What do you do when someone refuses to talk?

One of the questions audience members often ask is – what do you do when the other person refuses to discuss the issue?  Try as we might, we cannot force another person to communicate with us.  We can do our best to lay the groundwork for the conversation and if the other party refuses, so be it.  Here are 3 ways you can invite the person into the conversation:

  1. Since we have to work together, I want it to be the best working relationship possible, so I’d like to talk to you about…
  2. I think we may have a misunderstanding and I’d like to hear what you have to say about what happened…
  3. I think we have different perceptions about _____________________. I’d like to hear what you think.

In any case, be open to listening to the other person.  As Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird) reminds us: ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”

If they still refuse to have a conversation, do you best to let it go and remember you’ve done your best to resolve the problem.

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