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Chapter 22. Handling Recurring Problems > Five Steps in Discussing Recurring Pr...

Five Steps in Discussing Recurring Problems

  • STEP 1: Raise the Issue

    Identify the area of concern, but avoid negative terms.

    “I need your help with…”

    “I am concerned about…”

  • STEP 2: Describe the Specifics

    1. Avoid accusations and defensiveness by using “I” statements (the DASR script).

      “When this happens…

      the result is…

      and I feel…”

    2. Encourage the other person to discuss how he or she sees the situation, by using open-ended questions.

      “How do you see the situation?”

      “Please share your thoughts with me?”

      “Why is this happening?”

    3. Summarize the other person’s remarks to ensure that you understand his or her perception.

      “So you see it as…”

      “From your perspective it looks like…”

  • STEP 3: Request a Change in Behavior

    1. Together, discuss ways of eliminating the problem.

      “In the future, how can we…”

      “How do you think this could have been avoided?”

    2. Actively seek the other person’s ideas and suggestions. Encourage the other person to set targets.

    3. Make suggestions, if you have any.

      “Here’s what I would suggest…”

  • STEP 4: Agree on An Action Plan

    1. Summarize what has been discussed and confirm the commitments. Show enthusiasm for the plans made. Be positive.

      “OK, so I’ll…and you’ll…”

    2. Give the other person an opportunity to make any final suggestions.

      “Anything else we should discuss?”

    3. Set a time and place for evaluation.

      “When can I expect to see some changes?”

    4. Close the discussion on a friendly, upbeat note.

      “I feel better now that we’ve discussed this, and I hope you do, too.”

  • STEP 5: Follow Up

    1. If the situation warrants it, you may want to keep a written record of the discussion and agreement.

    2. Evaluate your handling of the discussion and what you would do differently in the future.

    3. Set up a system for follow-through (write the dates in your calendar, update your personnel files, etc.)

    4. Actively assist the other person in making the changes you have agreed upon.



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