Take time to build rapport before diving in to the tasks…
From The New York Times:
In Pursuit of the Perfect Brainstorm
Corporate America wants help coming up with fresh ideas. Can a new
breed of consultant teach companies how to think?
If you find yourself getting drawn into a pattern of communication with someone that leaves you feeling frustrated, confused, angry and demoralized, become a neutral observer of the situation, BEFORE you react. Take a deep breath and then offer this pivotal invitation: “Help me understand…..”
“Seek first to understand”, expresses a universal principle about positive relations with our fellow humans. Its source is often cited as Steven Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. It also shows up earlier in philosophical/spiritual texts. For example, the prayer of the 13th-century Saint, Francis of Assisi (patron Saint of animals and the environment):
” Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive,it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.”