Finally, if you do disagree, compare your path with the other
person’s . That is, rather than suggesting that he or she is
wrong, suggest that you differ. He or she may, in fact, be
wrong, but you don’t know for sure until you hear both sides
of the story. For now, you just know that the two of you differ.
So instead of pronouncing “Wrong!” start with a tentative but
candid opening such as “I think I see things differently. Let me
Then share your path using the STATE skills from Chapter 7 . That is, begin by sharing your observations. Share them tenta
tively, and invite others to test your ideas. After you’ve shared
your path, invite the other person to help you compare it with
his or her experience. Work together to explore and explain the
In summary, to help remember these skills, think of your
ABCs. Agree when you agree. Build when others leave out key
pieces. Compare when you differ. Don’t tum differences into
debates that lead to unhealthy relationships and bad results .
EXPLORE OTHERS’ PATHS 1 59
SUMMARY-EXPLORE OTHERS’ PATHS
To encourage the free flow of meaning and help others leave
silence or violence behind, explore their Paths to Action. Start
with an attitude of curiosity and patience. This helps restore
Then, use four powerful listening skills to retrace the other
person’s Path to Action to its origins.
• Ask. Start by simply expressing interest in the other person’s
• Mirror. Increase safety by respectfully acknowledging the
emotions people appear to be feeling.
• l!.araphrase. As others begin to share part of their story,
restate what you’ve heard to show not just that you under
stand, but also that it’s safe for them to share what they’re
• Prime. If others continue to hold back, prime. Take your best
guess at what they may be thinking and feeling.
As you begin to share your views, remember:
• Agree. Agree when you do.
• Build. If others leave something out, agree where you do,
• Qompare. When you do differ significantly, don’t suggest others
are wrong. Compare your two views.
To do nothmg IS m every man’s power.