Write down what you agree and disagree on

I think it is quite universal. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a leadership team or if you are simply dealing with collegues on a project. What I found usefull when there is a deadlock, is to sit down together and write down each person’s points.

I had a major disagreement with a collegue once, but I always felt when we debated solutions that we were actually not that far away from each other. However we framed the issues and solutions in completely different ways. The rapid fire of verbal discussion means details are quickly lost.

My solution was to say:

lets not debate what solution do go for, lets just sit down and figure out what each person’s point of view actually is.

So I would sit down with my collegue and write down a list of the items I thought he cared most about. Then I would go through each point and tell him how I interpreted it and ask him if I was correct?

That was a breakthrough. I verified my hunch that he had quite similar opinions as me, but he phrased it differently. We did have some sticking points but we could separate those out cleanly.

I did the same for my position, Getting him to try to summarize my points. In the end that allowed us to reach a compromise. I think what both of us need was to see that the other person understood and accepted our posistion. When they did accepting something you didn’t fully agree with was easier. If you feel somebody have stretched themselves to accomodate you, then you would want to do the same.

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

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