When called into a personal conflict in the work­place, the parties usually want say “what she said” and “what he said” over and over again. Instead, ask them to reflect on the following, and then when they meet face to face, stick to the points they illu­mi­nated in their reflec­tions.

Please consider these ques­tions and make notes on a sepa­rate sheet prior to arriving at our meeting at noon on

[date]. I under­stand that the goal of meeting is to act on your will­ing­ness to elicit agree­ments for a more harmo­nious working rela­tion­ship. I salute you both!
  1. Describe a time when you worked in a situ­a­tion that was completely harmo­nious between colleagues. What were the condi­tions and circum­stances that created a feeling of harmony and colle­giality? Make a lengthy list.
  2. From the list above, select three qual­i­ties that are impor­tant to you in any working rela­tion­ship and define them thor­oughly.
  3. Describe anything that is working about your current work rela­tion­ship. Try to make a list here too.
  4. Describe what you would like more of as you continue to work with this person.

Time: 90 minutes total both reviewing their personal notes, then moving into agree­ments that have devel­oped healthier rela­tion­ships.

— from Jennifer Mann in Santa Rosa, posted on the AI list serve