by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach
Lately, I have noticed that the seeming inability to have reasoned debate within the political climate has spilled over into the workplace. There seems to be a “my way or the highway” mentality seeping into professional environments which is not productive. People are taking sides and staking claim to their view with no room for understanding or compromise. I’m reminded that whenever one side is “right,” it automatically makes the other side “wrong” and no one likes to be wrong.
I think the first step toward better understanding of one another’s points-of-view is to stop rushing to judgment. Just stepping back a beat and pretending there might be another approach or that – gasp – you might be wrong, are worthwhile steps. Being wrong is not the end of the world, it just means you have more to learn and isn’t that true of all of us? If we listened without judgment we might actually hear what the other side is saying.
If you are ready to practice, start with questions. “What” questions are usually the best and most effective for not conveying judgment. For example:
- What makes you say that?
- Tell me a little about how you came to that decision, belief, position, idea, etc.?
- What other ways have you looked at?
- Would you be open to a different point-of-view?