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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
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"Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange
of ignorance."
-- Robert Quillen
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HELPFUL WORDS IN A DISCUSSION OF DIFFERENCES
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The words we use in a dispute are critically important. They can inflame and confuse or they can clarify and invite dialogue. Here are some helpful words and phrases to include in your vocabulary when you are engaged in a conflict situation.

1. We both seem to want . . .

2. Let me see if I understand what you are saying . . . (and then
repeat or rephrase what you think you just heard).

3. Let's look at what might happen if we adopted your proposal . . . and then let's do the same with my proposal . . . .

4. Let's be clear on the outcomes we would like to achieve . . .

5. Who else besides us has something at stake in what we
are discussing?

6. Who else might shed some light on this?

7. I could support what you propose if . . . .

8. We both seem to agree on "x", but we have different views on "y" . . .


9. Is there any additional information or other points of view that would be helpful to us?

10. You seem to be saying (state what you think was said) . . . Is that right?

(Schmidt & Hateley, 2001, pp. 113-114)

Reference: Schmidt, W.H. & Hateley, B.J. (2001). Is it always right to be right? New York: Amacom.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114
http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu
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COACHING CALL TO ACTION
HELPFUL WORDS IN A DISCUSSION OF DIFFERENCES

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What words do you use in a dispute?

This week practice using this list of phrases to remove some of the potential "heat" in discussions. They are helpful in getting to the place of "win-win".

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