First slide
When stakes are high and you have conflict with someone, it is important to resolve it in order to function effectively. Faced with a situation like this it's best to employ a crucial conversation.
  • 1. Describe the situation you experienced to the person.
    Be fact based and explain that you are describing your interpretation. Recognize that you could be wrong. Say this.
  • 2. Explain how your interpretation of the situation made you feel.
    Your feelings are real and you experienced them.
  • 3. Ask the other person if they saw the situation the way you did.
    Check in with them to get their perspective on your description. Typically the other person is unaware of how you experienced something.
  • 4. Discuss in a way that draws the other person into the conversation.
    Adjust your interactions in the future so you and the person can work productively.
  • 5. Plan a way forward, get agreement and stick to the plan.
    Set a point in the future where you can check in with each other to make sure your agreement is being upheld.
Sure, you could avoid a tough situation. You could even move away from it by leaving your team or the company. But, employing a crucial conversation is straight forward and it feels good to clear the air in a respectable, mature manner. You'll also be better equipped to address challenging situations in the future.

For further reading, see the book Crucial Confrontations. It's highly recommended.
Pattern Author

Design Leader