Choose Connection Over Conflict

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It feels good to win an argument. But in every fight there’s a loser too, and your counterpart may leave the discussion feeling discouraged and disengaged. Instead of combating, try connecting:

  • Set rules of engagement. If you’re heading into a meeting that could get testy, outline rules to make it a productive, inclusive conversation. For example, make sure everyone has enough time to explain ideas without being interrupted.
  • Listen with empathy. Make a conscious effort to speak less and listen more. The more you learn about other peoples’ perspectives, the more empathy you’ll feel.
  • Plan who speaks. In situations when you know one person is likely to dominate (that may be you!), make sure everyone is able to speak. Identify who in the room has important information or perspectives to share. List them on a flip chart and use that as your agenda.

Adapted from “Your Brain Is Hooked on Being Right” by Judith E. Glaser.

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