The Warning Lights
What are the warning lights?
These are all signals that indicate a conversation may be going wrong:
Blamestorming – when the accusations and criticisms are starting to fly and you notice you’re beginning to sound alarmingly self-righteous. If a conversation’s starting to turn into a blame game, with someone being accused of being at fault, it’s a clear signal of Blamestorming. You’ll find yourself being more committed to apportioning blame than to resolving issues.
Escalation – when the temperature is starting to rise and your conversation seems to have become all about ‘winning’, regardless of the cost. Escalation is what happens when your anger takes over. When you notice this warning signal you’re either already in, or about to enter, the Big Argument. When this happens, you’ll notice the intensity of an argument increasing FAST.
Yes, But … – when you dismiss someone’s solutions because you want to be heard, or brush aside their opinions because they don’t match yours. In truth, you’re not really interested in their pearls of wisdom on the matter. When you are in Yes,But mode, you’ll find yourself saying it.
Dominatricks – when a conversation’s flow and rhythm starts to fall apart because you’re trying to take control and dominate. It feels competitive – you’ll notice you’re interrupting the person you’re speaking with and not taking time to pause, listen and reflect.
Mixed Messages – when you’re making assumptions and drawing conclusions that are out of step with reality, or when you’re speaking at cross-purposes. When you’re in Mixed Messages, you’ll feel puzzled or surprised about how a conversation seems to be unfolding or the conversation you’re having feels as if it’s somehow out of sync.