In Disagreements at Work, Consider Your Colleague’s Perspective

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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When you get into a disagreement with a coworker, it’s easy to focus on your own feelings and ignore your counterpart’s. But wallowing in your own frustration won’t get you anywhere.

o Instead, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What do they want from the situation? Why are they acting this way?

o Think about the kind of person you’re dealing with. Are they more of a straight shooter who says things like they are, or do they tend to beat around the bush?

o If you frequently work with the person, you may already be familiar with their style. But if you rarely interact, you’ll have to do some digging. Look for patterns in how they communicate and clues in their behavior.

o And get input from others — don’t go around grilling people, but ask them to confirm or deny your observations.

Adapted from the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, by Amy Gallo

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