June 29, 2011 / 12:16 PM / 8 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: It's not all about you

A boy tries a "songkok" or traditional headdress, in a shop in Kuala Lumpur October 11, 2007. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

BOSTON (Reuters) - When having a difficult conversation, focus less on yourself for a change, and more on the other person’s needs, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“When having a difficult conversation, it’s easy to get wrapped up in what you need. You’re angry so you respond with anger. You’re frustrated so you respond with frustration. It makes sense, but it’s not effective.

Instead of reacting, ask yourself a question: what is going on for the other party? Then, ask yourself another: what can I do or say to help?

By focusing on the other person’s needs, you can avoid unproductive emotions and find ways to support your employees and colleagues. While this may be the last thing you want to do in that moment, it’s a much more effective way of getting your needs met.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “A Simple Communication Mistake to Avoid” by Peter Bregman.

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