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Nov 12, 2012


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Simon Fowler

In the corporate training we do at my work we use the term 'dilemma management' rather than polarity management. It's the same thing but I think the language of 'dilemma' invites more possibility of making progress than 'polarity'. It also enables us to say "problems have solutions, but dilemmas have to be managed". This implies that the 'answer' to the dilemma, is not a one-off decision but a continual attention to both sides of the issue to minimize the negatives of both sides and maximize the positives of both sides.

Michael W. Kruse

For me, dilemma conveys a connotation of "problem" that "polarity" does not. I wonder if that is just you and me, or if this comes from being separated by common language on either side of the pond. ;-)

Interesting to know your firm explicitly addresses this. Thanks

Simon Fowler

It's a US company so I'm guessing the choice of 'dilemma' is deliberate. (I've lived in the US for 10 years now so my vocabulary is completely confused. I have no idea if a default word I'm using is English or American!)

I think in this case the usage of dilemma comes from a starting point of problem-solving, and then realizing that some problems can't be 'solved'.
In any case the connotation of 'problem' I think is valid because the whole reason one is discussing the polarities is usually because they appear to be in conflict and mutually exclusive, so people think that the only 'solution' is that only one side wins.

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