How to Find Common Ground

“Like I said, I will ask them about the way they see themselves in their role on the team,” responded Julia. We had been talking about her new management position.

“And what if you don’t like what you hear?” I asked.

That was a hard question. Julia started her sentence twice before completing it. “I just have to keep digging. Somewhere in there is a small starting point. Somewhere in there is a small place where we can agree.”

“Is that the point of intersection we were talking about?”

“Yes.” Julia was on a roll. “And I have to find it before we can go on. Sometimes you have to go slow before you can go fast. Until I make that connection, until I find that point of intersection, we are not going anywhere in the conversation.”

“And what do you think happens between the two of you when you find that point of intersection?”

“It’s like a little piece of magic. We get something we can build on and move forward with. Until we find that common ground, all we have are differences. You cannot build on differences.”

2 thoughts on “How to Find Common Ground

  1. Edi Holderman

    In a book called Communication Catalyst by Richard Simmons he talks about this point of intersection – the intersection between my point of view and yours. It is the intersection where we both can agree on what we are for rather than what we are against. A great concept that can be applied to many different communication conflicts that can turn disagreement into fact finding and moving forward. Thanks for the reminder.

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