When I found out that Louis was holding project meetings without me, I felt like I should ask him about why I wasn’t included. I believed that if I did, I could open a dialogue that would help us work better together. But then I didn’t, and as my resentment grew, I was even less interested in broaching the subject. I want recognition for the work I do. The discussion ended with both of them understanding the other’s perspective and Louis promising to be more sensitive in the future. People who are skilled at dialogue have the confidence to say what needs to be said to the person who needs to hear it. They are confident that their opinions deserve to be placed in the pool of meaning. They are also confident that they can speak openly without brutalizing others or causing undue offense. These five tools can be easily remembered with the acronym STATE. It stands for I was merely trying to give you a chance to get my input before you got too far down the path on a project. The last guy I worked with was constantly taking his project to near completion only to learn that he’d left out a key element. I’m trying to avoid surprises. When sharing a story, strike a blend between confidence and humility. Share in a way that expresses appropriate confidence in your conclusions while demonstrating that, if called for, you want your conclusions challenged. To do so, change “The fact is” to “In my opinion.” Swap “Everyone knows that” for “I’ve talked to three of our suppliers who think that.” Soften “It’s clear to me” to “I’m beginning to wonder if.” grease the skids 非正式，使事情顺利 As consultants, we (the authors) watch this kind of thing happen all the time. For instance, seated around the table is a group of leaders who are starting to debate an important topic. First, someone hints that she’s the only one with any real insight. Then someone else starts tossing out facts like so many poisonous darts. Another—it just so happens someone with critical information—retreats into silence. As emotions rise, words that were once carefully chosen and tentatively delivered are now spouted with an absolute certainty that is typically reserved for claims that are nailed to church doors or carved on stone tablets. our emotions kick in and we start trying to force our way onto others. send him out to pasture Now when the other person has merely left out an element of the argument, skilled people will agree and then build. Rather than saying: “Wrong. You forgot to mention . . .,” they say: “Absolutely. In addition, I noticed that. . .” if you do disagree, compare your path with the other person’s. That is, rather than suggesting that he or she is wrong, suggest that you differ. He or she may, in fact, be wrong, but you don’t know for sure until you hear both sides of the story. For now, you just know that the two of you differ. So instead of pronouncing “Wrong!” start with a tentative but candid opening, such as “I think I see things differently. Let me describe how.” it worked like a charm Don’t mention lawyers or a lawsuit in your opening comments; this only reduces safety and sets up an adversarial climate. To quote an English proverb, “Everybody’s business is nobody’s business.” If you don’t make an actual assignment to an actual person, there’s a good chance that nothing will ever come of all the work you’ve gone through to make a decision. When it’s time to pass out assignments, remember, there is no “we.” “We,” when it comes to assignments, actually means, “not me.” It’s code.Even when individuals are not trying to duck an assignment, the term “we” can lead them to believe that others are taking on the responsibility.Assign a name to every responsibility. This especially applies at home. If you’re divvying up household chores, be sure you’ve got a specificperson to go with each chore. That is, if you assign two or three people to take on a task, appoint one of them the responsible party. Otherwise, any sense of responsibility will be lost in a flurry of finger-pointing later on. Always agree on how often and by what method you’ll follow up on the assignment. It could be a simple e-mail confirming the completion of a project. It might be a full report in a team or family meeting. More often than not, it comes down to progress checks along the way. Once again, a proverb comes to mind. “One dull pencil is worth six sharp minds.” Determine who does what by when. Make the deliverables crystal clear. Set a follow-up time. Record the commitments and then follow up. Finally,hold people accountable to their promises. “I’d like to talk about something that’s getting in the way of my working with you. It’s a tough issue to bring up, but I think it’ll help us be better teammates if I do. Is that okay?” [Establish Mutual Purpose] “I’m not trying to blow this out of proportion. I just want to deal with it before it gets out of hand.” If your teammate isn’t doing what you think he or she should, it’s up to you to speak up. We realized this after watching a group of executives that agreed they’d hold off on all discretionary spending to help free up cash for a short-term crunch. This strategy sounded good in the warm glow of an off-site meeting, but the very next day a team member rushed back and prepaid a vendor for six months of consulting work—work that appeared to be “discretionary.” A team member who saw the executive prepare for and then make the prepayment didn’t realize this was the crucial conversation that would determine whether the team would pull together or fall apart on this issue. Instead, he decided it was up to the boss to hold this person accountable.He said nothing. By the time the boss found out about the transaction and addressed the issue, the policy had already been violated and the money spent. Motivation to support the new plan dissipated, and the team ran short of cash. When teams try to rally around aggressive change or bold new initiatives Play devil’s advocate “I get the sense that you’re only sharing the good side of your plan. I need to hear the possible risks before I’m comfortable. Is that okay?” If they’ve earned your mistrust in one area, don’t let it bleed over into your overall perception of their character. If you tell yourself a Villain Story that exaggerates others’ untrustworthiness, you’ll act in ways that help them justify themselves in being even less worthy of your trust. You’ll start up a self-defeating cycle and get more of what you don’t want. out of bounds不合理的 She was right by suggesting that you shouldn’t let serious problems go unresolved. She was wrong about always sticking with a discussion, no matter your emotional state. It’s perfectly okay to suggest that you need some time alone and that you’d like to pick up the discussion later on—say, tomorrow. Then, after you’ve dissipated the adrenaline and have had time to think about the issues, hold the conversation. Coming to mutual agreement to take a time-out is not the same thing as going to silence. In fact, it’s a very healthy example of dialogue. As a side note on this topic, it’s not such a good idea to tell others that they need to calm down or that they need to take some time out. They may need the time, but it’s hard to suggest it without coming off as patronizing.另外还有一件需要注意的事情……居高临下 It’s easy to be lulled into a series of never-ending excuses—particularly if the other person doesn’t want to do what you’ve asked and learns that as long as he or she can give you a plausible reason, all bets are off. take a preemptive strike against all new excuses Sometimes parents (and leaders) are tricked into accepting poor performance by silver-tongued individuals who are infinitely creative in coming up with new ways to explain why they didn’t know any better. Not only do these inventive people have the ability to conjure up creative excuses, but they also have the energy and will to do so incessantly. Eventually they wear you down. As a result, they get away with doing less or doing it poorly, while hard-working, energetic family members (or employees) end up carrying an unfair share of the load. splitting hairs吹毛求疵 a discussion digresses My repeated efforts using my very best skills to get her to talk were rebuffed with icy silence or sullen one-word replies.