“Identify common ground
To start a difficult conversation the right way, it’s important for you and your coworker to identify something you agree on…
Hear your coworker out
Even if you think you already understand your coworker’s perspective, you should hear what she has to say. Ask questions that help you fully understand her point of view and determine whether your disagreement is a function of differing interests or differing perceptions. According to Weiss, this requires that you “stop figuring out your next line” and actively listen…
Once you’ve heard your coworker out, share your own story. This should not be done in a ‘point, counter-point’ way, but should focus on helping your coworker see where you’re coming from. If she challenges your interpretation, let her vent and express her frustration.
Propose a resolution
When all of the data is on the table, offer a resolution. Don’t propose what you walked in the door with, but use the information you gathered during your conversation to come up with a better solution. Say to your coworker, ‘You’ve said A, and I’ve said B, perhaps we can consider solution C’…”