We all have those conversations and collaborations that seem challenging because intentions are misunderstood, parties rush to judgment, styles are clashing, or objectives are misaligned. Other relationships are strong and secure yet you may still experience an unexpected twist in the conversation, one you didn’t see coming. And there are situations in which trust and credibility are harmed and you have to move forward together. For any of these scenarios, whether in a group setting or a personal meeting, the following sentences, from Covey’s Trust Action Cards, I find very helpful. Give them a well-intentioned try and add your own examples – there are many more.

You see things differently from me. I want to learn more about your perspective.

  

When you do this, the impact on me (the team, the client) is …

Let me make sure I understand what you are trying to say.

What are you not saying that needs to be voiced?

I respect you and I want to be candid with you.

What is it you’d like to see me do differently?

I’d like to share what I have observed.

This is what I feel strongly about …

What is the ‘undiscussable’ here?

Where and how can I get better?

I need to listen before I respond.

I want to acknowledge you for …

How can I make this right?

From my perspective …

We need your opinion.

I was wrong about …

I apologize for …

My intent is…