Skip to main content

Some Dangerous Questions

When people are in conflict it is often difficult for them to gain perspective on the situation. People only consider the situation from their own perspective, they find fault and cast blame on the other, and they don’t listen. So, what to do? Consider “Some “Dangerous Questions.”

At a recent Conflict Coaching Summit session organized by Cinnie Noble (Cinergy Coaching), preeminent mediator Ken Cloke shared a list of questions for people to explore when in conflict. He titled these as “Dangerous” and here they are to ask of yourself or others. (These questions are based in part on work by Peter Block and are shared with permission.)

  • What have you done to create the very thing you are most troubled by?  
  • What have you been clinging to or holding onto that it is now time for you to release?  
  • What are you responsible for in the conflict that you have not yet acknowledged to the other person?  
  • What do you most want to hear the other person say to you?
  • What do you long for in the relationship with the other person?  
  • What is the refusal, or “no” that you have not yet communicated?  
  • What is the permission, or “yes” you gave in the past that you now want to retract?  
  • What is the resentment you are still holding that the other person doesn’t know about?  
  • What is the promise you gave that you are now betraying?
  • What is it they or you did that you are still unwilling to forgive?
  • What price are you willing to pay for your refusal to forgive?  How long are you prepared to continue paying that price? 
  • What promise are you willing to make to the other person with no acknowledgement or expectation of return?
  • What gift could you give the other person that you continue to withhold?  Why?   
  • What are you prepared to do unconditionally, without any expectation of recognition or reciprocity by the other person?  

Contact the ombuds office if you want some help going through these questions.

Not sure where to turn – Go Ombuds!