We’ve all had one of those communication meltdowns where you and your coworker raise your voices or shut down instead of listening to each other. But you won’t be able to find common ground unless you hear the other person out. The next time you and a coworker get into an argument, try listening more than you talk. As you listen, notice: Are you already thinking about your rebuttal? Are you responding with a “yes” followed by an immediate “but”? Or have you already interrupted? Be open to their perspective — and to the chance that you might be wrong.
If you’re not listening because you’re worried about not having the perfect reply, you can always say, “I haven’t thought about it that way before. Can you give me a day or so to think it over?” Very few people will complain about someone listening to what they’ve said and taking a little time to thoughtfully analyze and respond to it.