Let’s start with a common example: Communication between you and a co-worker has recently deteriorated. It started as a difference of opinion about how to proceed on a project. Then it became personal. Now you want to know how to address the problem and move past it.
1. Put the Conversations Back in Context.
- What are the expectations for you with this project? What about them? What would happen for you if this project didn’t work out well? What about them?
- When you interact with the other person, what are the goals of those conversations? What needs to be communicated? What decisions need to be made? Reported to whom?
2. Learn Valuable Lessons From History.
- Have you witnessed this person in an argument before? What happened? What can you learn from that experience?
- How have ou dealt with tension with this person before? What was the result?
- What is your normal “go-t0” response for situations like this one. Is that response appropriate here?
Understanding the context and history helps you stay grounded in the conversation. Make a plan focused on the information and decisions needed to do your work.
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