We were actually brought into the light about HBR recently. I have found their “Management Tip of the Day” to be quite enlightening. Here’s one that was sent out last month that really helped with a situation I had to handle:
Before Having a Difficult Conversation, Identify Your Primary Goal
When you’re ready to address a tricky situation with a colleague, you may be tempted to dive right into the conversation. But before you do, make sure you know what you hope to achieve. What is your goal? Do you want to complete the project more quickly? Deliver the best results? Does your relationship with this person matter more than the outcome of the work? You may want to prioritize all of these things, but think about your primary goal and look for overlap with your counterpart’s objective. If you two have a shared goal, you’ll be better positioned to work through your conflict together. Also ask yourself: Does what I want make sense? Is it realistic? If not, set your sights a little lower. Focus on a small, manageable goal, such as agreeing on which of you will own the redesign project, or creating a six-week plan for how your team will collaborate.