28 November 2013

Gaining Clarity and Conflict Resolution with 5W2H

Use the 5W2H questions to get clarity and to resolve conflicts.
To get clarity in something, we need to provide answers to the 5W2H (Why, What, How, Who, Where, When, How Many) questions. Conflicts that result from misunderstanding due to lack of clarity can be easily resolved too by going through and comparing the answers to 5W2H.

Conflicts at the lower levels of how much/how many is a matter of degree, when and where can be resolved easier than the higher level of what and why. If a disagreement occurs at the highest level of purpose, then the parties involved have to part company unless a higher purpose can be reached.

Most often, the purpose are the same, like trying to do good for the company or for so-and-so or peace rather than war etc. Conflicts occur in what are good and more often on how to do the good things. Finding out the details of the disagreement using the 5W2H model will allow for faster resolution to the conflict and make the discussions fruitful.

So, let put down the list of questions in order to gain clarity and resolve conflict:
  1. The Purpose. Why are we doing this?
  2. The Components: What are the things that we are trying do?
  3. The Methods & the Process: How are we going to do those things?
  4. The Assignment: Who are to do the tasks? When and where to do the tasks? What are the tools and resources that are needed and to be provided by who?
  5. The Measurements & Targets: How many or much? How can we know our progress? How can we tell we have finished (the Targets)?
The scope of options gets bigger as we go up the ladder until the purpose level. There are many things that can be done to achieve the purpose. There are many ways (How) to do the same thing (What). So, there are much opportunity to get agreement and to co-operate. Save the time for quarrel into spending more time to find and workout details of 5W2H.

Please use the questions above to gain clarity and resolve conflict in the future.

Lim Liat (c) 28 Nov 2013
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