My courteous, salt-of-the-earth, Midwestern husband, Rod, does not like that I interrupt him when we’re talking. Take, for example, this exchange: Rod: "When you get home from your trip on Saturday, let’s plan on a quiet evening." Tammy: "That sounds good. I’ll be tired anyway." Rod: [spoken with a note of vexation] "I wasn’t finished. […]
These articles explore word choice, questions, good listening skills and habits, body language, and the kind of careful attention to others that together shape effective communication for preventing and responding to conflict.
What do you do if you want to have a difficult conversation about a matter that’s important to you but the other person doesn’t? I recently conducted a workshop for women business owners and this question came up for a number of the participants.
Some time ago I wrote a post on having difficult conversations by email. In it I cautioned about use of the “tweaking CC and I want to repeat that caution for newer readers of this blog. The tweaking CC is the copying of an email message to someone the sender believes has power over or […]
Last month, I wrote about the price of silence during organizational or interpersonal problems at work. Avoidance of important conflicts or failure to confront a problem can be extremely costly for both the employee and the organization, potentially leading to underground resentment or anxiety, increased insecurity, damaged relationships, and the decline of creativity, motivation and […]
I recently mediated an e-commerce dispute between two parties whose geographic locations made it unrealistic to be in the same room. The online mediation took several weeks of message exchanges and the parties jointly crafted a complex and effective resolution to their real estate dispute. Then one of them wrote, "Ok, now I want an […]
I once worked for someone who would periodically stroll into my office and say, "Can I give you some feedback?" Obviously, I wasn’t likely to say no to my boss, so I’d nod and swallow, knowing what was really coming. It was always–and I mean always–a criticism about a project, one of my staff, or […]
In research reported in 2000, Harvard Business School professor Kathleen Valley found that about 50% of negotiations conducted by email end in impasse, while only about 19% of face-to-face negotiations do so. She also concluded that we behave differently by email than we do in person. As a mediator providing online dispute resolution services to […]
“The more I think someone isn’t listening to me, the angrier I get. The louder I get.” She said this, well, quite loudly. I was chatting recently with a woman exec named K. She’d called about some conflict management coaching and I had asked her what most trips her up in difficult conversations at home […]