Socrates accused his jurors of their focus on their interest rather than the search for the truth and knowledge. I agree with this attitude as I believe people are rather egoistic and tend to care about their desires or needs more than some abstract things.
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Even the most honest people can (at least, sometimes) commit this moral crime, so to speak. I believe I am quite a sincere person who places the largest value on the truth rather than anyone’s (even my own) profit. Importantly, money is not the only option, as it can be reputation, love, and care of others, appreciation, and many other positive things. This paper dwells upon my way of managing conflicts and the advantages of this approach.
The belief under analysis is related to managing conflicts in all possible settings. For me, deciding who is responsible for breaking my favorite mug or who is responsible for mass shootings in American schools is based on one major principle. The truth is what matters, even if it can hurt somebody’s feelings or lead to undesirable conflicts in the future. When parties try to manage a conflict situation, people often try to lie, save face, accuse the opponent, focus on their interests and fear potential consequences (Folger, Poole, & Stutman, 2017). Again, these feelings can be explained easily as people have some basic needs and try to satisfy them, which is natural and good for the survival of people in a larger sense.
Nevertheless, conflicts have to be managed by being sincere and accepting other people’s positions and mistakes if necessary. Prause and Mujtaba (2015) state that finding common grounds is one of the central goals of conflict management, even if it can lead to concealing the truth. Nevertheless, this position is rather weak, especially in certain cases, including people’s health. It is critical to remain honest and try to understand the true reasons for the conflict.
For many people I know, telling the truth is much harder than saying lies as they always want to save face. The basic premise for such an attitude is the focus on one’s image rather than reality. For instance, a nurse who has made a mistake can try to conceal it, which may lead to quite unwanted outcomes. This mistake can result in other errors made by different people based on wrongful data. Most interestingly, the truth always comes out, and the results for the nurse are much more negative than they could be.
Therefore, the most effective way to manage conflicts is to seek the truth. At this point, it is necessary to add that every party can have their truth based on the information they have. However, seeing the big picture and understanding all the details of the case can lead to an effective solution. Importantly, saving faces is still possible if all people understand a simple truth – to err is human.
On balance, it is possible to note that truth is always the highest priority when managing conflicts. It may seem difficult to remain open and sincere, but it is essential to understand that nothing can be concealed for a long time, and concealed facts will lead to sad outcomes. People will always be able to compromise if they accept that making mistakes may be bad but is not worth condemnation.
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Folger, J., Poole, M. S., & Stutman, R. K. (2017). Working through conflict: Strategies for relationships, groups, and organizations (8th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Prause, D., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2014). Conflict management practices for diverse workplaces. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 6(3), 13-22.