‘He said, she said’ - who’s right?

Do you ever find that you get caught up in conversations that go round in circles?

Are there times that you find yourself acting as peace keeper trying to figure out the real issue of a disagreement between others?

Sometimes when faced with conflict and interpersonal issues within the workplace conversations can get caught up into ‘he said, she said’. You know the ones, where both parties are 100% right and start to point fingers or deny actions in order to try and convince you they are 100% right. 

The reality is that these conversations go nowhere fast in fact, if left to continue they escalate into heated discussions and can be the source of long-standing disagreements and grievances - none of which is good for the bottom line and makes coming to work very uncomfortable. 

The problem with these conversations is that they get stuck in the nitty gritty detailed content. What happened, when did it happen, who was involved, who wasn’t?

There is a way to get out of this downward spiral. When dealing with heated and tough conversations that are getting bogged down you need to focus on two things: 

  1. Chuck it back up to talk about the CONTEXT - what is the bigger issue? (eg. good customer service, patient care, quality product, collaboration etc)
  2. Be relentless in seeking solution-focused discussion - this is the situation - what might be some strategies about how to resolve this? How did we get here? 

So next time you are drawn into or get caught up in a conversation that is going nowhere ask yourself and those around you, what is the bigger issue here?And how can we resolve this?

Here’s to focusing more on the solutions.