There is a time when emotions run high in the boardroom. You “know” you are “right.” You “know” you are the one with the “truest” position. You are also on the road to gridlock.
To be more effective, the goal is to alter your emotional tone, listen, and not attack. Some call this emotional intelligence; some call it truth-seeking habits; and others just plain old respect. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Know when you have stopped listening. Then begin writing down others’ comments and ask questions.
- Know when your negative radar outweighs the positive. Write down comments that have common ground with your position rather than points of disagreement.
- Know when you are trying too hard. Back down and reflect on how what you just said sounds to those at the table.
Quoting Peter Senge, “Commitment to the truth does not mean seeking the “Truth,” the absolute final word or ultimate cause. Rather, it means a relentless willingness to root out the ways we limit or deceive ourselves from seeing what is, and to continually challenge our theories of why things are the way they are. It means continually broadening our awareness, just as the great athlete with extraordinary peripheral vision keeps trying to ‘see more of the playing field.”’