12 Dos and Don’ts For Butting Heads Successfully
Everything worth doing encounters friction.
Important issues ignite strong emotion.
12 don’ts for butting heads successfully:
- Talk over things with affirming friends who take your side rather than exploring issues.
- Rush to judgement. A mind that holds the answer is closed.
- Assume a battle posture.
- Sit at conference tables or in offices. Relaxed atmospheres lower barriers.
- Minimize the position or person on the other side of the table.
- Forget the big picture. You may become so focused that you forget the impact of your suggestions on others.
- Overreact. Choose the emotional middle.
- Over-rehearse. Canned sentences feel like manipulation.
- Hide real objectives.
- Get stuck on small insignificant issues.
- Misstate, over-generalize, or exaggerate the other person’s opinions, arguments, or desires.
- Use, “You,” aggressively. Ask, don’t tell people what they think.
12 dos for butting heads successfully:
- Prepare by exploring issues, not rehearsing sentences.
- Strengthen relationship while pushing for results.
- Define issues, problems, and challenges. It’s a waste of time to talk around what’s important.
- Describe what they want – describe what you want. Define the win.
- State and restate the arguments of others. Make people feel understood, even if you disagree.
- Know the lenses you use to evaluate people, issues, and problems. You evaluate through the eyes of your strength. What lens are others using?
- Walk slowly while you talk, if it’s a one-on-one.
- Clarify intentions, both yours and theirs. “I’m not sure what you mean by that?”
- Believe things can be better, even if not perfect.
- Quiet the tone and volume of your voice.
- Take breaks. Marathon conversations wear people down. Tired people do and say dumb things.
- Lower personal barriers, as much as possible. Embrace the strength of vulnerability.
What makes tough conversations important?
How might leaders butt head successfully?