We’ve all been there. Negotiating a contract with a difficult client, or having a challenging conversation with an under-performing colleague.
So how do you make those encounters more positive, and less stressful? Here, business adviser Janet Gordon of Bluestarfish Consulting highlights some solutions…….
Simply by acknowledging what another person has said, we can take the heat out of a situation. Most conflict is about someone feeling their views, values or beliefs are not being heard, recognised or valued.
Look at these two sentences…..
- I appreciate what you are saying and I’d like us to consider changing the project manager.
- I appreciate what you are saying, but I want to change the project manager.
By using the bridging word ‘and’, we put equal value on both statements. By using ‘but’ it’s as if we are dismissing the first view, which can cause conflict.
When a situation is getting heated, for instance when a team member/peer/stakeholder has a different view, and you can feel yourself getting defensive or annoyed, the following will enable you to keep calm and keep listening. You can understand their point of view better, and get yours across as well.
|Language||Barrier language||Bridging language|
|I see what you mean…||Yes, but…||Also…|
|I hear what you’re saying||However…||Equally…|
|I appreciate your point||Actually…||In addition…|
|I see||Nevertheless…||At the same time…|
|I agree||Although…||Something I would add…|
|That’s a good point||What you don’t understand is…||Pause and statement e.g. What options might there be with Dan and his team?|
|I agree (only if you really do)||With respect…|
You don’t get it…
That’s not what I said…
|Pause and questions e.g. I appreciate you you say you cannot resource the project. Could we allocate some resource from Dan’s area?|
- If you would like further advice from Janet, contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 07957 597 945, website : www.bluestarfishconsulting.com