When is an idea just an idea, and when is it a representation of the person proposing it?
In Episode 5 of How’s Work? with Esther Perel, we meet two friends who co-founded a communications firm after University and expanded it across the Atlantic. The problem: Their own communication has sharply retrenched, and now, 13 years into collaborating, they talk of exclusion and rejection—just not in productive ways. How can these partners unlock next steps if each clings to his own rap? First, they must learn the ABCs of listening.
You’re Inching Me Out sounds the opening salvos of a confrontation that’s four years overdue. Esther guides the strategy.
What to listen for in this episode of How’s Work? with Esther Perel:
- What happens when one partner puts business first and the other prioritizes friendship–both for its own sake and for its value to the business?
- Like romantic partnerships, a business partnership/friendship takes nurturing to keep it authentic.
- When one colleague is committed to the partnership and the other has emotionally moved on, time’s up for that moment of truth.
- Confrontation takes courage. The easy way out is to make the other person want to head for the exit so we don’t have to.
- Forget rebuttals. For real dialogue there’s, “This is what I'm hearing…,” followed by an observant recap of the other party’s expressed feelings.
- How to reconcile disagreements with the need to feel supported?
- Vocab lesson: What follows after the word “that” is never a feeling, but a thought.
- Blaming our own mistakes on circumstances but another’s mistakes on their shortcomings: a clash of narratives that requires being open to perspectives that don’t reinforce our own entrenched ones.
- Avoiding painful confrontation can mean passive-aggressive, even overtly hostile acts -- usually more painful and always less respectful.
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