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Chapter 20. Active Listening > TALKING OUT PROBLEMS

TALKING OUT PROBLEMS

  1. Set the stage. Say something such as, “I value our relationship and I appreciate your willingness to help resolve problems when they come up.”

  2. State the problem. “I am__________(concerned, angry, and so on) about a problem and I want your help with it. To me, the problem seems to be

    ___________________________________________________________ .”

    (As much as possible, avoid using “you” statements when stating the problem.)

  3. Own your part. “My part in the problem is that I ___________________

    ___________________________________________________________ .”

    (State what you do or do not do, what you assume, how you react, and so on)

  4. Ask for the other side. “How do you see it?” “What do you think about it?” “How do you feel about it?”

  5. Listen and restate.

  6. Make your offer. “To help solve the problem (improve the situation) I am willing to ____________________________________________________ .”

  7. Ask for what you want. “Will you please __________________________

    ___________________________________________________________ ?”

  8. Negotiate agreement on a contract. Summarize what each person will give or do.

  9. Set a time for evaluation. Agree upon a date to evaluate how your solution has worked.

  10. Discuss how you have done. If you have done well, have a celebration! Discuss how you can improve, negotiate a new agreement, express appreciation for each other, and renew your commitment to the relationship. If you have not done well, discuss how you can improve or how you might approach the problem differently.


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