Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Listen, don't just explain.

I've run into a bunch of situations recently (both work and personal) in which two people get more and more irritated at each other.  In each of these situations, both parties believed they were "right" and both parties went to great lengths to convince the other person.

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This is "human nature 101" stuff, but why is it so hard for people to turn off their "explain" gene so they can listen to what the other person is saying?  It happens to us all, so what do you do about it?

If you can't turn off the urge to talk, sometimes it's useful to bring in someone to mediate.  I've found that in most of these cases, the viewpoints are not as far apart as they seem and a few tweaks can result in a solution both people can be happy with (or at least agree to live with).

What solutions have you found to this problem?  Are you a good mediator?  Please share your secrets.