NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Getting Along and Working Together

Getting Along and Working TogetherWhether we are at work, at home with family members, participating in a civic, social, or religious gathering, or hanging out with friends, there is usually an opportunity or need to communicate. 

“Getting along and working together” is helpful whenever there is something to be accomplished, no matter what setting we find ourselves in.

Asking, rather than telling, can be effective for achieving win-win results.  Sincerity is always a necessity, and tone is a huge part of any message. 

Wolf Rinke, PhD and author of “Winning Management,” suggests different questions or statements to be used in different situations.  A few examples are given below.  In some cases, stringing
                                                                                                       two or more together can be very effective. 

A question that begins, “Are you willing to…” can be useful when your goal is to increase cooperation.

“Can I count on you to….” is a question to ask when you want to increase someone’s accountability. It is a question that can work in many settings, including perhaps for parents when talking with their children.

In heated or hostile situations, put yourself in the other person’s place by saying, “I understand your point of view.”  This shows empathy and helps deflect hostility.

When there is a conflict, an “I” message can help diffuse it.  So instead of saying, “You’re wrong,” or something else that starts with the word “you,” try using “I” language.  For example, say, “I disagree, and I’d like to explain why.”

When we need to make sure we understand not only what the other person said, but more importantly, what they meant, we can do a reality check by saying, “What I heard you say is...”

Sometimes the shoe is on the other foot and we sense that the other person isn’t understanding what we are saying.  In those cases, we can do a reality check by asking, “What is it specifically that you don’t understand?” 

When getting things done is the objective, focus on the outcome, not the process, by asking, “What stands in your way to...?”

Lastly, if you are committed to achieving a win-win, ask, “What can I do for you?”

Source:  Work and Family Life Newsletter, September 2017, www.workandfamilylife.com

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/cohesion-silhouettes-human-humanity-454881/  (downloaded 9/20/17)



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