In order to help get conversations and negotiations back on track, one tool to use is “I statements”. They keep the conversation moving while building trust. They give the other person the benefit of the doubt while being true to your perception.
- An example format of an “I statement” may be: “I heard you say xxx and understand this to mean xxx. I am not sure if that is what you meant. Can you clarify?”
This enables you to acknowledge that you have been triggered but prevents a story about the situation or other person to take hold. It is a relatively small pivot: from creating a story to giving validity to what you heard (without attacking or making assumptions about the other person).
The payoff can be huge.