Is communication at your workplace full of conflict? Dealing with angry, critical or argumentative people can be stressful, but it is easy when you know the secret to transforming conflict into cooperation. However, it’s very frustrating to try to do that when the difficult people just don’t want to hear you.
Do you think, “If only they would listen…then they would understand my side..and then of course agree with me, right?”
“Maybe if I raised my voice a little more, they would hear me.”
How is that working for you?
Unfortunately, it’s like trying to put a fire out by throwing gasoline on it. Most employees will dig in their heels and defend their position even harder. It creates an ugly cycle. Eventually, a stressful workplace atmosphere is created where no one is speaking to each other and nothing gets done. Worst case scenario: you lose valuable employees, time, and money.
So what do you do?
Well, you could throw up your hands and conclude that it’s an impossible situation, fire everyone, scratch the whole project, and move to Tahiti….
Or, you can say four magic words that won’t cost you anything. Are you ready? The four words are…
“You might be right.”
You are probably thinking: “Huh? How am I supposed to win an argument telling the other person he or she might be right?”
Well, it’s not about winning – it’s about being productive and getting results. Nothing gets done if employees won’t cooperate with each other and neither cooperation nor compromise is very likely if everyone is arguing.
You will be amazed how quickly anger evaporates when you use the magic words – “You might be right.”
Why do they work?
Because, these words let people know that you are listening to them. It shows respect for them without diminishing your own stance. What does that cost you? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
These four magic words let people know that you are not just trying to win an argument. You are ready to listen to their side and acknowledge that they may have a valid point.
You immediately diffuse the situation, and it leads the other person to be more cooperative and understanding. In fact, there is now a better chance that the angry person will be more open to hearing your side and your ideas.
Saying “You might be right” is a simple and effective way to turn a difficult situation into a more positive one. It only requires taking a step back from the situation, and the willingness to listen and see things from a different point of view. What’s more…don’t be surprised if listening to someone is all it takes to get that person to listen to you.
Diffusing arguments among employees and transforming conflict into cooperation is an essential communication skill for workplace leaders. It is essential for supervisors and managers to have the ability to listen and build understanding even when dealing with difficult people. Using these four magic words will make you a workplace leader that your employees will respect and appreciate.