Sometimes, a list is all you need for a kickstart or to get things back on track. I’ve used this one for over a decade, and it has always served me and my clients well. I hope it provides value for you.


  1. We say what we mean and we mean what we say.
  2. Commit to eliminating gossip.
    • If you have a concern with someone, talk to him or her directly.
    • If there is a history of mistrust between you, let the other person know you’d like an unbiased third party at the conversation.
  3. Truly listen to someone every time you engage in conversation. It’s an active process.
    • Voice is most always better than email. Make sure there’s enough time for both parties to have their say.
    • Hear what was said by pausing before you speak, after the other person is complete. It helps to shut down the voices in your head.
    • Ask for clarification if there is something you don’t understand.
    • Refer back to Tip 1: we mean what we say and we say what we mean, e.g. “Did you complete the report?” does not mean “I can never trust you to finish anything on time.”
  4. Listen with the possibility of being moved from your position.
    • It’s possible that someone else’s point of view might be a contribution to you.
  5. You can acknowledge someone’s point of view without agreeing with her or him. A simple “got it” or “I hear you” will suffice.
  6. The best time to deal with a disagreement is NOW. However, do take time to calm down first if you need to.
    • Do not assume it will be better next time. It won’t, because you will add your upset from the first incident to every succeeding one.
  7. Say what’s so and only what’s so.
    • Don’t sweeten it up.
    • Don’t use anger.
  8. Speak from your point of view, and not as a victim. “I feel” not “you make me feel” is the way to go.
  9. Realize that working as a team means compromise. And compromise means everyone has to give up something. And that’s OK.
  10. Recognizing the feeling of discomfort between how things are, and how you want things to be, is how we grow.