My clients inspire me. They also laugh at me because I get excited when I come up with something that will not only help them but is a great model to share. That is exactly what happened recently. In the middle of coaching a client through a challenging coworker conflict I blurted, “This is a good one. I should share this.” She laughed, agreed, and that is the inspiration for this post!

In the past I have explained how to Disagree Diplomatically using the Acknowledge and Add Model. When we disagree, we don’t want to disagree and dismiss somebody else. Instead, we can acknowledge somebody’s position and add our own thoughts to it, but that is just the foundation and often does not get us the whole way there. I explain in this video.

Once we acknowledge what somebody else’s perspective is and add our perspectives to the conversation, you may be at a standstill. Agree to disagree? OK, that may temporarily reduce the friction in the relationship but does not move the needle on actions that further either party’s goal. So, what do you do at that point?

This is where I expanded the model to include Commit and Invite. First, you commit to what you’re willing to do to make that dynamic better, that relationship better, and the way you communicate better. Perhaps you commit to better understanding their suggestion or incorporating an aspect of their idea.

For example, you could say, “Here’s what I’m willing to do.” Most of the time, the other person will then say, “Here’s what I’m willing to do.” But if they don’t, that’s where the Invite step comes in.

You are not asking, telling, or demanding; rather you are literally posing it as an invite. Try, “What are the ideas that you have, and what are you willing to do to improve the way in which we work together?”

I’m excited to share this expanded model of Acknowledge, Add, Commit, Invite. And let’s see if that gets us to a better place when we’re in that conflict.

If you have a sticky situation, you need some guidance on, send it my way. Perhaps you will inspire the next conversation model.