May 11, 2010
In a testy conversation, or a critical negotiation that seems to take a left turn, you start thinking “What the beejeebees just happened?” or “Oh crud … this guy is gettin’ ticked off!”
You want to progress in a productive manner.
Before you get flustered, look at it as if you were an outsider. Set aside your emotional response (a la “oh crud ..”). Ask yourself what exactly is happening, and then “name it.”
So the thought process may look like this:
- Uh-oh, not liking how this is going.
- Take yourself out of the conversation for a sec
- Set aside your emotional response
- Put a “name” on what is going on
- Be concise
- Avoid naming emotional reactions, instead get to the problem
- Share it as a way to move forward
Some examples of what you may name:
“Our discussion is at too detailed of a level.”
“We are arguing about too many things at once.”
“We are debating about 2 different products.”
“This guy wants more training.”
“Our approach lacks detail.”
Seems simple enough, but when we are forced to articulate what is going on, we can get to pinpointed clarity more quickly. This can often bring everyone into clearer focus and move your discussion forward.