Magazine article Management Today

Brainfood: Your Route to the Top Calming the Storm

Magazine article Management Today

Brainfood: Your Route to the Top Calming the Storm

Article excerpt

Don't take offence. People often don't mean what they say in the heat of the moment. Either let it pass or ask an open question that gives them a chance to put it in less emotive words.

Avoid the caustic opener: 'It's 6pm and I still can't see any sign of the report. Am I supposed to guess what's in it?' Sarcasm may satisfy an instant urge, but it will set the discussion off in a direction from which it will be hard to recover.

Mind-reading is for psychics. Best to ask direct, open questions to find out what the other person is really thinking - eg, 'When you say 'we', do you actually mean me?'

Stick to specifics. 'That business head was unconvinced on this occasion', rather than 'the business heads are against everything we're trying to do'. It's easier to resolve issues that are temporary and specific.

Careful how you allocate blame. If you need to place it somewhere, best to go for something intangible (the brief was unclear), inanimate (technology is a favourite) or a vague body of people (the conservative forces against change). …

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