Norms: “I know we’ve always done it this way in the past. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider.”
Diversity: “If I was experiencing your circumstances, I might better understand your perspective. Can you help me see this issue from your vantage point?”
Respect: “Something you said in the meeting was unintentionally insulting. May I share with you how I heard your comment?”
Accountability: “I trusted the commitment we agreed to. Can you help me understand what changed?”
Gratitude: “In case it hasn’t been clear through my actions, I’d like to tell you how much I appreciate your contribution to our team.”
Growth & Change: “We’ve been wrestling with this problem for a long time. Are we going to stay stuck or move forward?”
These are the types of exchanges we imagine having with our teammates but have trouble initiating. It’s easier to keep it in your head than to be responsible for the consequences of voicing a concern and entering a dialogue. Ground rules help. As long as everyone commits to being mature, respectful, and professional, the awkwardness of elevating a sensitive topic is softened. What are your two or three most pressing conversations? What’s your plan for moving them forward?