When you need to talk through a difficult issue with a coworker, it’s tempting to just get it over with. But don’t start the conversation until you’ve taken the time to see the situation from their perspective. Try to get a sense of what your colleague might be thinking. They have a rationale for the way they’ve been behaving, so what might that reason be? Imagine you’re in their shoes. Ask yourself questions like: What would I do if I were them? Also ask yourself what your colleague is trying to achieve. You’ll need a sense of what their goal is if you want to help achieve it. Identify places where you two see eye to eye on the issues. This common ground will give you a foundation to problem solve jointly and will make the conversation go much more smoothly.
*Adapted from _“How to Mentally Prepare for a Difficult Conversation,”_ by Amy Gallo*
*Amy Gallo*, is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review and the author of the _HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict at Work._ She writes and speaks about workplace dynamics. Follow her on Twitter at @amyegallo.