The We Bought a Zoo conflict resolution method

There’s a scene in the movie ‘We bought a zoo’ where Benjamin and Dylan, father and son, sit side-by-side saying goodbye to the tiger. They have been fighting for many months since the rock in the family, Benjamin’s wife and Dylan’s mom passed away, and had a showdown just the previous night.

They discuss Dylan’s relationship for a moment and after giving him a great piece of advice (for another blog post..), Dylan bursts out with “I never know what to say to you.”

Benjamin: “I’m the same way. Why don’t we just tell each other what we wish the other guy would say?”
Dylan: “I’m sorry I brought you out to the sticks.”
Benjamin: “You’re a great dad.”

When Dylan responds with another apology, Benjamin repeats “You’re a great dad.”

They both burst out laughing.

There’s a lot of advice out there that talks about walking a mile in the other person’s shoes and taking the other persons point of view. This is the best way I’ve seen that applied and it’s one I’ll try out the next time I’m in the middle of a disagreement.

Meaningful, funny, and profound.