Who's Problem Is It?

A quick review of the parts of the Behavior Window:

If the other person is signaling that they are upset or experiencing a problem or concern, that signaling behavior goes in the top (first) part of the Window. Called "Other Owns Problem Area."

If both you and the other person are functioning effectively, i.e., neither of you is bothered or upset, that behavior (what you both are doing that is effective, etc.) is in the second part of the Window. Called "No Problem Area" or "Productive Work Area."

When the other person's behavior is interfering with you, i.e. you are upset, worried, etc., because of something they are doing or saying, that person's behavior is in the third part of the Window. Called "I Own a Problem Area."

When both of you are experiencing upset feelings, i.e. are in conflict with each other, those behaviors are in the fourth (bottom) part of the Window. Called "We Own a Problem Area." Key points about the Behavior Window and Problem Ownership:

When behaviors of others appear in the top of your Window, i.e., the "cues and clues" that they have a problem, you can effectively support them in solving their own problems by using helping skills-Active Listening.

For those times when the behavior of other's is unacceptable to you, i.e., you own the problem, the Gordon Model offers skills that will help you confront those behaviors in a constructive way-Confrontive I-Messages.

Sometimes, however, it will become apparent that a conflict exists, i.e., We Own a Problem. These conflicts can often be resolved by using conflict resolution skills that you will learn later in this workshop-Method III or Values Collision Options.