- Own your part: Take responsibility (authentically) for your role in the escalation (e.g. “I’m getting loud…I apologize.”)
- Offer safety: State a commitment to finding a mutually beneficial solution.
- Point out the default future: Note where the conversation is headed (not a good place!) and the negative consequences of not changing course,
- Talk about rules: Invite a discussion about the “the rules of engagement.”
- Change the pace: Slow your comments and lower your voice to “lower the temperature.”
- Refocus on agreement: Pause for a moment to say what you both agree on—even if it’s only 10 percent of the issue at hand.
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If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.