Feb 20, 201812:23 PMLeader to Leader
with Terry Siebert
Why do we have so much trouble finding common ground?
(page 2 of 2)
I had the good fortune to have a mentor who guided me the first couple of years in that real estate role. I will never forget his advice — the best advice I ever received when it comes to finding an agreement, even when both sides dramatically disagree:
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Get out of your role and really try to see where the other side is coming from.
- Look for common ground. Once you take the perspective of No. 1 above, look for all the opportunities where both parties agree — common ground. Spend quality time on this step and do not pass it by too quickly. Do not look for places to defend your position. Look only for those places where you might actually agree.
- Start a CONVERSATION, not a CONFRONTATION. With common ground as a starting point, a conversation can begin. Start with those areas where both sides agree and use that focus as the foundation for the discussion. Once that foundation is in place, then and only then go through the other points.
- Both parties should ultimately walk away somewhat dissatisfied. There is a genuine give and take in these conversations. If one party walks away the clear winner, there will also be a clear loser. That scenario does not lead to long term mutual satisfaction and will poison the water for any future relationship.
There is an old proverb that goes: “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”
So, as I bring this “pondering” to a close, my hope and wish is that both individually and as a nation we can somehow use the age-old wisdom of common courtesy to find common ground as we search for solutions. If we do not, we might find ourselves pondering the following: “Where am I going and why am I in this handbasket?”
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