Reducing Conflict 8 Fixing Other People

Trying to “fix” other people is not only difficult, it is often dysfunctional. It is a common source of conflict between people. It is human nature to see the things that other people need to fix more clearly than we see the areas where we need to improve.

Improvement Opportunities 

We all have areas of opportunity to improve, and we have a roughly equal number of them.  Oh sure, there are some people who have more problems than others, but each of us is laboring under the false impression that we have fewer problems than the average person. 

The concept that we can all be above average is flawed. Garrison Keillor discovered that when he wrote about Lake Wobegone, where all the children are above average.

Recognize that you have roughly as many warts as another person. There can be a person who has a bumper crop of problem areas, but most of us reside somewhere in the middle of a bell-shaped curve in terms of the number of improvement opportunities.

How to Have a Better Outcome 

The way to have a more fulfilling life and get along well with people is to work on the areas you need to improve.  Using your energy in this way will help you avoid focusing on the things that others need to fix. You will be more popular and successful if you do that.

Specific Assignment 

As you drive to work tomorrow, focus your attention on how you can show up as a better person for the people you interface with daily. That mindset will cause you to be less judgmental of them and spend your energy improving the person you can influence the most.

After you have worked on and improved one facet of your life, pick a different area to improve. Be on the lookout for different areas of improvement opportunities for you. Having that mindset will make you less critical of others, and you will become more popular with them.

Free Video

Here is a video that contains more information on the problematical practice of trying to fix other people.


Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.


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