“One of us is wrong… and it’s not me.”

That is the way every single conflict begins. Of course it does, because if it did not, it would not be a conflict, would it?

So, given that the other person is sure you are wrong, what are you going to do about it?

Pointing out that they are wrong does not help, because now you have said the second thing in a row that your partner/customer/prospect/adversary does not believe is true.

The thing that is worth addressing has nothing much to do with the matter at hand, and everything to do with building credibility, attention and respect.

Only then do you have a chance to educate and eventually persuade.

We cure disagreements by building a bridge of mutual respect first, a bridge that permits education or dialogue or learning.

When you burn that bridge, you have ensured nothing but conflict.

Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich your partner/customer/prospect/adversary.

I have learned that a long walk and calm conversation are an incredible combination if you want to build a bridge.

Life is about building bridges.

Maybe it’s time for that long walk.

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