Solving Confusion Problems

July 29, 2009
3 min read

My students were at the brink of confusion leading to a state of agitated discussion with the management of their college.  It was regarding a their internship to foreign countries that the college had promised them.  The problem is that it was getting a bit too slow in their view.  Also when they asked the management they did not get f actual answers.  To them they saw this as a sign of emminent betrayal. 

I gathered them in a circle.  In case you are a manager faced with similar problems of heightened confusion by the staffs do the same.  In this way everyone is a front bencher.

Then i asked them what was their fear.  They said,

1.  To not be able to go overseas as promised by college

2.  To have to work in Nepal

In this case they would feel depressed.  So i asked them what could they do to avoid this situation?

1.  Wait

2.  search by themselves for placement outside

3.  talk to the management

The best option being the third one, they could not accept it as they said the management was avoiding the topic.  Then i asked them. How do you see the management?

1.  Competitors/opponent/enemy

2.  Collaborators/friend/ally

Of couse they said it was the second.  Then i asked them:

1.  what does the management want? 

  • to send them overseas as promised
  • to keep them in Nepal and break their promise

2.  Through what will the management benefit most?

  • sending you out
  • keeping you in

the answer was obvious to all : the second in one in both cases. 

3.  Who will have a bigger headache if you can’t go outside for internship?

  • you
  • the management

Again the second option.  So why do you do you worry. 

Now imagine you are in a ship.  Yes the land seems too far and you are getting anxious.  Will it help by creating trouble in the ship by rocking it through mistrust?  No in this way you will surely never reach land. 

Confusion that is unresoved will lead to discussion that will again be unresolved a as their is not enough trust and the basis of trust is miplaced.  Then it will be lead to strike and finally to an unglorified negotiation state. 

We need an outcome, the earliest in the above flow the better.  it would be one of four:

1.  lose lose

2.  lose win

3.  win lose

4.  win win

the best is the last one of course. 

Upon saying this i got them t oa point of seeking a course of action to solve their confusion:

1.  the mentally prepared for all eventualities: delay, change in destination

2.  have a back up plan

3.  collaborate with the management by asking “How can we help?” Becuase all of you are in the same ship. 

After this session their confusion was dispelled. 

I requested the management to make an address on this overseas internship matter.  They did just that by making announcement in the class. 

Now peace reigns and action to take the students to promised lands is brewing fast.