January 27, 2021

Actually listen


He said. She said. The temperature’s rising. The relationship’s fractured and on its way to breaking. The feedback loops are scaling.

This can go two ways: worse, or better.

You know worse: it ends in confrontation, harsh words, a stand off maybe, and then someone pulls back, shuts down, possibly leaves. And all the way through, everybody is affected. Everybody. There are eggshells being walked on, safe zones being avoided, important things – the kind of important things that get dealt with all the time – are left unsaid.

A different kind of worse: someone does the bigger thing, backs down, apologises, loses face and eventually leaves anyway.

What about better? Better means the confrontation is averted and everyone gets on with their making their contribution.

The quickest way to better – walk, shoulder to shoulder, not tables or chairs, talk. Explain positions, and actually listen to each other.

Skippy strategy: Actually listen