what did you expect (5)

You Said

Written by Randy Mayes

Have you ever seen a conflict between two people that was punctuated by the phrase “you said” or “that is not what I said.”

I recently witnessed a conversation where one individual abruptly turned to the other and forcefully said “that is not what I said.” Clearly there was a disconnect between both parties. 

More often than not, when someone says “you said” with a heightened level of emotion, there has been a breakdown in communication. 

According to BusinessDictionary.com effective communication is a Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning. In general, communication is a means of connecting people or places.*

Too often our response as leaders to this kind of situation is to say the exact same words louder and more forcefully. All this does is drive a deeper wedge between the two parties leaving both parties separated and even more disconnected. Effective leadership is not about having power over people. It is about having power with people. And the only way to do that is to have meaningful high-trust relationships.

Situations like this are an opportunity to step up and be a next level leader. Instead of going on the offensive step back and invite them to a meaningful conversation that produces the kind of connection you both really want. Focus on your shared purpose, not who is right or wrong. Stop arguing about words and start focusing on connecting and understanding where the other person is coming from. When they feel heard, arguments will go away and true collaboration will begin.