various people would define success as: control of their own lives, a sense of belonging, and fame or recognition. More so, people who are inclined to careers in arts tend to seek satisfaction from their work. According to them then, it's arguable that success to them means attaining satisfaction in what they are doing. In this case I opened my aunt's perspective from a position she earlier held on her definition of what success was, ultimately making her soften her former hardline held stance.
After identifying this fact on definition of what success was, we were able to come to a common ground. Since there was only one interest, and that was to safeguard her son's future we decided to work on this commonality and come to an understanding to avoid the grandstanding and agree on the next course of action. We agreed to come up with some suggestions/solutions to the problem rising from this conflict; this is what some people may call brainstorming. That way my aunt could finally decide on the final and best decision to make for the son's future career while engaging the son in making this final decision. Although my aunt had some previous judgments she had made, I had to set a few rules for the brainstorming session, such as: looking for the solution from diverse angles, encouraging room for adjusting the choices available and finally looking for the ideas that will eventually bring a mutual gain between the two.
My aunt warmed up to my ideas and in the brainstorming session we were able to focus on standards and solutions instead of defending one particular option. In effect, leading to a solution that will be mutually fair to the two of them. In approaching the problem through this perspective, my aunt realized that this was an easy way out in which she would be able to change her inclination towards her choice of career for the son without losing face. In addition, this ends up in creating an agreement that is not only fair but also wise. The final step that my aunt had to engage in was to evaluate the options and together with the son come up to a mutual agreement and both decide what was in the best interest of two.
In conclusion, when an individual is doing something wrong and one wants to correct them. The best way of approaching it is through re-framing the situation. This brings in a new way in which the problem is attacked, instead of going personal and attacking each other. When the perception of the problem is shifted and the two sides work together on a common problem, the two parties don't see each other as the problem. In addition, when the two parties work together, there is a sense of cooperation amongst them and discovery of mutual interests, options and agreements are eventually generated as steps for maintaining a peaceful coexistence between them are employed. The ultimate aim is for the two parties to feel as part of the solution in the decision making process since they are both dealing with problem directly and arrive at a fair compromise or solution.