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Finally, if you do disagree, compare your path with the other

person’s . That is, rather than suggesting that he or she is

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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

describe how.”

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 .





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,

then build.

• 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.


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