Jillian Herrick-Frazier is a Master Trainer.
What if the person I am dealing with is not reasonable, rational, OR decent?
Great question. In our day-to-day lives we all have dealt with someone we could put into the category of not reasonable, rational, or decent. The thing is, the more I interact with people the more I believe most people are in fact reasonable, rational, and decent. And when they are behaving badly toward me or others, more often than not there is more to it. This does not make these interactions any easier, but it does motivate me to use the skills to improve and minimize the difficult encounters.
I suggest looking back on the three elements of a crucial conversation: high stakes, strong emotions, and opposing opinions. Are the stakes high? Meaning, do you have to work with this person in order to do your job? Will this person always be part of your life? If so, you may want to reframe the question. First, consider someone you believe to reasonable, rational, AND decent. Why would my best friend do this? Why would my soul mate do this? Why would my favorite boss do this? It’s kind of interesting. When you replace the person you believe to be malicious and evil with someone you believe always has your best interest at heart, you may start to see things differently.
Lastly, consider yourself. I don’t know about you, but I like to think I’m a fairly reasonable, rational, and decent individual. When I substitute myself for the other person, I almost always see things differently, which helps me to master my stories and get back in dialogue. It’s not always easy to do, but this question is here to help us take pause and consider things in a different light.